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Tracking IPO #348238
07/17/18 08:30 PM
07/17/18 08:30 PM
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middleofnowhere Offline OP
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middleofnowhere  Offline OP
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OK here we go with the long story -

First time out ever with BTE2, first time ever for this handler under a judge with an official track --- highest tracking score of the trial.

Consistently thereafter highest tracking score for the club dogs (had an outsider come in to two trials who got first)

Then last fall - goes out about 20 feet, stops, turns and looks at me.

Meanwhile BTY2 is doing quite OK with mid to high 80s.

This spring, BTE2 does maybe 30 feet before she hangs it up. She had needed encouragement at the practice tracks earlier in the year.

However, in practice tracks, BTY2 has been tearing up the track like a genius.

This spring, BTY2 was horrible, too. Just wouldn't track.


So what I've found is from a different venue than IPO but the recommendation is to lay a series of five tracks - first one laid is most difficult, next easier than that, etc until the last track with is baited and laid with the dog watching.

Now I haven't been able to get to the fair grounds here because they've been busy with events and club's fields have been dry and dont really allow time for that in any case. So what I'm thinking is trying this in mid to late August when the fairgrounds will be more "open" for laying tracks. And I'm thinking of a series of three due to space and time constraints.

Other ideas? (Well, maybe just bait the track a time or two -- haven't baited a track in 3 to 4 years for BTE2.)

Re: Tracking IPO [Re: middleofnowhere] #348241
07/18/18 07:15 PM
07/18/18 07:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,597
Michigan, USA
lhczth Offline

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lhczth  Offline

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How old are the two dogs? How often do you track? How long are the tracks? Are they always the same with the same levels of difficulty? What is your main motivator for tracking?


Lisa Clark
Zu Treuen Händen
SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB IPO2 KKL B/HOT (the ugly little sable), Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD and gone, but not forgotten: Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT
Re: Tracking IPO [Re: middleofnowhere] #348242
07/18/18 07:39 PM
07/18/18 07:39 PM
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middleofnowhere Offline OP
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BTE2 will be 9 this fall
BTY2 will be 5 this fall

We track every week (until this trial) taking a couple of weeks off before a trial unless we are having a problem on something (we weren't except for BTE motivation)

No , my track lengths are somewhat random but always with the first leg something like 100 paces. Part of it is time we have on the field, part of it is the amount of room we have (this at club).

My motivator is the dogs love it. (or loved it). It's easy for the handler (that's another motivator for the handler) OK so I know what you were probably after is what motivates the dogs... Really until quite recently, they loved it. BTE2 tracks best when she has defecated before getting to the sent pad. As in she doesn't track at all unless she has. That's what I thought had happened last fall. So this spring, I loaded her with food the night before (that's standard for her but I made sure) and she didn't defecate until we were at the field and THAT at least went according to plan.

The dogs get rewards at articles - haven't baited anyone's track for 2 years or longer; BTE2's for longer than that. Baiting started just confusing the issue. I am thinking of going back to baiting. (per the advise in the tracking book that had a section of "fix it"). BTW Deldei's video on tracking problems did not address this issue.

Re: Tracking IPO [Re: middleofnowhere] #348243
07/19/18 02:04 PM
07/19/18 02:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,597
Michigan, USA
lhczth Offline

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lhczth  Offline

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Michigan, USA
You track once per week? Have you ever laid just a shorter motivational track with a ball or a container of special treats at the end? Do you always end the tracks with an article? Are you using the same type of reward at the articles or do you vary so the reward is super special at times? How many articles? How much pressure do you tend to put on the dog for correctness and how technically difficult do your tracks tend to be?

Some dogs need an extra motivator as they get older. Popping a ball out at the last article or having a ball be at the end can be great for some dogs. Sometimes tracking for their breakfast. Short motivational tracks can help others. Some need to see easier tracks for awhile while others might need the tracks to be more difficult because they are getting bored. Sometimes random food on the track and less articles. I have had a ball in the middle of the track before, tugged a little and then started the dog again to finish the track. I will use small (pill bottle size) containers with food in them as articles here and there. These have to be indicated, but I encourage the dog to push them around with their nose and make them exciting as I dump the food out and then restart the dog. Thing I have always liked about tracking is that you can experiment a bit without totally screwing up the dog. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Gary Patterson's Tracking:from the beginning has a problem solving section. I don't know if it covers this and unfortunately my copy is still sitting in a box so I would have to hunt for it.


Lisa Clark
Zu Treuen Händen
SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB IPO2 KKL B/HOT (the ugly little sable), Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD and gone, but not forgotten: Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT
Re: Tracking IPO [Re: middleofnowhere] #348245
07/19/18 03:50 PM
07/19/18 03:50 PM
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middleofnowhere Offline OP
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Thanks Lisa,
T;his is the reminder I needed. Yeah, well, back when the dogs were learning, I used shorter tracks and had containers of food. But not for a few years. Bait on the track just confused them after they caught on to articles. I'll try smelly junk in containers for articles. The older dog does not get fed (as in wouldn't eat just then anyway) before tracking, the younger one sometimes does. When I remember to put them in the apron, we do play with toys at the end. (However, lately, getting BTE2 - who has been good with both food rewards and toys but showed a decided preference for toys is less enthusiastic about toys if I have good treats and sometimes just not interested in her toys). So the back to a shorter track with some changes might do the trick.

Pressure? Not in tracking. I was taught that there is no punishment on tracking, no pressure. The most I've done is stop when the dog reaches an article and indicates but doesn't down. Stop until thee is a down.

Patterson's book is sitting on the bed in my "spare" room. Didn't seem to address the "I'm so done with this" stuff. The book that I referenced is Glen Johnson's Tracking Dog: theory and methods. It is even older than Patterson's.
But I think you've given me the dope slap I needed. Go the heck back to a point where it works, then move forward again.

Why could I not pull my own advise out of my butt???? Hey common handler thing, eh?

So again, Thanks.

Re: Tracking IPO [Re: middleofnowhere] #348246
07/20/18 01:14 PM
07/20/18 01:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,597
Michigan, USA
lhczth Offline

Administrator and LOTR addict
lhczth  Offline

Administrator and LOTR addict
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,597
Michigan, USA
Sometimes just discussing training with someone is enough to help us remember what we have forgotten. smile

Pressure doesn't have to be punishment. It can be as simple as our standing right behind our dogs while tracking or light corrections (verbal or physical) for slow articles, sloppy corners or speed. It can also come from other areas of training or life. Tracking always seems to be the phase that shows the effects of stress outside of tracking.


Lisa Clark
Zu Treuen Händen
SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB IPO2 KKL B/HOT (the ugly little sable), Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD and gone, but not forgotten: Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT

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