Saturday, April 18, 2009

This Nose is Made for Sniffin'

This nose ... yes, this one right here. THIS nose did a LOT of work today!

There was a seminar held today on tracking, put on by Carol Aitken of Regina, SK. The seminar was geared at brand new beginners to tracking but I have heard great things about Carol, so even though Gio and I have been playing with tracking for a while now, I decided to attend.

Definitely wasn't disappointed! Carol is a lovely lady and was very helpful and patient with everyone's questions. Very knowledgeable in the sport, both in training and competing, and was able to give great suggestions for a wide variety of breeds. She really knows her stuff!

Gio and I try to get out tracking at least once a month in the summer time. Not as often as we probably should, but with all the other activities that he does, we don't really have the time to do much more than that. Last summer we had sort of plateaued at a certain point. He could do a good length of track, probably a couple hundred yards with one 90 degree turn. But if I tried to add more turns, he wound up getting frustrated and lost. Carol gave some great pointers, suggesting that I lay articles after every turn so that he gets a reward more often. It had never occured to me to place more articles along the track, we had only been working with one article at the very end of the track. So I will definitely be putting this into practice. He has great basics and can problem solve his way through turns, but tends to lose motivation if challenged too much. Hopefully the extra articles will serve as reward enough to encourage him to persevere through the turns.

He had a great time out today, and was thrilled that the little one (aka. Romeo) stayed home so he got to go out working with me, just by himself!

Thank you to Heather for organizing the seminar, Karen for volunteering her beautiful home and property as a venue, and to Carol for traveling up from Regina to share your wisdom with us newbies!

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