Friday, October 28, 2011

Blast-Working as Long as We Can!

Back out tracking, into the cold now....until winter sets in. Hate having to stop when it gets just too cold, or too much snow. Once we have snow here, it stays, and it's not possible to track right through the winter. So we are enjoying the time we have left. We did a track with Blast today, and also a fun one for Trust - she was amazing!!! and a track for Emma, as well.
Blast is at the scent pad, I took him in on a bit of an angle, so he would determine the correct direction himself. No flag here, I leave a tiny piece of kleenex stomped into grass, so that people won't see the flag and come over while the track is aging.Off he goes, a solid start as I begin to let out some line. I will mainly work him 'short' today, and work on our focus/distraction, as I expected dog walkers.The track leads out over the wide driveway, and near a big "green box" where we have the first corner to the left.Blast just found his corner, today, I left one pc. of food on each corner, otherwise just a little food along the hard surface. He stopped immediately on this corner (with food) and then turned abruptly onto the next leg...what I was looking for.He has started on the second leg with determination, no fooling around. I'm at about 10', have a knot on the line at 10'.Just reached his first article, a plastic lid, and he flips it, looking for a treat beneath. I rush up and grab it quickly as he's already on his way. (Red line painted on in front shows our direction.)Blast has just slightly overshot the exact corner, and is making his turn back onto the track. This was good, no searching around, he had the scent. Wind was coming from behind us. (Flags in second picture show the strong winds).A piece of food on the asphalt. The blue van had just driven past us, and pulled over and parked. It is directly over top of the track...interesting, unexpected obstacle...Moving along very closely on the track, I was really pleased with his work. I continue to stay close on the line, if he does veer off I will control the distance this way, not allowing him much leeway off the track. He knows darn well where it is.Very interesting, he tracked right to the van, on the track (see little crack leading up to it in front of rear tire) and almost stuck his head underneath. I let him work it out, saying nothing, and he moved around the back, checking, then turned and went around the other side of the van, picking up the track.Shortly after passing the van, we turn right into grass, and a wood article is just ahead. You can see it past the cut tree stump he is at, between that and the pole.We did a leg on the grass towards the back, and Blast just found a sock here. I'm having trouble sticking it in my article bag. He wasn't happy waiting. Before we hit the brick walkway at the back, we will make a left turn, taking us to the end of the track.Before we reached it, I saw the article was gone, which I had worried about when I left it near the far edge of the walkway/bike path. I had also seen a couple of dogs being walked over here when I left, and wondered if they would go over here. Well, I guess they did. It is actually way, way out ahead in the grass, a white pc. of leather. Blast is about 2' from where it shoud have been, so I'm ready to rush up and throw out something else for him to end the track.There you go, Blast. Much to my surprise, he actually was "looking" for something in this area. I always have found it hard to believe that the dog would "actively search the area" as described in the CKC rules when an article was missing. However, he seemed to be. So was he, or other dogs in these instances, actually searching for some miniscule scent remaining, or was it a lot of fresher scent from a person, and like a dog in this case, that had found the article, spending time in this spot and leaving mucho scent????! Regardless, he did a great track, with two unexpected 'happenings' along the way, the van, then the missing article. We did go out and get it, and it was an extra bonus for him when he picked it up and tried to tear it apart!!!