by James CRAIG on 05 April 2011 - 10:04
The degree of success you achieve in tracking is not only related to the effectiveness of the training method you adopt but is very much reliant upon the quality of dog you select.
A good tracking dog must posses a very strong urge to chase, play with and carry objects, with vitality and intensity. The intensity of which a dog chases the ball or tug is important however, it’s the determination of which the dog clamps down with his mouth, holds
and resists in giving up the object that is desirable. This test of chasing and playing with you must be conducted in multiple environments and then with multiple distractions. Dogs that are easily distracted while playing with a ball may not make a great tracking dog.
Behaviourists know this behaviour all too well as it is more closely related to hunting than it is to play. This motivation cannot be created where it does not exist and it is inherited from your dog’s parents and ancestors. This instinct is called “prey drive” and it is prevalent
in all great working dogs. Working dog behaviour is goal motivated behaviour; this is the fundamental principal uniting all dogs that work.
A dog performs in order to gain some basic drive or instinct fulfilment. In this case “Prey Instinct”. I must emphasise that contrast is one of the most important teachers in life and one soon realises that prey drive descriptions vary considerably from one person to another. If you are not certain of what intense instinctive prey behaviour is, then please consult a specialist for assistance in selecting your next tracking dog.
An Extract from the new K9 TRACKING BOOK. www.precisiontrackingdogs.com
by darylehret on 05 April 2011 - 12:04
"A good tracking dog must posses a very strong urge to chase, play with and carry objects, with vitality and intensity. The intensity of which a dog chases the ball or tug is important however, it’s the determination of which the dog clamps down with his mouth, holds and resists in giving up the object that is desirable. "
Really? Do you really believe so? Toy driven and possessive is a MUST for tracking success? Dogfolk I've worked with in the past would primarily use food, via Joanne's methods. The above description seems like a limited training methodology as any (IOW, specialized), perhaps geared primarily for sport tracking, and excluding particular breeds such as bloodhounds.
by Sunsilver on 05 April 2011 - 14:04
I fail to see how toy drive can be so very important to a tracking dog!
The emphasis on footstep tracking in schutzhund also bothers me. Many excellent tracking dogs use both air scenting and ground scenting to track. Why should we limit our dogs to ground scenting only, and zap them with a shock collar every time they dare lift their heads? Each dog has its own style of tracking. My female doesn't put her nose to the ground if she's in long grass. She prefers to pick up the scent from the grass stems, so she tracks with her head high. I seen nothing wrong with that. The person's clothing brushed the grass stems. Why should that scent be inferior to the one left by their feet?
by darylehret on 05 April 2011 - 15:04
"to me the key to her tracking drive was that she just HAD to have her nose into EVERYTHING! Telling her 'no sniff!' was like asking her not to breathe. "
Now that, I can wholly agree with! The matter then becomes, how to communicate your directives, guiding the behavior.
by Slamdunc on 05 April 2011 - 15:04
it is too involved to go into the differences between ground disturbance, air scent and scent discrimination training. Use whatever style works for you or a combination if that works best, just be consistent in your training.
by deacon on 05 April 2011 - 15:04
by darylehret on 05 April 2011 - 16:04
A "driven tracking dog" can mean a lot, and while a possessive toy drive is understandably applicable for training article search, in what way would you apply that same sort of drive in your tracking goals? Obviously, drive is relevant to motivation, so a toy/object is somehow intended as a tracking reward?
by Slamdunc on 05 April 2011 - 21:04
by deacon on 05 April 2011 - 22:04
by darylehret on 06 April 2011 - 02:04
Well then, I hope you can both clearly understand my failure to see drive and possessiveness for objects as somehow being a direct correlation of their aptitude for tracking, and instead are really just a means for motivating. What that implies, is that it's OK to select for a specialized behavior that's conducive to one's training limitations.
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