Good morning everyone!
We had a lovely day in the woods yesterday, nice and sunny. Way to go DWB weather vibes! We’re just about to leave for the second day of the course, but wanted to post a few pix from yesterday. Well, sort of.. They’re stills taken of a video clip with my cell phone, so they’re not the greatest quality. But at least they’re of Gummi – hard to take proper pictures when out with my own dog. Hard to take video, too, but at least a got a little of the last track.
I have tried a few tracks with Gummi before, and as you might remember he’s done a little blood tracking. I’ve tried to just do a little easy “regular” track with a few treats in, puppy style, but he didn’t seem all that keen. He also didn’t seem able to slow down an eat treats that close together, so I wasn’t sure if he didn’t find the track or the treats or if he found the track and didn’t have time to bother with the treats.
It was the latter.. After a quick demo we all laid short tracks with treats for every step more or less, then we all watched each dog work to see the different styles and learn how to work with different dogs. Gummi just zoomed to the end of his and kept going.. Hardly bothering to eat more than maybe 3 of the treats along the way.. no idea how long it was – it was supposed to be maybe close to 100 meters, but was probably a little shorter. He didn’t even want to eat the pork chop at the end, but just keep going. At least he’s tracking – even though it can be tricky to slow them down once they’re that fast..
The next one was made a lot harder, curving lines and angles, and maybe twice the length, over several logs and so on. He lost the scent several times that time, wich was great. He needs to learn he’s got to pay attention and be thorough. He slowed down a lot and ate the treat at the end, but not more than maybe one along the way. I left clusters of treats this time, maybe 4 times along the track, but it still wasn’t enough to encourage him to stop completely.
The third track was more or less the same – I’d forgotten to bring more treats when I laid it so only had two piles of treats along the way. This time I tried with a toy at the end, but he just looked at it funny like “Hey.. that looks and smells like MY toy.. wonder what it’s doing out here” and kept walking.. LOL.. Once I turned him around I did manage to encourage him to play, though, but doesn’t seem like a toy will work a whole lot better with making him stop.
I got an idea for the final track, though, the one all the pix are from!
Instead of using clusters of small treats I left out half a hot dog or half a fish cake along the way since he does tend to favor large treats over small ones. You know how trainers tend to say that dogs will prefer lots of small treats over one big one? Well, Gummi says they’re either liars or just stupid.
Big treats worked a lot better! He stopped and even went back for a couple of them.. Generally you don’t want them to go back, but since if he’s to do it for competitions he needs to find objects in the track it’s not such a bad idea for him to be allowed to search a little for it when he smells something in the track. Not sure how long he’s going to be allowed to do so, though, will have to ask the instructor. Either way we gave lots of treats to the birds and foxes today! LOL.. I’m sure we’ll do the same today.
See? Here there’s even a little snow on the ground 🙂