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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This evening Jak did his 2nd track. He didn't do too badly, but not quite as good as the first time. This one was shorter than the first one. I'm going to have to start spacing my feet further apart so the bait isn't so close. I think when I did the first one, I did space my feet further, since they are so small. Oh well. Next time I'll do heel-to-toe instead of heel-to-arch.

Click here to watch Jak-2nd-Track-90606
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Did anyone else have trouble viewing the video? You have to have Quicktime installed on your computer or it won't load. That's one of the things I don't like about my camera; it puts videos in Quicktime format and I can't change it. :evil:


Any constructive criticism is welcome. I think the bait is too big, in addition to the steps being too close, so I'm going to cut the pieces in half next time. I hope to do another track this evening (with the smaller bait) if it isn't raining when I get home.

It was kind of funny because when I was laying this track, three of the neighborhood kids came over and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was laying a track for my dog, and they didn't understand so I said I was teaching him to follow a trail, in case one of them ever ran away from home, so we could track them down. :wink: One of the kids said, "but what if I don't take hot dogs with me?" :lol: I said, the hot dogs are just to teach him to sniff the footsteps, since he's just learning. Soon there will only be a big pile of treats at the end of the trail, and if he follows it right, it will lead him right to the food. Luckily they went away and didn't mess up the track before I took Jak to it. :D
 

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I still can't pull it up, & I have been able to pull other stuff up you have put on, so I don't think it's my computer or me!
 

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He is skipping too many hot dogs, don't let him skip any food, slow him down and point to the food with your finger so that he won't skip it, you have to laid in a good foundation for him that he must check every footstep and not skipping any, other than that I think you are on the right track to have a tracking robot. (-:
 

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Kristen Cabe said:
Did anyone else have trouble viewing the video? You have to have Quicktime installed on your computer or it won't load. That's one of the things I don't like about my camera; it puts videos in Quicktime format and I can't change it. :evil:
You must have a KODAK Digital camera!

I hate that it commandeers everything and I have to shut down the "Easy Share" software because it interferes with other software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
YES, I have a Kodak camera, Nancy. :lol: I didn't even install the EasyShare software.

Khoi, thanks for the input. I was told that at this point it's okay if he misses some of the bait, and that I shouldn't pull him backwards on the track if he does miss one. Any thoughts? I am keeping tension on the leash and sort of trying to keep him from just blasting through, but I think a lot of it has to do with the size of the bait being too big. He's using his eyes, too. :? I wasn't able to do another track yesterday because it rained again, but maybe I'll be able to before the weekend's up.
 

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JMHO but when a dog starts passing over food, it can mean that he's becomming more interested in the track then the food. As long as he's still on the track, I don't see any real problem.
The key here is you knowing EXACTLY where the track is.
 

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They don't want you to slow down the dog because they afraid it might hurt his drive, and yes don't pull him back if he missed it, you have to be a better handler and not let him skip by putting tension on the line at the step with food instead of let him skip, your dog has plenty of drive so it won't hurt, he needs to be imprinting on checking every step for food and eat it, dog that skip food are usually stress and just want to get to the end for the big reward or to finish the work so he doesn't have to work anymore, he needs to slow down and learn to enjoy the reward at every step that has food, this way he will learn to relax and work the track instead of hurrying up and get to the end of the track, if he gets into a habbit of skipping food, he will soon learn that there are a big pile of food at the end and does not care about food on the track and will go faster and faster as the training goes on, and will easily miss corner when you introduce corner because he could skip the food right at the corner and keep going instead of checking every step, then you will have to try to fix that and will lead to more problem, better start of slow and correct instead of let him do what he wants.
 

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I couldn't view it at all. I have a Kodak, but never installed the easy share software. I just take the little card out and put it into the handy little slot on my computer. The only editing software I use is Irfan View, it's easy to use and best of all, it's free!
 

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Khoi is right on the money with what he said. I would rather have a slow tracking dog that hits every foot step. Corners will be know problem when you start putting them in. When you allow him to pull you down the track, you are building drive and will tend to make him go fast. Try suttle pops with the line and tell him, EASY.
 

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Common problem in training foot step tracking. This issue is easily created when starting a full size dog versus the pup and putting your steps to close together. Your creating a solid trail of odor. I would make my steps at least 30" (or more maybe 40 if thats what it takes) between steps. With piece in each step.( make sure he is hungry by restricting food day before) This will naturally get him to check in each one. Soft dirt or soccer grass works best. Once he is checking each one you can bring your steps back closer together to a normal pace but keep away from creating trenches or close steps in high track drive dog if what you want is nose in each step versus a trailing dog.(during foundation training) This method should help slow him down with out interference or handler help. A nice strong pull into each step is fine they settle in with experience. There is another method correcting with lead that is taught away from tracking environment than used on track , but I would give this method a try first. Avoid help & corrections during the foundation training or reliability can go south in a hurry.

Just another option that can be used with great affect on some dogs.

Dan Reiter
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, so make the bait smaller, space the steps further apart (30 inches, though? Was that a typo?), and at each footstep, pull back on the leash slightly. Correct?
 

