German Shepherd Dog > Tracking.... (16 replies)
by judron55 on 04 April 2010 - 14:03
|I have a dog that has been imprinted. He goes forward but is not showing interest in food. I have not really made him hungury...(missed Friday meals to track Saturday!) is about it. I can't seem to find something that he absolutely loves....he has a healthy appetite! Imput welcome!|
by missbeeb on 04 April 2010 - 14:06
I've never used food for tracking... only a fav' toy. Have you tried a toy?
by judron55 on 04 April 2010 - 14:23
|I am thinking of putting a ball at the end.....he isn't committed! Afraid he'll just fly down track for the ball! He is 18 months and is really a begginner. I'm thinking of starting over.....this is my weakest phase...and because of my lack of knowledge....my dogs weakest phase. I can honestly say it has been a long time since we tracked because of weather!|
by sueincc on 04 April 2010 - 15:28
|What bait have you tried Judron? You say the dog is imprinted so he is FST tracking? If the issue is to bring his drives up, try burying balls on the track, this works for me.|
Missbeeb, I prefer using bait to a toy because in schutzhund we want to see a dog's nose in each footstep, the way to teach that particular behaviour is with bait. I bury balls on the track and at the end of the track, but this is for drive it does not teach the dog the behaviour of nose in each footstep. I too would be interested to know how to teach a deep nose in each footstep with a dog who is not motivated by hunger.
by Archania on 04 April 2010 - 15:48
|Is the track too long ?|
Is he losing interest ? or is there no head down to begin with ?
by DebiSue on 04 April 2010 - 16:33
|Try laying a track with Tuna in oil. It's stinky, it's gross and dogs seem to love it. You can drip the oil along the track drop by drop and he picks up the scent but no food until he is at the end. When he gets to the end you can dump it out for him to snarf up and it's good for the coat! Just crack the can open for dribbling it along the track, stick it in a zip lock bag to save for later when the track has aged and the dog has tracked it and is ready for the reward. This will help keep the smell off of your hands and clothes. Good luck.|
by tony mason on 04 April 2010 - 17:15
|If your dog has a good appetite, you should be able to get him tracking well for food.|
I use my dogs normal food (Royal Canin) on the track
The difference probably is that your dog is not viewing the track as their meal for the day, I track every day initially and that is the only time the dog is fed, it is all on the track, nothing else, obviously you must do this every day to get the dogs to realise that tracking means feedtime, I think this is more important than trying to find higher value rewards to use, obviously it is a lot of work.
I have posted a link to a young female I am using this method with, good luck.
by hodie on 04 April 2010 - 17:37
|Very nice work Tony and a very nice and committed dog. I also use regular food for tracking, although I freeze it in spring and summer because otherwise there will be ants on it in seconds and that can discourage and bother some dogs. Sometimes I will vary that with something else special, just to keep interest high. And there is often a bigger or more tasty treat at the end.|
Judron, I also agree with Tony about the food issue and the hunger drive. It is also something Bernhard Flinks and others I have trained with are adamant about. If a single day of missing food is not enough, then try two or three days of no food before tracking. In my experience, most dogs by day three are really hungry and they will work. It is a rare dog that really has little or no food drive, unless there is something wrong with the dog.
The other thing is to make sure that the track is not too long or too difficult and I am sure you know this too. In my experience, most people try to go too quickly in their training for tracking. Statistically, I believe it is the weak link and for good reason. I like to think I had better have done at least 100 proper tracks essentially correctly before my dog is ready for tracking in a trial.
Once a dog has learned to track, it can be motivational to pull out a ball at the end, or place one here or there on the track, buried or not, or do something else to make it less routine, but one does have to be careful because many dogs will end up racing just to find the tug or ball and out the window goes the methodical track. As you know, changing speed is also penalized in competition, and using something on the track if the dog thinks it is there can make it more likely that the dog will change speed.
Depending on how old your dog is, I might even recommend going way back to squares for a month or a few weeks, heavily baited to teach a work ethic. In a very young pup, I generally don't allow more than one or two head lifts or getting distracted or I take them off immediately. In an older dog, I might even allow less, if I think it understands the food is on the ground and is really the object for the moment. If a dog is hungry, they are far less likely to get distracted.
