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Tracking Traits?

BenMax
July 3rd, 2009, 07:39 AM
I have very little experience teaching tracking however I did hang out with a trainer that trained police dogs. I never saw the process from A-Z however.

I have been doing some reading on tracking but I no longer have this contact to discuss exactly what good tracking traits consist of.

I presently have a foster GSD/Lab/Husky that is 4 months old. All sibling died but her and she was in great need for rescue. I have had her now for almost 2 months and she is thriving thus far. This little one seems to have a nose for dead and buried animals. I never even was aware that she was trying to tell me this until one day I got fed up to her pulling and whining and let her show me whatever it was that she was curious about. YUK - I found out. It happened 3 more times in an uncontrolled environment as I was unaware. The 4 time I knew about the 'deceased' and wanted to see if she would steer me to it - she did.

If anyone knows anything about this subject - I would love to hear from you. I am very novice at this and if she would be a good candidate for this - I need a contact. I would like to have her professionally tested to see if this may be a good option for her.

Thanks so much.

mollywog
July 3rd, 2009, 10:00 AM
BenMax, sorry but I don't have any advice... I'm just here to demand pictures of Molly's twin!!! :yell: :o

BenMax
July 3rd, 2009, 10:02 AM
BenMax, sorry but I don't have any advice... I'm just here to demand pictures of Molly's twin!!! :yell: :o

Oh so right - I will get a good one this weekend and attach - you are going to be shocked as to the resemblance.

Mat&Murph
July 3rd, 2009, 10:41 AM
That sounds like really good tracking. Now you just have to get her to stop tracking the dead. :laughing: Try taking treats and hiding them in places she can get too. make a game out of it

Love4himies
July 3rd, 2009, 10:59 AM
Sounds like she could be an very valuable asset to the police force. Have you contacted the k-9 unit in Montreal?

mona_b
July 3rd, 2009, 11:12 AM
Dogs and puppies LOVE dead things for some reason....:rolleyes:

I did tracking with my dog when he was a pup. He's a retired Police Dog..So my bro was going to have him SchH III Titled and tracking was part of the title. I started him him at a young age. He was about 13-14 weeks.They need to start this training at a young age..It's been 13 years so I'm trying to think back that far.LOL I did start him on toys and treats and worked up to clothing...And you need to use markers. Tracking for a dog is going after a scent of a person or the object of a person.

This is a good age for her to start training..BUT if she is only a foster, not sure if the new adopters would continue this. Unless you plan on keeping her..;)

You can start her on this though..There are many sites to help you get started..Look up teaching puppies tracking..Also, you can look up trainers for Tracking and talk to them.:)

BenMax
July 3rd, 2009, 11:21 AM
I considered keeping her however I have decided to try and find something better where she can work. Since she has a nose for things - I am trying to get a professional assessment as I may be over reacting....I don't know.

I am waiting back for a call from the Border Service Agency. Maybe they can assess and see if she could be a candidate. Anyways I want the best for her and nothing less. If she is meant to be a family gal - then so be it but I feel the need to explore this option.

mona_b
July 3rd, 2009, 12:19 PM
Well if you want, you can start training her for tracking just for fun and keep her and her mind busy...:)..Tracking is a sport you can both get into.

Would she be used for any type of Police Work, no..They use certain purebreds for their type of work.

BenMax
July 3rd, 2009, 12:23 PM
Well if you want, you can start training her for tracking just for fun and keep her and her mind busy...:)..Tracking is a sport you can both get into.

Would she be used for any type of Police Work, no..They use certain purebreds for their type of work.

No for police work. Maybe for search and rescue or drug sniffing. I really don't know yet. Seriously - I think if anyone wanted to train her for themselves and start a pet detective service - she would be perfect.

mona_b
July 3rd, 2009, 12:45 PM
I'm sure she will be great with anything she does...:thumbs up

I read in the paper about a guy who trained his dogs to locate lost cats....Now that's amazing.

Research on the tracking. Start the training(nothing dead.lol) and see how she does...Unfortunately you can't tell by her finding dead things.Dogs and pups have no problem finding dead things, or even rolling in them as I have found out.LOL

BenMax
July 3rd, 2009, 12:54 PM
I'm sure she will be great with anything she does...:thumbs up

I read in the paper about a guy who trained his dogs to locate lost cats....Now that's amazing.

Research on the tracking. Start the training(nothing dead.lol) and see how she does...Unfortunately you can't tell by her finding dead things.Dogs and pups have no problem finding dead things, or even rolling in them as I have found out.LOL

Ok so dead things really do not carry much weight then. I was thinking a cadavar dog maybe :shrug:. Honestly I know very little about this subject but what I do know is that she is relentless. She will do everything possible to get to bodies and she finds them from very far.