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No the 30" is not typo, (30" is standard pace of normal walk on adult)
You can just lay track straight out to try ( 50) paces and see what effect it has. Just make sure dog has food drive (is hungry) and you are on soft dirt or soccer grass. Age about 20 minutes. You should see nose to step very distinct into each step by the time you reach end. Dont pull back just go with him allowing some pressure on line if he is pulling. The point is you want him locating source of each step versus following and un interupted trail of scent. This is what will slow him down. (30" is minimum to try). I also like to start from the down so dog is calm to begin with and calmly say track command. The dog can scent from 10 feet minimum with calm winds (with food down) the 30" is not a challenge on full size dog he will be theyre on first step.

Dan Reiter
 

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I got to see the video today. Your bait is way too big! Should be smaller than the size of a pea. Also I like the old german trick of running two lines from the collar (one under each front leg, then over the top). This gives good control & can help slow down the dog. Have you started putting some "s" turns in? If you do make sure your serpentines are wide.
\I would laso make sure that your feet are far enough apart, almost "2" tracking, so he goes in each print.
 

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Kristen, we can all tell you what WE do but remember you have to do what works for your dog. I track two dogs and I've had to do different things with each of them. It's good to get many ideas on what to do but you must do what works for your dog. Read everything you can and listen to what everybody tells you. You take all that information and use out of it what works for Jak.
Now, go track that boy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
NOT so great on the 3rd track :^\

Because of the rain, I wasn't able to video Jak's 3rd track, but it's probably just as well because he did horribly. :| I made the bait smaller (1/4 the size that I used for the last 2 tracks); I took more regularly spaced steps (not a full 30", but with just a little space between the toe of one and the heel of the next; I stomped each footstep really good, and I put a piece of bait in the toe of each step, as before. I let it age while I videoed the heeling that I posted yesterday, then took him to it.

He knew exactly what he was getting ready to do, and was really amped up, so I took him to about 15 feet behind the beginning of the track, ran the leash under his right front leg, and had him sit and chill out for a minute before beginning. When I told him to 'such,' he exploded :lol: on the scent pad, scarfing up the bait that was there in literally a second, then proceeded to steam-train down the track, missing footsteps, missing bait, and dragging me along even though I was doing my best to hold him back. I probably should have just drug him off and put him up, as badly as he was doing, but he made it to the end and was able to scarf the hot dogs that were there down before my sense caught up. :oops:

I may try again this evening since it's not supposed to be raining, but I haven't yet made up my mind for sure. This time I thought I'd set the camera up at the end of the track, pointing towards the beginning of the track and see what I got that way. Do you think I should do it at ground level, or up high, as if someone were holding the camera? Should I be putting more bait in each footstep; ie: a few pieces at the toe, rather than just one; or a few pieces throughout the footstep instead of just one in the toe?
 

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Just another observation. Unless your having a really hard down pour, don't hesitate to track in the rain once he's really got the idea. You never know what trial day conditions will be like and you need to prepaire for anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh it was raining that day (hence the reason for having the camera in the back of the car to video the heelwork, and not taking it with me to try to video the tracking). I don't mind the rain as long as there isn't any thunder and lightning, and as long as it isn't, as you said, a downpour. It did kind of mess with Jak during the heelwork, though, because the rain would get in his eyes as he'd be looking up at me :?
 

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I am not able to view your tracking video. You might try Susan's suggestion of using two six foot leashes hooked to any of the links on each side of the fur saver. The leashes go under the front legs and you handle a leash in each hand like a plow mule. This technique will give you better control and help to pull his head down. You might also try doing a large scent square first. Stomp in an area about 4'x4' square and put food throughout the scent square. Somebody suggested a pea sized bait. I use slices of hotdog about the size of a nickel. What are you using for bait? You don't want it to be too visible or to smell too strongly. If your dog's food drive is really strong, try letting him track for single pieces of kibble. Think of the scent square as a track that goes nowhere. If he focuses on the square well and eats the food, move on to the track and do a track about 30-40 feet long. If he keeps going out of the square and is not scenting the trampled grass and eating the food, take him away and put him up and try it later, witholding food until the next tracking session, ideally, later that day. Another way is to lay three short tracks parallel to each other. Make each track just a little bit longer than the prior track. The idea is that he get to practice a short track, gets rewarded and praised, repeats with the second track, etc. This gives the dog three chances to practice instead of one, so the practice effect should come into play.
You might not want to wait so long after you have him sit before starting the track. It could be that you are capping his drive, which builds his drive, and then he is so drivey, he isn't focusing. Play around with that. Maybe just let him start to tracking without sitting him first.
Since your dog has good food drive, you might want to put a toy at the end of the track. Or, don't give him the food jackpot at the end. Instead, just leave a single piece, praise and release, and have some food set aside off of the track.
As for videoing, I'd put the camera on a tripod at a 90 degree angle to the track so you can get a side view. This way you can easily see if the dog is keeping his head/nose to the track. Plus, you can see how you are handling the line better. It won't show you as much if you are using two six foot leashes, but when you start using a longer, single leash, you'll be better able to see the lines and if the tension is constant or going slack at times.
 
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