Monday, February 27, 2012

Still Tracking

This has to be the windiest winter I've ever had.  It seems out of a 7 day week, 6 of those days have strong winds.  Not only does that make my PT training runs hard and cold, but it also is not ideal for tracking.  Sure, it is important to train for wind, but I've had enough!

Dottie is still getting ready for her TDX.  I see I never posted the training video I made of her doing obstacles.  Obstacles are supposed to be scent obstacles, but physical obstacles can also be scent obstacles.  This was taken a few weeks ago and was the first time I set out to train some obstacles.  It was only aged about 30 minutes.

Next on the TDX quest is to get her tracking scent 3- 5 hrs old.  I had her doing 2.5 hrs, and she made it around the track, but with lots of searching, circling, checking and franticness.  K saw a video I took and suggested I go back to short tracks with lots of articles.  So I've been doing that and she did great at 3 hrs.  Today I did about 3 hrs and 15 minutes.  But the interesting part is the fact that we did  this in a wind advisory.  Winds 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.  I mostly track on the Navy base which is right on the beach.  I'm sure that is one contributing factor to the wind and if I didn't track in the wind, I'd never get to track.  But a wind advisory?  With a track aged over 3 hrs?

But Dottie lived up to the nickname a club member gave her.  Dottie- Badger.  And Dottie-Badger don't care.  Yes, it wasn't as "clean" as it could have been, but the wind was all over the place.  I thought she did great.

I lay Dottie's tracks at lunch, then come back and run them after work.  I guess when I get up to 5 hrs I will have to take earlier lunches.  If I couldn't sneak my dogs into work (they wait in the car, and a lot of people probably know but don't care- and it is very cool everyday on the coast under the shade tree) and I lived far from work, how would I ever progress to TDX level?  Laying and aging tracks only on the weekend?  I know the tracking community is not huge, but I wonder how many people who track have 9 to 5 type jobs.

I also laid short tracks for Fancy, aged about 15 minutes, and Pie, about 30 minuets.  Both Pie and Fancy have been having trouble, so I started having them track for a bowl of food at  the end of the track, instead of finding articles.  It helped, to a point.  Today I went back to articles (a bowl of food is pretty hard to hide on mown grass) and both girls had a better attitude and more desire to keep working.

I was going to try to get Pie certified this Wednesday.  The last TD of the season is at the end of March, and if it doesn't fill with TDs, they will open it up to TDXs.  I wanted to take Dottie up there, and when I saw it had TDs also, I thought Pie might give it a try as well.  Then she started having lots of problems, so I canceled our certification.  But the judge was so nice, he said, let's see what happens, and if it doesn't work, we'll turn it into a training track.  So now he knows I don't expect to pass, so the pressure is off.  If she barely passes, and doesn't improve before the actual test, I won't enter her.  I don't want to take the spot of someone who is 100% ready.  We'll see what happens come Wednesday.  Pie actually tracks nicely.  The problems are she will stop tracking and "take me for a walk" and that if she gets lost she looses confidence and will start panting and running in circles instead of searching for the track.  I think in her mind she is searching, but her body is not letting her.

So  that is where all 3 girls stand with their tracking progress.  Dottie is ready for the TDX, Pie may or may not be ready for certification, and Fancy needs motivation to track for 440 yards with no reward.

I wonder if the wind will go away when it warms up?

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