TeriM
July 3rd, 2009, 01:05 PM
I do tracking and searching with Riley and he absolutely loves it. We have done two levels of wilderness stuff and actually will start an urban tracking class next week :thumbs up. Basically almost any dog can be taught to track and it can be an amazing confidence booster for shy dogs.

Riley has a lot of natural talent and basically zooms through all his tracks in about half the time that others in the class did. He was like your pup and always found stuff on his walks. Luckily his focus was usually tennis balls or basically anything with the rubber ball consistency/smell. He would leap off the trail and go bounding into the bushes 50 feet and come back with a ball :shrug:.

In my experience watching various dogs I think the best tracking dogs are confident, highly prey driven and are usually members of the working dog classes (labs, shepards etc). It really is a very cool thing to watch a dog follow a track that was laid an hour of more before or to do a grid search and find the tiniest object :thumbs up.

mona_b
July 3rd, 2009, 01:13 PM
No not really.dead animals leave a strong scent. It's actually different from a human body. Just like if you leave treats around, she will be able to sniff them out cause she knows it's food.:)

Cadaver dogs are used on the force..They are mostly Labs..When 911 happened, they sent one from here to search for bodies...:sad:

BenMax
July 3rd, 2009, 02:00 PM
I do tracking and searching with Riley and he absolutely loves it. We have done two levels of wilderness stuff and actually will start an urban tracking class next week :thumbs up. Basically almost any dog can be taught to track and it can be an amazing confidence booster for shy dogs.

Riley has a lot of natural talent and basically zooms through all his tracks in about half the time that others in the class did. He was like your pup and always found stuff on his walks. Luckily his focus was usually tennis balls or basically anything with the rubber ball consistency/smell. He would leap off the trail and go bounding into the bushes 50 feet and come back with a ball :shrug:.

In my experience watching various dogs I think the best tracking dogs are confident, highly prey driven and are usually members of the working dog classes (labs, shepards etc). It really is a very cool thing to watch a dog follow a track that was laid an hour of more before or to do a grid search and find the tiniest object :thumbs up.

Thanks TeriM - I think I am going to do some sampling this weekend. She is a GSD/Lab/Husky....ok maybe tiny bit husky but I did see the momma dog so I know she has that in her. She does have prey drive and I have been on her constantly because of my cats. She will 'leave it' but I have to tell her to. This prey drive is strong.

If I keep this dog I am going to do something with her. I have had sooo many dogs but this one is more motivated and determined than any of them.

TeriM
July 3rd, 2009, 02:22 PM
To start tracking you would need to start with a very short track preferably on a damp ground that is not hard compacted. Scuff a start line in a T shape. You will need to drag your food heavily while first teaching so the scent is really strong. Put a bunch of yummy treats (hot dogs?) on the track about one foot apart for the first eight feet or so and then about every ten feet after that. At the end of the track set a jackpot of treats. Have him sit at the start of the track and then give the track command and encourage him to follow the trail of hotdogs. That will gradually wean out to longer distances and then to articles on the trail and phase from heavy scuffing to just regular steps and aging the scent trail. Keep the sessions super short at his age. Do tracking with a harness not a collar as well as you want to encourage them to lean into the harness. When they don't have pressure on the harness this is an indicator that they do not have the scent.

You can also use the search command with a favourite toy. You can do this outside or indoors. I have seperate commands for inside and outside because the outside search is more structured. Hide the toy where it is easily found and give the search command and praise tons when he finds it. The eventual goal is for them to find any object with human scent on it and indicate the find (with a sit or down usually) but at this age you just want it to be a really fun game.

BenMax
July 3rd, 2009, 02:35 PM
To start tracking you would need to start with a very short track preferably on a damp ground that is not hard compacted. Scuff a start line in a T shape. You will need to drag your food heavily while first teaching so the scent is really strong. Put a bunch of yummy treats (hot dogs?) on the track about one foot apart for the first eight feet or so and then about every ten feet after that. At the end of the track set a jackpot of treats. Have him sit at the start of the track and then give the track command and encourage him to follow the trail of hotdogs. That will gradually wean out to longer distances and then to articles on the trail and phase from heavy scuffing to just regular steps and aging the scent trail. Keep the sessions super short at his age. Do tracking with a harness not a collar as well as you want to encourage them to lean into the harness. When they don't have pressure on the harness this is an indicator that they do not have the scent.

You can also use the search command with a favourite toy. You can do this outside or indoors. I have seperate commands for inside and outside because the outside search is more structured. Hide the toy where it is easily found and give the search command and praise tons when he finds it. The eventual goal is for them to find any object with human scent on it and indicate the find (with a sit or down usually) but at this age you just want it to be a really fun game.

Thanks TeriM - I am already at a good start since the pup is harnessed since the get-go! One thing down!:thumbs up