Just about two weeks ago CB and I had our second winter tracking seminar with Donna Brinkworth. The goal of this session was to observe our dogs body language as they tracked on each of three L tracks, one of which was a blind track to us.
The first two tracks which I set, were a struggle for CB. It was windy and tracking was challenging for him that day. He had his head up a lot and I noticed when he’s not sure where to go he shows a classic stress signal – he shakes his whole body from head to toe. Even when he got back onto the scent at the corner he didn’t seem to believe it was the right way. I also noticed that he checks in with me when he’s not sure of the track and he will also walk back to me.
Then we did our blind track and it was CB’s first time following someone else’s scent. The tracklayer followed us just like what we would experience in a real test. When CB is confident of the track he keeps his head down, you can hear him sniffing and he doesn’t look at me at all, and that is exactly what he did. He nailed the corner and ignored the bait on the track so maybe I should start to use less. I’m pretty impressed with him and if there was any doubt in my mind that he is really tracking it is now gone.
It’s hard to tell from the photo below because I’m in the way, but CB’s head was down taking the corner just like it is in the photo above. It was so windy the cone marking the location of the turn (but not the direction of the turn) had blown away so this was really blind to me.
What we really do need to work on it article indication. We currently don’t have one and CB could care less about the article. Here he is going in for the bait, the article just happens to be in the way.
Donna had a great idea for me to build up some interest in the article. Instead of bait I will be putting one of CB’s favorite chewys inside the glove, that should be a little more exciting for him when we get to the article. I’ll be giving that a try and see how it goes.
*All the photos in this post were taken by Donna Brinkworth. Check out Your Tracking Coach on Facebook for more tracking info*