Tracking

Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by maven, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. maven New Member

    Bodi and I started training for tracking on Sunday. We've spent the past few months in manners/obedience classes teaching him to listen to me, now we're going to go to classes to teach me to listen to him :) It should be a fun change for both of us.

    I believe I've found a very capable trainer -- he generally teaches Search and Rescue/Recovery rather than AKC tracking, but Bodi and I are both having a great time so far. I do have a question for anyone out there that has done any AKC tracking: Are the dogs supposed to alert when they find an article? Or are they supposed to deliver it to the handler? The official rules don't say how the dog should react at the find, just that the handler has to give the articles to the judge at the end of the track. Can anyone tell me what is commonly taught?

  2. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    That's a good question - I don't know what the dog is supposed to do! I do search and rescue airscenting with one of the Poodles, so my inclination would be to teach the dog to alert but not touch... maybe teach the dog to lie down next to the article so as not to tangle the line by turning and coming back to handler... definitely get in touch with an AKC exhibitor/judge to find what is common practice.

    -Jillian
  3. desertranger New Member

    Sorry I find ACK tracking a waste of time in fact I don't consider it real tracking at all it's more hide and seek. But then again I put the ACK (that's correct Ack!) on the same level as PETA. Neither organisation is worth a dime unless they take it from you.

    I've had Border Collies in the past used for Search and Rescue that were excellent trackers. My current pup 8mo old Jin will enter search training in a few months after he's finished obedience and a few other classes.
  4. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    I can agree with that, in a working sense - AKC (or any kennel club) has a test with distinct guidelines as to how it needs to be accomplished... thus allowing a handler to train 'to the test', rather than training for a solid tracking dog. Like any other organized sport, the main goal is something that the handler and dog can enjoy together - that is never a waste of time.

    However, the original poster is getting lessons from a SAR trainer, so they *are* getting real benefit and useful knowledge, in the chance that they decide to take it further in the future.

    AKC has issues for sure (every organization, especially at that size does), but comparing them to PETA is, IMO, completely inaccurate. Not to mention rude.

    -Jillian
  5. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    On another note :)

    What is the reason for waiting until Jin is nearly a year old before starting SAR training? Certainly a dog can learn at any age, but if you already have him, why wait? Most trainers recommend starting training as soon as the dog has a bond with their handler... often that means less than 3 months old.

    What style were your other BCs, and what are your plans with Jin? Tracking/trailing/air-scent, rescue/recovery/evidence? I'm assuming that you mean operational and getting called out for searches, as opposed to just training for the enjoyment and helping find family members in a big house (lol - that's what I did with my first dog when I was 15!).

    -Jillian
  6. desertranger New Member


    It's supposed to be. I consider any organization that does not work in fairness, balance aod the the general good to be a poor excuse. Both the ACK and PETA lean toward the extreme. I don't believe in the extreme despite the fact I'm about an extreme person s yo can bet.



    To Jillina again.

    It's not that I'm waiting until Jin's year old it's more a question of scheduling. Jin's training already includes weekly obedience classes and his daiuly workouts with me. He already has many of the basics for SAR starting with hide and seek, multi ball fetch, GOTO excercises including climb a hill, cross a wash or bridge and swim across the stream, pond, etc. He's a pretty busy dog. Another reason is technically he's still a puppy, still growing and Border Collies have problems with hip dysplasia and their feet. So in the world of BCs some exercises like jumping, stress climbing, repetitive motion and such are kept down until they are at least a year old and their bones had have a chance to grow together. Injuries among BC puppies is fairly high because of their drive to work.

    Yes, operational and in services as a Tribal-Ranger for a local band of Indians in mountainous and desert reservation land. No longer a ranger and disabled I now do some local eco-tourism and trail guiding. For years I used my dogs to pack and drayage our gear on overnighters tours. I found that BCs were the perfect way to keep track of my clients and used them to find and retrieve those who would wander off somewhat like herding sheep. I could also let a small group of them off on their own with a BC knowing my dogs would return them to where ever I was even if I was moving. I got into SAR by accident when a BC named Fuzzer found a lost Boy Scout up near Big Bear Lake. The kid grew up in the city, had no whistle and like city kids avoided strangers, in this case the people who were looking for him. Fuzzer found him and he followed him back to me after all kids trust dogs.

    BCs work with scent and trailing as they run a search pattern. Similar to the way they control sheep. Here's a link to watch. [MEDIA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI7TN8q6ktk[/MEDIA]

    After 35+ years with BCs and now having a a pup from age 10wks I decided to try an experiment I thought of years ago. How much can you teach a BC? What will a BC learn. Right now it's a very impressive list of duties and tricks and he's only 7 months old. It will take years, his lifetime. Great researtch and I hve a cool dog to play with because Jin's an aggressive worker for a BC and eager to learn. Who knows, Somewhere along the line possibly a book but I have to finish my current one first.

    Uncorrectd as I have to take the dogs out.

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