Back to the Track

It’s finally feeling like summer around here which means we’re spending more time outside which will make the dogs happy. Yesterday, we did a nice evening walk and topped it off with a little pup-cake from Bon-A-Pet-Treat Bakery to celebrate CB’s 2nd Birthday.

I didn’t give it a try, it’s made from beef liver after all, but the pups seemed to like it a lot. They were close to turning into savages and a stay was hard for them to hold but we did get this photo.

The birthday fun continued today as we went for a walk in Edworthy and stopped in a small out of the way field we found on a walk earlier this week and CB got to do some tracking. With all the agility that we’ve been doing lately there hasn’t been a lot of time for Rally or for Tracking. CB was quite sniffy at our last agility trial and that reminded me of why I wanted to know about tracking in the first place.

After Donna’s seminar in April I ordered a book she recommended – Enthusiastic Tracking by Sil Sanders. I’ve actually had this book for a while now and I’ve read it in detail, I just haven’t had a chance to start working on the exercises. I made the time today and did the first days exercise in the book. We started with a serpentine just to see where things were and then did three short tracks with food drops as per the book. I’m quite impressed with how CB did considering it’s been almost 2 months since the last time we tracked.

Because so much time has passed I went back to putting bait in every footstep for the serpentine. That may have been overkill as CB wasn’t interested in all of it and left some behind even though I think he’s just following the food. Then I laid the three tracks from the first exercise (1.1.1) in the book, these tracks have food drops at 5 foot intervals and we ended up doing a total of 45 feet of track. From the amount of sniffing one would think CB was actually following the track. There were a few food drops that he just sniffed past. Not sure what to think about that or if it means anything at all.

I’m going to try to get him out once a week since I think he really enjoys this. I haven’t done much because I find it a little tough to find time to train on more than one skill at a time. Between now and early August we have a rally trial upcoming and either 2 or 3 agility trials and Kona is entered in 1 rally trial and I might enter another if I think he’s ready for Rally Advanced. I was thinking I would wait until CB completed his Rally Excellent before we really started working on new skill but if regular tracking sessions decrease his sniffing at an Agility or Rally trial I think I should put in the effort. I also think I’d like to work toward preparing for a TD test but that will be way down the road and will take us a lot of time to be ready for with only one tracking session per week.

After CB’s tracking session all the dogs got to play with a Frisbee and we rounded things out with a walk up the Douglas Fir Trail towards home. From the overlook on the Douglas Fir Trail you can really see how high the water level is in the Bow right now. The vegetated area in the river is normally an island. And I think the water level has dropped some since it hasn’t rained in a couple of days. The forecast looks good for the rest of this weekend so we should be spending quite a bit of time taking advantage of it.

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