Bear Tracks! Trouble in Paradise

If you’ve been following our tracking adventure you will have noticed by now that there hasn’t been a report for a few weeks. That’s because we’ve hit a few snags.

Snag One – Life

Business at Prairie Dog Daycare has been steadily ramping up. It’s that time of year when parents are busy getting kids ready for school and everyone is back from summer vacation. This means longer hours at work which means shorter hours at home. I’ve also been essentially working 6 days a week this month as we’ve had an event during 3 out of 4 weekends in August. I don’t see things slowing down any for some time as I’m also going back to teaching Canine Cross Training with Two Brown Dogs this month.

  •  Solution: I’m going to plan to get out at least twice a week. Once during the weekend and once during the week. I will also plan some glove games indoors once during the week when Bear comes to work with me.

Snag Two – Corners

In week five, the plan we are following says we should be able to do a track with two corners, regardless of the wind direction with no food drops. We’re working with 3 flags…one to start, one 30 meters out and one at the second corner. Bear has not been reading the plan and it does not appear that he can find the corners…he DOES appear to be working but I have a hard time believing he’s working the right track 40 feet pasty the corner. the other thing that has been happening is that he stops all together. Head comes up and he stands there looking around…not sniffing the air, just staring…that’s not a good thing.

  •  Solution: I can’t remember where I read it but I recall a trainer saying, “when in doubt, go back to kindergarten.” Basically this means, when you’re having training problems, go back to the basics – the problem you’re having now is likely the result of a less than solid foundation….I’m guessing this applies to tracking…Sooooo…we’re going to back up a week and work more on corners. I’m also going to get Sean to help us by videotaping our tracks to see if maybe bear IS giving signs that he’s found the track and I’m just not picking up on them. Videotape never lies!

 Final Thoughts

We were entered in a tracking test later in September but I withdrew us – I don’t see us getting over either snag n the next few weeks. I do want to keep tracking because I do think Bear enjoys it – at least that’s why I think he leaps into the air when the harness comes out! I also think tracking has had a positive effect on our Rally work and I’ll be posting about that shortly.

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