A few days ago I took it up on myself to teach the dogs some tracking. Phlox is the first subject for my tracking experiment.
Like every other sport I do with my dogs I am starting with limited knowledge and no instructor. I started Phlox off in the part of the front yard that no one uses. I walked in a large circle and dropped a few treats in my foot prints. I brought Phlox towards the circle, stood about 2 feet away and told him to "Track" to my amazement he did. We moved on to a 6 foot straight line and a U turn next.
Yesterday I found the perfect field for our little sessions. It's about 3 acres with trees, gravel, tall and short grass and a slab of pavement.
I set up a long track with a few turns and left to get Phlox. We came back 20-30 minutes later. It was then that I realized I need flags! I had been using sticks and flowers but in such a large space the track was very hard to find.
I did eventually find it and we set to work. Phlox did ok but it was windy and I think I had spaced the treats too far apart in such a new environment and he got a little confused.
Next I set up a short track just to work on his turns. Again I could see that flags are needed before I try this again. This one he did pretty well except for a little confusion on aright turn.
After all the "work" was done we hung out and played awhile.
Today I set to work training for the conformation ring. I am not working on perfection but he does need to hold position, move when told and allow me to fix his legs with out moving.
Of course there was plenty of hanging out over the weekend too!