The day started in the classroom with an informative presentation on the purpose behind the tracking work and how to go about training our dogs, the qualities needed for the dog to be successful and various pitfalls during training and working and how to avoid them where possible. It was a very interesting presentation in a lovely relaxed atmosphere, we all learnt a lot.
Just prior to lunch we were taken out into the forest and shown how to lay a track. A demo track was laid and this was followed by the opportunity to lay tracks ourselves which I took part in. After lunch each dog then had a chance to work one of the tracks that were laid earlier.
We were in a group of 4 dogs. The young entire Bracco Italiano was the first to go and he seemed to enjoy himself.
Next Rhea had her go, I had laid her track and mistakenly not used enough scent so it was interesting to watch her work (I should have used half the bottle by the half way mark but had only used about an 8th…woops!). She found the start bed but wasnt initially sure what was required as she is used to receiving instruction she sat and looked to Gabriella for direction. Once she realised that nothing was forthcoming from Gabs then she tracked on, she followed the track diligently and you could tell she was having to work hard. It was really interesting to see the change in her at the point that I had started to scent the trail properly (after Peter corrected me) and she just welded her nose to the track, wooshed off into the distance and found the marker at the end in no time!
The Bavarian Mountain Hound puppy went third but we didnt get to see the tracking as we waited on a path above, by all accounts he did a grand job though.
Last was Kodi, Peter was explaining to me where the start bed was but Kodi was off so I just followed and trusted as Peter had told us to. After a quick roll in what is called the wound bed he was off and in 3 minutes he had shot through the track to the marker at the end! I couldn’t keep up and had to let out the line as he was so determined, at the end we were pleased to also get him to report bark!! We did it with a mix of building up excitement and asking for our clicker trained ‘speak’.
After the tracks we headed back to base for a debrief, tea and cake then we called it a day. The weather had been kind to us all day, the company good and the experience an interesting one. There isn’t much my dogs haven’t experienced and I am proud of that, they give their all to whatever we show them and at the end of the day come home and snuggle on the sofa for long lovely cuddles, I feel very blessed to have them in my life.