Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tracking on white

Tracking on fresh, deep snow isn't something I'd do often, but it's fun to see how the dogs handle it. Sometimes you are surprised at how things play out. That is one of the things I love most about tracking, you never know what's going to happen next.

Bullet tracked with his usual speed and intensity. When you can see your track you can make it more challenging since you don't need to rely on your memory of where you laid it. This track had a lot of corners, serpentines and I used a cross track I found as a proofing exercise. The first time I crossed it he made the wrong decision, a small correction got him back and he was more thoughtful on his discrimination the next time. He didn't make the same mistake twice. I also ran my track parallel to it and he aced that test.

Their noses stayed deep and while you'd think they'd eyeball the track I didn't see that happening with either dog.

Lex has been doing great with her articles so I was surprised when she walked right over the leather in the snow. She didn't even hesitate. No big deal, I chose to bring her back, platz her and reward her "indication". Yes, she didn't find it, but I truly don't think it registered as an article in her head and I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt in a situation like that. She's still a new tracker. I didn't want to ignore the article she missed but I didn't want to correct it either. I chose to reward as if she'd found it herself. She had no problem after that although I had to give up looking for one that got completely covered:

I know it was down there somewhere!

Lex still has food in nearly every footstep so in this snow I placed it in the heel of my print so it was not visible to her on the white. Bullet only ever gets food after an article indication so him looking for food on the track is a non-issue.

After tracking we had some fun in the snow:

Bullet heeling with Kevin... Kev had his ball so Bullet threw himself into the "sweet spot" to get it. He knows how to work a situation to get his reward.

Kevin getting ready to release Lex for her toy:

More snow than toy in that grab.


Catching snowflakes on her tongue.


Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Lex looks so sweet in that last pic and Bullet looks really cute with snow all over his face!They were obviously have a wonderful time. May I ask you, do you ever have problems with snow balls building between the dogs toes?

Lena said...

Love the snow pictures! I wonder what Kane would do tracking in snow?
What type of correction do you use for Bullet in tracking? Leash? I need to put a little more pressure on Kane in tracking to make him stay on track - just looking for ideas.

K9-CRAZY said...

Karen, Because neither of my current schnauzers have thick furnishings the snowballs don't get too bad. I keep all the hair between their toes trimmed really short because that is where the snowballs will rub their skin raw and cause the issues.

Lena, Bullet works a track and puts his heart into it, he does his best to be right. I'm careful when I correct a dog on a track and keep them to a minimum. I'd rather they make a mistake than I do... you know those handler errors - correcting the dog because you KNOW they are off track, only to realize they really WERE on it?! I've been there!

The snow was great because I knew exactly where both my track and the cross track were so I was comfortable correcting. In this case it was a very small collar correction on the dead ring of his fur saver, with a "are you sure buddy?"

He's so willing to please that gets him back on track. If I were to be harder on him in the physical correction or emotional correction he'd get frantic very quickly. With the franticness comes more speed, I try to minimize that as much as possible!

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