Friday, August 17, 2007

Wow - Tracking

I never knew tracking could be so much fun until yesterday. First, day care called in sick so I rushed to bring the baby with me to tracking. I had to stop for a doughnut (I never have doughnuts) but managed to get there in decent time. We were the last to go. The instructor rushed us along because we had laid tracks when it was very wet and dewy and the sun came out strongly and was drying everything rapidly. She thought that this was the equivalent of aging the tracks much more.

I laid a track for her with 5 90 degree turns and 50 legs in between. I did fairly well but need to mark my corners better on my notes or find obvious corners. I felt like I should not stop and take notes much so I would not create scent pools but I guess this really just applies to corners. I also need to tally my 10 yards increments as I go along because sometimes I lose count when I switch attention to other things like articles, flags, and corners.

So we were finally off to do our track after everyone else ran theirs. As we approached the flag, I mistakenly took off Wyatt's buckle collar before getting the harness on. He ran to the flag and sniffed around for the first article! While not a good practice to continue in the future (always get the harness on BEFORE removing the regular collar), it showed that he knew what he were doing even before I gave the TRACK command. How did he know? And it showed that he was into the game.

I praised him and got the harness on and off we went. The track was visually obvious on this day (to the humans anyway) so I had a real good sense of when he was on the track. After a few slight stops when he drifted to the wind side to air scent, he really stayed right on that track. And his head was down (at least for a whippet). The instructor has a golden and she told me Wyatt's head down would be her Golden's head up position! He kind of bobs hi head as he goes along. He found all the articles very well including one I has stepped up because I did not see it. And best of all, for the 2 corners, he just keep cruising right on down the track. The instructor said he really nailed it! I had no idea tracking could be so much fun. We have a long way to go but I was very encouraged.


manymuddypaws said...

Great Blog! It's awesome to hear of Whippets doing tracking! Sounds like you are doing a great job with your dogs. There are a few people in my area who have Whippets in agility and they kick butt! I have always admired the breed.

John Heffernan said...

Hey thanks, ManyMuddyPaws. I went over to your blog to and it looks like you are doing some great training too. I am going to add an RSS feed for your blog and follow it...