Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Super Windy Blast Track

Monday was so windy and cold, we weren't really looking forward to tracking...almost like back to winter! Interesting, though...both Blast and Emma did excellent tracks in the really windy conditions.
Just putting him down at the start, he does tend to rush off, and I took him in from the side, and wanted him to really scent the pad. The strong wind was coming straight at us on the first leg. He made a little circle around me, then burst off on the track.He's working really nicely, nose down, good speed along the first leg.He has just turned left and doing so well, almost dead on the track, with gusty winds coming from his right side.Blast is close to zooming in on his first article. I actually thought any, or all, may be blown off, but they had stayed in place. Sure gives you confidence when you dog is working so nicely!It's a sock and he wanted to keep it and play with it. He kept turning away from when I was trying to get it.Off we go, he made a left turn shortly after the sock, and is again working nicely, now with the wind behind us. Just starting to get a bit of green grass poking up here and there...We are on a dirt/gravel/weed area just before moving onto the paved basketball court. He has actually run a small circle around here, and has the line over his head turning back to the track. You may notice the line is attached to his collar, even though he is wearing his harness. He makes such quick turn-arounds at times, he gets really tangled, as I can't work the line fast enough. On the collar, it seems to work better...and he truly doesn't care!!!He has checked out a few directions here but not gone far off. The turn is actually just this side of the pole, to the right. He will go off the pavement, into gravel, turn right and come back from behind the pole.Surprise! There are two small kids' mitts right beside the pole. He sniffs them, dismisses them, and comes back on the pavement and then to the right (correct).Shortly after leaving the pavement, there is a ditch with water running out of pipe into it. He goes into this, checks it out while I stand still and wait.I've not moved, he has come up and just reached the track again, and will turn onto it.Moving ahead, we cross the driveway. Strong winds now coming from the right, he moves left and realizes the track is not there, and will turn to his right and head to the curb and grass.Going up over the curb, he works his way back to the track, which heads up the little hill. The red arrow points out the second article, plastic lid, with a rock on top to hold it. We're moving up the side of the building, I thought it would be less windy for the article, but wind swirled around the corners and it wouldn't have stayed without the rock. Afterthought, wished I had let it blow off to see how he handled it.He has just reached it, he flipped it and kept going.This takes us out to the driveways, parking area in front. The red line/arrow marks my corner and direction. Again, strong wind coming at us. He turned early and moved up on the right side of the grass island. The track is on the left side.Blast goes up on the grass island strip and is following the scent along there. One of the hardest parts of this urban tracking is "learning to learn" where and how the scent moves.He moves off it, onto the track, towards the end. The glove is only about 6-8 feet in front of him, in the centre of the break in the islands. He is still scenting along the asphalt.Once he found it and began to tear it up (his newest thing!) I grabbed it quickly. I've had to throw out a few because of this!! I had the pull toy tucked inside my jacket so got it quickly for him and we had a good session with that until my arm hurt!!! I was soooo happy with how he worked.