In my opinion, and based only on what little you write here, I think you need to make the dog hungry and yes, back up quite a ways. Short tracks, even two or three laid 15 feet apart and no longer than 30- paces, with regular food, and a truly hungry dog may be helpful.
by DebiSue on 04 April 2010 - 17:59
|Nice try Tony but you don't fool me!|
I know a hundred foot extension cord and a well camouflaged vacuum cleaner when I see one!
by hexe on 04 April 2010 - 23:25
|Ron, do you remember me having to use canned salmon as bait in order to get Hexe to bother with the food for tracking? She'd readily and willingly follow the track, but because she wouldn't pick up each little piece of bait in the footsteps, I was told she was 'too fast' and 'too hectic' and that I *had* to slow her down by finding something she *would* pick up and eat out of each step. Bits of canned salmon was something she considered worthy of eating off the ground--she was a dog with inborn impeccable manners and restraint, and wasn't inclined to "Hoover" stuff she found lying on the ground. (A trait I actually like...if I dropped a prescription med on the floor, I didn't have to worry it would immediately be gobbled up, for instance. But I digress.)|
Now I'll tell you what Armin Winkler said to me when I asked him about this 'problem' at a seminar in PA: "If the dog is following the track, and isn't missing turns or articles, who cares how fast she goes???" He added that if I was hoping to compete at National or higher levels, then it could pose a problem as far as points went--depending on the judge--but otherwise, I should leave the dog alone and let her work at her own speed, as long as she wasn't making mistakes (and she wasn't).
IOW, what he advised was this: stop trying to make the dog track in the style *you* want, and let her track the way she's comfortable, as long as she's doing it correctly. If your dog isn't an 'intense' tracker, then it's probably going to take a lot of, <ahem>, "effort" to *make* him one. Is it really worth it, to break the trust you've built with the dog so far, just to try and transform his natural tracking style to what you'd prefer? (Especially since we can't even do the job ourselves...who are we to tell a dog that the way it's tracking is wrong?)
by judron55 on 05 April 2010 - 00:04
|I think you need to make the dog hungry and yes, back up quite a ways. Short tracks, even two or three laid 15 feet apart and no longer than 30- paces, with regular food, and a truly hungry dog may be helpful.|
Thanks Hodie...I'm returning to the beginning....I believe I tried advancing when I was ready as oppose to the dog!
Phyliss...yes, I do remember and I do take what you say about letting the dog track the way that is most comfortable to him at face value. Thanks all!
by hodie on 05 April 2010 - 01:16
|Judron, believe me, I learned the hard way. With my female, now just passed on, I had a dog who tracked fast. I tried and tried and tried to slow her down. You know what happened? She lost her desire to track because I was ruining it for her by always trying to slow her down. Once I had almost ruined her desire, fortunately I realized before it was too late that I was making a mistake. So I had to back up and make it motivational again for her. We succeeded. One of the reasons I was so worried about the speed is that I was disabled even then and it was difficult for me to keep up with her without making subtle and unwanted corrections on the leash. Another reason I wanted to slow her down was that I knew that we would loose points. I decided to just let her be herself and she went onto SchH3 and did a fine track for that title under a very tough judge and a track laid by Bernhard Flinks himself. So Phyllis' comment is well taken.|
As for the handler trying to advance too quickly, isn't it often a problem in all phases of SchH? I have been guilty of the same and everyone I have ever taught also wants to move along too quickly. We must check ourselves!!! LOL
The fact that you recognize a problem says volumes and I know you will be successful in the end.
by fasteddielv on 05 April 2010 - 01:51
|What you use for reward is all about the dog. Don't listen to those who say you should use a ball/tug or use a food, it's about what works for your dog.|
Now my dog, is both food/tug driven, so I have it easy. However if I used a tug at the end he would charge down the track, no dout, so I use food, spread out over the track (kibble), keeps him slowed down. He will eat anything so kibble works well, small bits.
Those that have stated to start over are correct. Short tracks/session with success for the dog. I very happy owner after the dog finishes the track, like the best thing that ever happened, excitement!!!.
Tracking for a beginer without supervision is tough, been there done that. Go to seminars with your dog if possible. Someone experienced in tracking can read the dog and help you out alot.
by sueincc on 05 April 2010 - 02:27
|Don't leave the balls out on the ground, burying the ball is important because if the dog can see the ball down the track he will start rushing. The other reason you bury the balls is because the dog uses his nose to find them, which reinforces the behaviour you are looking for. Also don't reward from your hand, (ball or bait), the reward must come from the track. Use a soft bait the dog can basically suck up so the dog doesn't have to start chewing or choke on it. I agree with going back to short straight tracks, with a food jack pot at the end. As far as a dog who pulls you down the track, this is usually actually a good thing, as long as the dog is not hectic, it's the dog working in drive, just hold him steady, get him used to working at your pace. With a strong dog, use plow lines.|
by judron55 on 05 April 2010 - 12:37
|By the way...this is the dog tracking at 8 months...|
by sueincc on 05 April 2010 - 14:41
|I haven't seen the video yet, but wow that's a nicely bred dog! I highly doubt drives will ever be an issue or problem with this guy, this dog is bred to work hard. Congrats on such a well bred working dog. GREAT name too!|
by judron55 on 05 April 2010 - 16:34
|Thanks Sue.....yeah, his pedigree is what made me get him as a pup! I've gone very slow with him. He has such a wonderful temperament. Excellent grips and obedience will be strong. I must now get my handling skills together for the sake of the dog!|