Dog Tracking – Feets, Treats and Articles of Tracking

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Rudy here.  Did we have fun last Friday?  We when to a county park in the country and met up with people and other dogs for the sole purpose of following a Track laid by this cool lady that loves to teach our owner how to let us use our noses!  What a concept! 

She is a cool trainer lady because wants me to wander around and sniff. That strict old man obedience trainer that I had twice always told me to stop wandering and sniffing.  He tells my Mr. to snap my correction collar, ouch. What fun is that? Given our own devices, we would be out sniffing all day long.  After all, for all us dogs, our nose is one of the major ways we get information.  I can see many things through my nose including people, animals, or things that were where my nose is now.

According to the American Kennel Club, or AKC, we can smell 100,000 times better than people can.  That is OK with me, I need my job and if they can’t do it I will!  Just pay attention to what I want to do and let me do it. It is that simple for you, I will do the rest.  If I wonder too far from the track then encourage me back to where I should be.  Ok, I am open to suggestions if it helps me to improve my Tracking Skills.  

Here is what the cool trainer lady did to prepare the TD or Tracking Dog track, aged 30 minutes prior to letting any dog sniff and follow it.

1. She walked around in the snow making sure she changed direction 90 degrees 3 to 5 times.
2. She left treats along the trail to encourage us dogs to smell the trail even more.
3. She left articles along the trail with treats on top so we could touch the article with our nose and get rewards including the treat and praise from him.  Encouragement really motivates me!
4. At the end of the 440 to 500 yard trail, she left the last article (a leather wallet) with a treat on it.  When I found that one it was a jackpot of encouragement!

Feets and Treats on the Article

Feets and Treats on the Article

Here is what they did next.  I was willing to go sniff and follow the track, but they left me in the car.  At least it was cool since it is winter.  I have my best fur coat on so no worries.

The lady with the a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) went first because they had a party to go to.  Next the Rottweiler went. 

Rottweiler makes the Final Turn

Rottweiler makes the Final Turn

Then my friend Suzzie the GSD went with my Mr.’s friend from the Training Club for German Shepherd Dogs. 

Suzzie on Track and on the Trail!

Suzzie on Track and on the Trail!

Finally, they gave me a chance and I was able to see for my self what they had been doing while I was cooped up in the car. 

First, the cool trainer lady petted me and gave me treats.  She said it is important for me to get comfortable with her smell, no problem, I like ladies. 

Smelling the trainer and the feets

Smelling the Trainer and the Feet

Smelling the Trainer and the Feet

Since my Mr., his friend, and cool trainer lady had walked the track several times, I was able to do what I do best, sniff the track.  The hot dogs slices helped too. 

Fast on the track

Fast on the Track

Fast on the Track

When I found the articles, they had treats there too!  I made the turns with a little coaching from them. 

Made the turn.

Made the Turn

Made the Turn

Finally I made it to the end and found the wallet and the treats. 

Almost to the end.

Almost to the end

Almost to the end

End of Track.

End of the Track

End of the Track

Article Found with a Treat

Found Article with Merrick Lamb Training Treats

Found Article with Merrick Lamb Training Treats

They made a big deal out of it.  He gave me Merrick’s dried Lamb Treats and praised me a lot.  I guess I hammed it up by jumping around and fetching the wallet they threw in the snow.  Fun, Fun, Fun! 

Fun as a Reward, fetching the Article (1808)

Fetching the Article!  Fun is its Own Reward.

Fetching the Article! Fun is its Own Reward.

Thanks! By the way, I can smell the treats in your pocket!

Thanks!  By the Way, I can Smell the Treats in your Pocket!

Thanks! By the Way, I can Smell the Treats in your Pocket!

As we walked back to the start, I followed the rest of the trail taken by the ones before me.  I even found the two places where articles had been for them practicing the longer TDX or Tracking Dog Excellent trail.  So I heard them say I did great for my first time.  What did they expect?  After all, it was me that found Beau the Cat under a bush in the yard in seconds flat when they left all the doors open and then asked where Beau was!  I have a nose that knows things.  We just need to get the Mr. trained so he knows what to do.

Feets, Treats and Articles make the trail go round and back to the starting point.  We are definitely going out again next week.  Have you tried tracking?

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5 Responses to “Dog Tracking – Feets, Treats and Articles of Tracking”
  1. Holly says:

    Congratulations Rudy! Yes I love to sniff things out also. My favorite find is my sister’s socks and underwear that she so thoughtfully leaves on the floor! Have a Happy New Year. Holly

  2. Suzzie Barra says:

    Hey Rudy, yes we sure had fun that day didn’t we. Hope you can come out again with us soon and all my other friends, like Penny, Gracey, Stacey, Beua, Hey I can’t spell, but you get the jist. Come on Saturday mornings… What else have you got to do, that you can’t do later when its dark. And hey “you only have to pass once to get a title”. Now how easy is that, and no popping of collars, no stays, etc. Its so much fun……

  3. Hi Rudy – Tilly here.
    I’m very jealous – my Mom & Dad say I can’t go tracking until the spring, when there is a class up in MA. They think they have to learn how to train me. I mean really – can’t they just read a book or something? Wish I lived closer so I could tag along….
    Until then…have a great time with your nose to the ground!
    Tilly McAllan

  4. Sheigh Rigg says:

    Hey Rudy,
    Captain Jack, Wilson, my Dad, and I just finished looking at your tracking pictures. Congratulations on doing so well your first time! We all hope to meet you soon!

  5. It’s nearly impossible to find educated people on this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

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