Nosework (laying trails)

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Shalista
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Nosework (laying trails)

Post by Shalista » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:44 am

So bax has done alot of nosework where he has to find which box has his food in it but he has never done anything with scent trails. Weather is good so i whipped out a spray bottle, microwaved some liverwurst in water, and made him some trails.

He got the concept of "find something" very well and he began to nose about frantically. the very first time he found the trail mid point and went up it the wrong way. Every time after that he completely ignored the trail. What am i doing wrong?

The juice was so smelly it stunk up the house. I saturated the trail, multiple squirts every inch of the way. I used his "go find" que. He just didn't follow the trail. It wasn't very long either. Advice?
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

Sanna
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Re: Nosework (laying trails)

Post by Sanna » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:59 pm

Yup, there's a big difference between searching, trailing and tracking.. Maybe Bax just enjoys searches more :lol: or maybe he needs a bit more motivation to track. And bear in mind you cued him to search ;)

This is how I was taught 'proper' tracking: To encourage the dog to keep his nose down and teach him to stay on the track I would use food to start with, and put a small piece of food in every footstep. That should keep his nose on the floor and also slow him down so he doesn't just charge off looking for the final prize ;) You can drag or grind your feet a little as well when you're laying the track, to help him really get that scent.
Initially make the track very short, maybe 5-10 paces, and a jackpot reward or a special toy at the end; then gradually make the track longer by a couple more steps at the time. Then you can start spacing the food out more until eventually there's only the odd surprise treat on the track (you can fade it completely of course, but personally I almost always put some food somewhere to keep motivation really high).
I wouldn't attempt any turns or corners until he can do 50 paces or so, and go back to food in every step when you start adding turns.

Others may have more suggestions, have fun :D

katej215
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Re: Nosework (laying trails)

Post by katej215 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:45 am

Hi, we've recently been doing some working trials tracking....things I've learned are...you need clean ground. Go somewhere that dosen't get a lot of foot / dog traffic. Have a 2 markers, one to start, one to finish (so you have an idea where you're heading when you're with the dog).Have someone hold you dog or tie him up so he can see you when you lay the trail. Like Sanna says, use high value food, some at the start to get his nose down, drop some every 10 paces or so and have his fave toy next to the end marker. In the beginning I was taught to 'double lay the trail, so basically walk how ever many paces, dropping the food, then retrace your steps. Also wind direction is important , you need to track into the wind (I'm sure someone will correct me if its the other way around!) Have him on a harness and long line, line trailing behind you and he should be in front of you, ideally pulling forward. If you see him start to go off track just stand still and when he corrects himself then move fwd again. And don't talk to him, once you give his tracking command and he is working keep quiet!!!!

My terrier has only done a few sessions and he's tracking about 70 paces with no food, just a toy at the end. Once your boy gets it, he'll pick it up really quickly! It's really tiring for them, so maybe this will help him chill out :D

Shalista
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Re: Nosework (laying trails)

Post by Shalista » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:18 am

So would you guys recommend using a squirt bottle to lay a scent or should foot traffic + treats be the way to go?
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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Nettle
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Re: Nosework (laying trails)

Post by Nettle » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:05 am

Always a squirt bottle as you don't want him to start tracking random people. :)
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