Friday, May 6, 2011


Training in tracking has started up again for the spring with Hank and Pepper as the trainees.  Hank has done a bunch of training already last year and Pepper is just beginning.     Hank is very enthusiastic, liking to go fast but sometimes he overshoots turns and has to find them again.   Pepper is right now just focused on finding articles- with the training method we use we start with lots of articles, focus the dog on indicating them, and then stretch out the distance between them until the dog has to rely on tracking instead of just sighting them.   This would be easier in taller grass, so my next goal, after Pepper kind of has the idea of the game, is to take the dogs to a tall grass field and try her there.   With Hank what I really need is to get him on blind tracks (someone else as tracklayer) so I don't know where we are going and I have to rely more on reading his behavior to see if he is on track or not.  

These are a few pictures from when Hank was just beginning tracking:  

Getting ready to start a track.  The pink thing is a start article.

Finding something!

This was before I had a harness for him, now Hank and Pepper each have their own- green for Hank and blue for Pepper. 

Got a glove!

That is one happy dog

When I first started them I placed treats on each article, then quickly moved to lots of praise for each find plus a treat from my hand.   With Hank in the beginning, I tried a few other techniques also, from the Aussie Times articles, including serpentines of treats but with Pepper so far I have just used the one technique.    Now Hank works only for his tennis ball, and really doesn't care about the treats so I quit using them. 


  1. Love that Hank loves his ball. Good job. What is tall grass?

  2. Tall grass is about 6" to a foot, big enough to hide articles in. When I was using treats Hank was running past articles- he cared more about finding the end of the track than stopping to get a treat. Once I switched to a ball for rewarding indicating articles he now indicates with emphasis.