Sunday, April 29, 2012

First Class for Second Group

 Above is 'Cruiser' and Lori, in the Scent Circle.  I introduced this method to four of the 'new to tracking dogs' today.  They all worked in the scent circle then were put away.
 There are two blind dogs in this group.  Above is 'Charlie', a double dappled dachshund, blind due to breeding.  Karen got Charlie from a rescue. A happy guy, that doesn't stand in his way.  He worked nicely in the scent circle.  Below is 'Abbey' in her scent circle, tail never stopped wagging, trying not to miss any piece of food in there!  She is a miniature long haired dachshund.
 Rosemarys' 'Hunter' is our second blind dog, a hound blind from birth.  He is also the senior dog in the class, and worked wonderfully with his nose constantly down.  In this picture, we have brought the dogs back out to do another scent circle and then work in a serpentine track.  They are part way through the serpentine.  This method teaches the dogs to keep working with their nose down on the track.  Once they may move off the track, quickly they recognize there is no scent, and they almost immediately move back on to it and keep going.
 Hunter has just found his article at the end of his serpentine. Rosemary is rewarding him with treats at the article.  Hunter was very happy!!!
 Cruiser in his serpentine, also working nicely through it.  They are required to work at a slow pace in the serpentine, steady and with nose down.  The handler keeps a relatively loose line, and walks behind the dog, giving the track command they are using when the dog picks up a treat. 
 As long as there's food in there, Abbey isn't going anywhere else.  Each flag marks a food treat, so the handler knows exactly where it is.  The dog is scenting the tracklayer through the curves and the food is gradually spaced further apart and then randomly placed.
 Karen started her serpentine with the food treats a little too far apart, but Charlie kept his nose on the track and continued on with no problem.  He was really clear to everyone watching, when he moved off the track, says nope nothing there, and turned back onto it. Below, Charlie has moved past his last flag on has just about reached his article.  Really nice work.
 Brenda had previously started some simple tracks with 'Pippin" (a Lowchen) before this class began.   I lay a track for them to see how they were working, and left a glove on the first (long) leg, and took his favorite toy with me to leave at the end.  He was in the windiest area with a lot of dead grass, so had to work awfully hard in some areas.  In the above picture, he has found his first article, and Brenda plays with him tugging the article...great fun!
Pippin has just turned a corner and after a bit of searching (crosswind was strong), he puts his nose down and moves off nicely.
He is just about reaching his toy at the end of the track, Brenda with a nice, short taut line and good communication.  He "killed" his toy after he reached it!
I also laid the track for Rosemary and 'Reese'.  Distance between a TD and TDX, as Reese (our cute little beagle) has her TD and they have been working towards a TDX.  Reese had three articles on her track, mainly long legs, with four corners.  Above, they have just finished a lovely corner and are on their fourth leg.  Below Reese has just reached her final article and Rosemary is looking for her "down" on it before going up.   Reese always lies down on her articles, taught well by Rosemary.
We had a good first class today, interesting with the various dogs at all different levels.