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Tracking Issues

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by Curing, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Curing

    Curing Member

    Hey guys!

    So we just started tracking straights Saturday and I’m having a few issues that I was hoping someone may have advice for.

    Drac is extremely food motivated, knows is search command and was doing great on his tracking boxes.
    We started straights and I’m having a lot of problems. I know a lot are just him getting used to tracking straights. But my biggest issue is him

    1. Running past the track start, which he didn’t do the first time we did a straight but did the second time and I have no clue why.


    2. Coming BACK around to get the food he missed.
    Like he’ll start moving forward get a few feet and then suddenly flip around and start coming back towards me to get the food he’s missing.

    We’ve only tracked 2 straights so I know a lot is just practice but I want to nip those in the bud before the cause too much of a problem.

    I went ahead and put him back on a tracking box to end the night but wondering if anyone has advice for other ways I can help him.

    Also wondering if he’ll do better early morning when he’s hungry.

    He’s only getting his food during tracks and obedience right now. Not out of the bowl.
  2. Curing

    Curing Member

    A little update:
    Took him out this morning and he wouldn’t finish either the box or the straight.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He started off really strong, this is the only place he’s getting his food, and we’re doing it both early mornings when he should be hungry, and late evenings when he should be hungry again.

    I’m just baffled why he’s doing so poorly
  3. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Keep steps close together at first and heel to toe. One pc in each step. Always start with six steps to your start flag one pc in each step. This is to help find scent box. Scent box should just be the size of your feet side by side. Put about 5-6 pcs of food in the front middle of scent box. Then lay your track 5-10 paces to start with one pc of food in each step. End with another scent pad the same as start but this scent pad will get a pile of food in the center.
    Start your dog back from the scent pad and let them eat there way up to it, pet them calmly when in the scent pad and give your track command. Your dog must eat ever pc in every step as it moved forward. Stay right behind your dog or straddle him if you can. Then point to each pc as you move forward. When you reach the jackpot just pet him gently as he is eating it and praise. Pull off when there is still food left and move to the next track. I would lay 2-3 tracks then run them all. Calm and gentle quiet commands.
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  4. Curing

    Curing Member

    Thank you so so much! I’ll try this for sure.
    We’re doing a tracking class and it was going well with the boxes and then went okay with the first straight but then suddenly started to fall apart this week. I blamed myself for not laying the track correctly cause it felt like I wasn’t.
    I’m hoping he’s just having an off week, and I’m trying so hard not to get frustrated because I know that doesn’t help.

    I’m gonna take a step back and work him this way to see how it helps.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Just go slow and relax, we all have days when Tracking doesn’t go well but it teaches us to step back or change things up. I train for mistakes so I am fix them. Tracking is still Obedience, it is obedience to the track. That is why you hold your dog back and make sure they get every pc in the beginning.
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  6. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    How do you get him to go slow and not run ahead?

    Ragnar does the scent box well and starts off well with the first couple in the straight but get amped up and skips treats. It’s like I want to physically hold him back and make him go slow but that won’t work either.

    Just need him to slow down.
  7. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I would definitely heed @Doberman Gang 's advice. I have seen him track with his dogs and can say they are tracking masters. Especially his boy Zeke. :eekwtf: Didn't you get a perfect score with him @Doberman Gang ?
  8. Curing

    Curing Member

    Okay! So we just finished doing our boxes for the night. I will say this method helped IMMENSELY!! He actually stayed on the track and didn’t turn back.

    The problem I’m having now is that he’s skipping all my foot steps and rushing straight to the scent boxes. He’s keeping his nose down and staying on the track, but flying.

    I only did about a 10 pace track and I did try to hold him back but he end up belly crawling with his nose to the ground lol.

    Any tips on helping with that?

    I think possibly it was the location I was tracking on. There was a ton of weeds and dead crunch long grass like stuff and I think maybe I need to find more of a greeny field.

    Thanks so much again for the help.
    I always come back into my training feeling better and a new perspective with your help and I appreciate that!
  9. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Unfortunately no, Zeke’s high score in tracking was a 92. Prada scored a 90 on her first IPO -1 attempt. Blaze just scored an 83 in St. Louis doing an IGP-3.
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  10. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Tracking is still obedience, obedience to the track. Bait every footstep, do smaller tracks and point out each piece of food. Dog must learn to eat every piece before we start taking food off the track, otherwise they won’t continue to check each step.
  11. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    It is really hard to say without watching the dog work, sometimes you may need to tKe bigger steps or make them farther apart. Laying down is him just saying he isn’t sure of what you want. Just encourage and point to the next piece of food. Praise each time he gets a piece. If he tries to go ahead past a footstep, give a calm negative reinforcer and point to the step and food that is next. Again praise when he eats it. It won’t take long and he will understand what you are asking him to do. Good luck.
    Come up and train sometime.
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  12. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    I'm wondering if a dog that has done nosework (NACSW) would have a terrible time trying to learn to do a step at a time? They are on a timer for finds (the source of the scent), so they can get really fast, and also use air scent. Is tracking so entirely different that it will appear like a different "game" in training, or do you think they will try to revert to the nosework training? Not wanting to get off topic, just curious!
  13. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    It is trained different and uses a different command, so the dog should be able to be taught and understand the difference. Similar to teaching s dog to walk on a loose leash vs. focused heeling.
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  14. Curing

    Curing Member

    Wanted to share that today during tracking Drac did absolutely AMAZING! We did an about 100ft track and he successfully kept his nose down the entire time without pulling or running!
    Training director thinks he’s one of the top dogs in the class and said between him and the other top dog, he is the most methodical and driven.

    So thank you so much @Doberman Gang for the tips, I think that really helped us get him back on track!

    We also found that having him track with the wind instead of against it, has really helped as well. Apparently he doesn’t need a lot of scent so having the wind coming at him was a bit much and causing him to get a bit erratic. So going backwards (setting the jackpot and then laying the track from there to the start) has pretty much fixed the problems we were having with him leaving the track and getting distracted.
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  15. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    Yea for you and Drac!!! Keep posting the updates, I'll be watching!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Awesome work! Gotta work around the Doberman quirks!
  17. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Glad things are going well, always here if you have any questions.
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