Monday, December 21, 2015

Let's Go (man) Tracking

I started Sparta's training on man-tracks.  It was fairly easy to transition her to follow blood trails this past fall.  If it did create some a problem, she had a more generalized sense of tracking than a dog who was only trained to track wounded game.  If the hunter was mistaken on the location of the hit or the course of the trail, she'd follow the closest trail available and not necessarily look for the wounded deer.

It could have been why we had trouble staying on the wounded deer, but it is a problem I think we are overcoming.

While the bow season continues until year's end, we haven't had a tracking call since the week before Thanksgiving.  I needed to get out of the house.  She needed to get out of the house.  So I laid a short (~160 yard) man track with two turns and let it age thirty minutes.  I didn't know how well she'd do so I kept her on a shorter leash.  I thought I might need to keep her on a tight track.  My concern was unfounded.

She never had this kind of energy in tracking before.  I will have to see if get her to work a little slower if we try to pass a tracking test, that and she will have to re-learn how to indicate she has found an object.

She learned that she gets a great reward at the end of a track, (a piece of deer hide/meat/bone).  It wasn't particularly practical to have her show me an indication when we were tracking dying deer.

Note the yellow flags at each turn.

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