Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tracking - Part One

Part One - Building motivation to the glove
When I first started tracking three years ago, the method used involved dropping food along a track to teach the dog to follow a track. You eventually fade the food so the dog learns to follow the scent on the track to get to the reward (glove/treat) at the end of the track. After a few months of tracking, winter came and I got focused on obedience training and did not get back to tracking until this spring.

The food drop method works great for some people, but I felt Jackson and Jolee were lacking in motivation to find the glove. Then I came across a website that described another method of training, which focused on building motivation.

In this method, you start close in with the glove and treat in sight and get the dog excited to get to the treat. You gradually lengthen the distance. At first the dog is finding the glove by sight, but the theory is that as you lengthen the distance and the glove is out of sight, the dog will transition to using the scent of the track to find the glove. That's a real quick and dirty explanation. If you would like more detail on this method go to this Basset Hound website.

We've just started this method and I'm really liking it. We're still at the very beginning stages of it and I'm excited about how motivated the dogs are to find the glove. I don't know how the transition will go to finding the glove by scent, but we're having fun with this stage of it.

The video shows Jolee first with the initial exercise of getting the dog excited about the glove. Then I taped a couple short tracks with Jackson, who is surprisingly motivated to find the glove : )


Lindsay said...

That's awesome Kathie!! Jackson is REALLY pulling and moving forward to that glove! This looks like a really fun method of getting them started. I think I might try this with my guys. Thanks for posting about this!!

tervnmal said...

Tracking is so much fun! Good luck, you'll definitely get your exercise keeping up with Jackson!