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Dog Training Video Journal

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I thought this might be fun for others to follow along with me.  I am doing this for 2 reasons..

1. The fun and enjoyment of sharing experiences with others.

2. Get suggestions, try to make myself better as well as my dog.

Here is a track from I put my dog Sadie on back in April.  Unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot of land to take her out and let her blood trail on, but I will take her to a large track of public land (hopefully)tomorrow and put her on another mock trail.  What I typically put her on is a VERY DILUTED mixture of pig blood and water.  This is the water/blood mix that was left in my ice chest when I processed a pig back in march.  I froze them in 12 oz paper cups.  These were already very diluted and I mix them with another 12 or so ounces of water; just depending on how long of a line I want to put her on, and try to put some every step or so.  

This track was in my yard, so it will be semi short and quick.  

She is still working on focus.  She loves to chase small critters, as you can tell in the video! lol.


A few things I realize I left out.

I always start my dog off by using a command and pointing to a spot.  I use the word, "CHECK" and then "Hunt'm up"

There is absolutely NO visual anything.  Literally nothing.  I don't know if this is the best method, but she does well with it.

looks cool- better that young dogs are slower and more careful- many younguns are too quick and hasty and will overshoot the trail.
sent a pm

if i may, here are a few pointers that will really help you and your dog- some are things i have learnt along the way nwith the varied dog training i have done- others are things that i have learnt from other trainers. have a really good "stop" on your dog- well done- thats always the first step- dogs need to learn to stop before they can go- and yours is good for a pup of that age- in fact for any dog. i like to use a lie down- but the sit is just as good. its a command that throws the dogs body, and in turn his brain out of gear- can be used to rectify or diffuse. dont use it on a trail- unless absolutely neccesary- as it can disengage them
2. you have a nice long tracking lead- looks about right a good 35' is good. now only use that tracking lead and collar/ harness when you are tracking- NOT for anything else- he will very quickly make the association , and know its work time- and engage his work brain! have the right idea about making your dog check the arrow etc- but here is an idea that works really well- taught to me by a top tracker.bring your dog close to the area. and tie him up maybe 10' away or so- go over to the trail head- and fuss around there- i usually get a stick- poke at things- look around- this is whats going to happen in real life as you examine the shot site- before letting the dog tramp all over it- you get to look at the blood- ascertain the type of shot , direction etc etc.  this is all valuable and realistic- but also gets huis attention "hey, whats dad doing over there"
i then go over - pick my dog up ( easy with my teckel!!   :)   ) and carry him to the trail head and put him down on the trail- you are trying to take him from his tie up point to the trail head - with NO other distractions on the way- you may be able to do it with a bigger dog- on a short lead- holding his head up- so that he cant start scenting the ground,and get any ideas, and jump the gun before he gets to the trail head.
4. now control on the trail. i mark the trail with little bits of flagging tape or toilet paper- so you know exactly where it is. if he slips off the trail- let him hunt for it and find it again- if he is off- and heading away- dont call and distract him DO NOT pull on him. he will learn to resent that- and now its your idea- your thought- you want him to think for himself and to work things out himself- he needs to be able to figger things out when only he can smell the trail and you cant see it.just take the slack out of the line and brace it against your body. become like a post- he will pull up against the line- and try a few times- just be solid!!! he will realize that that is not working, and then go back in the direction he came from- then you can help or encourage and call him over back to the trail.- so the key is- when hes working- line super loose , not tangled, and when he gets distracted or badly off course you become the silent strong post!!
5. then the reward at the end of the trail- a deer leg, a piece of hide- something for him to take home and to worry.
6.marking the trail. i didnt see what you do- but this is what i do. i use a walking stick and tape or ose clamp a deers leg to it- i dont walk on the trail that i am marking- i walk as far away as i can to the side- otherwise he will just end up following your trail making a deer trail-with odd drops of blood or blood mix on the trail itself- and along the way i will make a few"beds" with lots of deer activity and more blood, and a few small pieces of meat- simulating clotted blood etc- allow him to eat them on the way if he wants.
initial trails very easy- no tight turns- dont take him past distractions- make them easy- DO NOT set your dog up to fail- set him up to succede. there will be lots of time to challenge himn- as he gets the hang of things then you can start to make the trails longer and more complicated with dead ends etc. when he loves the game as much as you do - and loves the challenge then up it a bit.

generally speaking- if he is atrting to go too fast- then its too easy- then you can up it a bit. the blood more dilute- 10 or 15 to one less blood - one drop every 10' or so. eventually you want to get him off the blood- and be only tracking the trail you put him on- as you are not tracking a blood trail but a wounded animal rather. they will track the cortisol that is released from the interdigital glands when the animal is stressed.

you and your dog are doing really well- maybe just try the on trail control and the trail head stuff, and see if that helps a bit.  
good luck, tracking dogs are awesome!!!
 yours looks great- and what i really like about him is that he is calm and collected on the trail- and really wants to please you- those are things that have to be in the dog.
well done!!

Labs have great noses. Mine never trailed game but trailed tons of crippled ducks, through water too. I let him go on a crippled wood duck in the woods by the river and he was gone 20 minutes but came back with it.


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