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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody have an answer to them?
It's hard enough to get my butt out to track but by the time the track has aged, the food is covered with the little %[email protected]^&*@$.
Thunder spits and sputters and downright refuses to mess with it. :evil: :evil: :evil:
 

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From another board:

Tracking Training without Ants

If you have started your basic training with a young dog or a puppy that is tracking for food and working foot print to foot print and you are having a problem with the ants getting on the food, you may want to try the following>

Puppies should be at least 4 months old and know the down or platz. You can teach article indication away from the track in 2 or 3 sessions. First make up about 50 articles roughly 2 inches by 3 inches of different material, leather, wood, plastic can be cut from gallon milk jugs and a few cloth and metal. Start with your leather and wood articles first. Wooden articles can be made by cutting up strips of 1 by 2's three inches long.

We do not want the dog to connect this exercise with tracking. This is first going to be an obed. exercise. Find a large concrete area
and lay a straight line of articles about 10 feet apart with 1 slice of hot dog on top of each article. You can put 10 or 12 articles in the first line then make a right turn and go over at least 10 feet and lay another line of articles going back and parrell to the first line.

With a 6 foot leash and a metal choke collar(of medium link) start walking to your first line, DO NOT GIVE THE TRACK COMMAND
AT ANY TIME, this is an obed. exercise. If we have to use any pressure here, we do not want the dog to connect it to tracking.
As you approach the first article and holding the leash about at the 1/2 way point, stop the dog just before the article. He will smell and see the food but cannot reach it. Give him the down command and as he goes down let him have enough slack so that he comes down at the article and he can eat the food. You can give a little praise here but not enough to make him too anxious to race to the next article. It should be mentioned here to make sure that all articles have your scent on them. You can put them in your bed the night before.

After you have finished both lines of articlea give him a break or play with him a little depending on his drive level. Then put him up and repete the whole exercise again but this time when he comes to the first article stop him but do not give the down command.
See if he will go down without a command. If he doesn't then tell him sternly Platz or down. DO NOT MIX THESE ARTICLES IN WITH THE REST OF YOUR ARTICLES. We do not want to get the smell of food on our clean articles or the ants will get on them later.

If you do not have a training vest then either get one or get a couple nail aprons. One on your left side for articles and one on your right side for food for when you are hand feeding at the article. You must have the food ready and not keep him waiting 5 seconds for thr food reward.

After the first day the dog should be downing without a command. If he is not then your timing is off and you will have to start the next day with the first 2 rows layed down and make a little stronger command Platz.

Once the dog is downing with out command, lay your next double row with no food on the articles. You can let the dog come a litle closer to the article before you stop him and have a piece of food in you right hand before he gets to the article. If he doesn't down on the article, give the down command and as he hits the ground, lay the back of your hand on the article and open it so he can eat the food from the palm of your hand.

Once the dog is doing on row without command and eating the food from your hand on top of the article then the following day
give him a double line of articles and you are finished.

Now you must wash all your article with soap and water and let them dry in the sun. Then put them in a net bag and hand them on the porch where they can air out for several days.

Take a bunch of your clean articles to bed with you and the next day we transfer them to the track. Lay your track with nothing on the scent pad and space the articles at a distance apart that you feel your dog can hold focus from one to the other and maintain his drive. If you see that they are spaced too far appart then abort the track at the next article. Just before you start your track walk to the scent pad without your dog and throw a coulple pieces of hot dog on the scent pad.

At this stage of the game I am never farther behind the dog than at his hind quarter because I need to know and see where every article and corner is. I have to know where every bit of the track is, Exactly so I can restrain him from going out of the track. If my dog is only doing 100 pace tracks with one corner, it must be like a 100 point FH. track. If I don't have time to make it perfect here
then i will not have time to fix all the little mitakes later.

Following is a list of things to pay close attention to whlie training your tracking dog.

1. Know exactly where your track is, including turns and articles.

2. Do not allow the dog to track anywhere, except; exactly in the track.

3. Do not allow forward motion of the dog while he is chewing or swallowing. Try to smell something while you are swallowing.

4. Do not allow forward motion unless the dogs nose is down.

5. Cut the normal food intake to allow for the food being consumed on the track.

6. All changes in tracking must be made gradually.

7.When laying tracks, walk straight, using line of site objects.

8. Use the same command to track each time.

9.In the begining, tracks are always laid with the wind to your back.

10. Start using cross tracks early in training, even for puppies.

11. If the track becomes too difficult, make them easier.

12. If the dog is constantly tracking too fast, make the tracks more difficult and use more restraint with the leash.

13. Turns are started by using long arcs or rolling turns.

14. Approach the scent pad from a 45 degree angle. This way you know that the dog is committed to the track by making a turn to start.

15. Use the leash for restraint only; No corrections.

16. Largest food drop or reward at the end of the track.

If you ask everything of your dog, he will give you everything > if you ask nothing, that's exactly what you will get.

REMEMBER> EVERY HANDLER DESERVES THE DOG THAT HE OR SHE ENDS UP WITH.

Steve Lino
 

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I have found that tracking in moist, low lying areas keeps the ants at minimum. I had a real time with tracking and ants last year (the drought), and found that low areas, where the rain run off drains to, is relativly ant free.

edited for spelling
 

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The little cat treats, Pounce I think, don't seen to attract the ants so much.

I'm going to try Cheerio Cereal in the next day or two. Don't know why except I have a feeling it will be ant free. Maybe something I read somewhere........
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Woody, do you use a snowmobile behind Annie when you track? :lol: :wink:
Thanks for all the good ideas folks. Hopefully were due for a bit of a freeze in the next week. or so.
Not like those Minnesota folks that have to get their snow shoes out by the end of August. :lol: :p
 

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Bob, being at approximately the same latitude as you, I know exactly what you mean! About a month ago, we were using cheese bits and sure enough, the track had aged a whole 5 minutes (!!!) - i.e.- the time to walk back and get the dog and bring him over the track and it was already covered! :evil: And the pieces were frozen just prior to practice (cheese thaws pretty fast I've noticed). I pulled Zoso off the early part of the track completely as he's still just going on straight tracks with no articles and no turns and I don't want him to have negative experiences with it. Good thing this wasn't down in the South or the fire ants might of gotten him on the tongue. Nothing like unintentional aversives for tracking... :(
 
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