Tracking Dogs, Dogs and Wildlife
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Friday, July 27, 2012
TDX "Test" Training Track for Blast
We finally had rain (2 hrs. worth!) two nights ago after weeks of dry, hot weather. I decided to get Blast out on a "test" track to see how he did and where we were at. Our neighbours at the end of our dead end road have a beautiful field recently cut...about 200 acres. It was so beautiful, dead quiet and peaceful. This field is surrounded by hundreds of acres on the east of nothing but forest and wild creatures. I LOVE TDX tracking! So off I went to plot. The first group of pics. are while I plotted. Above is where I parked, the west side entrance to the field.
I'm standing at the start and the red line shows our first leg which goes over the distant slope and then makes a right turn into the main field.
Out in the middle, there's a hill way back and more field behind. Can you see the teeny hay bales waaaay back there?
I'm standing on the top of a hill looking back to where the track began (see first picture) and where I will end it. I make a turn to the left and another to the right after leaving this area. There's a little red arrow pointing out the start, and a red X pointing out where the last article will be.
Standing at the end here, looking back up towards the top of the hill. Most of the track was beyond the crest of the hill.
The track was well over 1000 metres and I planned to age it 2 to 2 1/2 hr. However it ended up aged 3 1/2 hr. so was truly a "test" track for Blast. Our phone line was not working well, and I ran into the repair guy coming out. He found live hydro voltage going through the Bell line...very weird. So now the hydro has to come out and fix that problem. At least our phone line, for now, is working better. I was concerned about the track age, but prepared to 'help' if necessary. It wasn't.
So this is Blast heading out on the first leg as shown in the plotting pictures.
Here he is on the second of eight legs and just reached his first article. His first leg was very, very long and I like to reward after that important first corner. I had back back in my pocket for him. He also needs work on 'better' indications, so this also works.
Blast is on the third leg, just having turned the corner. His corners were very good all along the track. He checked a very short distance each way before committing.
Heading waaaaay up and over this hill into the back area of the field and track. On the fourth leg here.
We didn't even use 1/3 of the field length to do this long track. So nice to have lots of space for any configuration you want to do. Blast just turned right and is now on the second longest leg of the track. He will find an article about 2/3 of the way through.
Arrow is pointing out an upright hay bale which was my sighting. The second article is still a long way off. I remembered putting it in a little dip, then thinking...I hope he finds it, not sure I could! He did, he was right on!
So we've completed that long leg, made a right turn heading down the hill, and another left turn to take us over to the bush, and another right turn. There we go through some scrubby areas and very close to the bush. Once past that, his speed picked up as it usually does on a 'last' leg, heading to the final article. He was doing great, I have to say he impressed me.
And there it is. A bit of coaxing to stop and down, he still wanted to continue on. The back bacon is worthwhile though!!!
Every time we had passed closely to any hay bale, I saw him take a quick glance towards them. He loves to jump up on these, so we went over to one with his glove and up he went...trying to destroy the glove...that's "his thing". I have to rescue them pretty quickly!
What a gorgeous boy he is...happy and proud. He did a really great job. Unfortunately, we then had to go through the field again and pick up the flags I had left in advance of some corners (which was for my benefit, except now had to walk another track distance)
We train/compete in various dog sports, but Tracking has been my main interest since 1994. Five of my dogs have earned TDX titles,Trust has now earned her UTDX which gives her the title of a Canadian Tracking Champion!!! And Now!! Blast has just earned his Tracking Champion title after passing his UTDX Oct.21/12 at just 3 years of age! Blast earned his UTD, TDX and UTDX all in 2012, quite a feat! Tank is working towards the elusive UTDX in 2013. One of the most special is still our little rescued sheltie earning a TD at nearly fifteen years old! I offer tracking classes each spring and am very proud of my students who have earned titles. I've also done tracking seminars on occasion, usually aimed at beginners. I am a CKC Tracking Rep. for Northern Ont. as well as a CKC Canine Good Neighbour Evaluator.
We have been visiting a local nursing home weekly, when possible, for over six years, but presently have taken a reprieve from this.
Time spent with the dogs walking/running on our property is probably our most enjoyable activity. I also offer private in-home training to assist pet owners and their dogs/puppies.