Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, and NE... 41 and counting...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tracking Genius (17)

Today we had ideal tracking conditions: moist, drizzling misty rain, only a light breeze, 320 yards and only 45 minutes old.  Articles were, start sock, baby shoe, grey glove and ending with a brown glove.  It should have been easy peasy.

Gimme was distracted at the start, she was happy to get cookies for the sock, but didn't want to leave it.  Then she finally went out to the side to poop.  I thought we'd solved the issue, so restarted her.  She still didn't want to leave the start, then insisted I had to pay her, pestering me for the peanut butter.  I don't normally carry PB during tracking, just forgot to take it out of my fanny pack - so I tossed it 30 feet to the side and told her to forget it.  She still couldn't get to work, so I went over picked it up and carried it back - letting her see me leave it in the van. Then we walked over to start again.

Gimme still had difficulty getting to work and would only move out when I took a few steps with her, which I can't do in a trial.  So I'm not sure what was going on, the possibilities are:
  1. she was thrown off her game by needing to poop - hasn't been a problem before, but its possible,
  2. she was frustrated by not getting peanut butter,
  3. she felt she was being punished when we walked back to the car,
  4. or an issue with starting and/or restarting
This issue with restarting after an article was first seen at the tracking seminars last month and it continued to happen throughout this simple track.  I think at the seminar it was brought about because she was frustrated and made uncertain by changes in my handling.  So, I'm inclined to think #4 is the main thing, but the other things could have caused it to crop up again.  She did better as the track went on, but was still having difficulty with the restarts.

I set a track of 430 yards, with an article on every leg.  The two green squiggles are where the brush lined the path down the hill.  The two pairs of dashed lines are where we crossed the first track.  The red "x" is where our track went right over a pair of long leg men's briefs... this should have been where the corner was, but I took a couple more strides before turning.  All other things of interest are as marked.  The articles were: start sock, blue plastic lid, swatch of brown cloth, grey glove, swatch of tan cloth, and final glove. 

In hindsight crossing the old track was way too hard for Gimme.  She found it very confusing and kept wanting to go down those other tracks, I wouldn't go with her, which frustrated her and was demotivating.  I was able to encourage her through the challenge and fortunately I had placed an article right past each of those crossings, so she was rewarded for persisting.  She had trouble moving away from me on this track as well, needing some supporting steps on my part.  She noticed, but did not stop for the blue plastic lid, so I brought her back to it and really jack-potted it.  Clearly we need more plastic articles.  She paid no attention to the men's briefs - I didn't even see a hesitation.

When we had the issue with her not moving out on restarts, I took one of Sil's exercises and adapted it to train her on restarts during my down time.  It worked very well and I've talked to Nadine about it.  So, next time we get together (in two weeks), I'll set it up and run Gimme on it before I do the track Nadine sets up.  I may set up this exercise several times over the next few tracking training sessions.  I suspect as I muddle through improving my handling, Gimme may need this fun and motivating exercise to help her know what to do and how to be right.  In fact, it occurs to me it might be a great exercise to do on an enlarged scale to work corners - which is also largely a handling issue for me.

After we do the article track for training restarts and moving out, then Nadine will use the same exercise to work Skookum.  Skookum's article indications have become weak, I think because of the way Nadine always says, "Oooooooohhhh Skookeee" whenever she misses one.  I'm sure Skookum finds the "Oooooooohhhh" (which rhymes with "no") punishing and so to a certain degree, she is avoiding the articles.  She's a soft girl.  I'm going to see if I can encourage Nadine to train it the way I do with Gimme.  Who, by-the-way, has fantastic articles - just sayin'...

I tried using my chest strap contraption to film our runs and it wasn't successful.  I will need to make some modifications so it is actually showing Gimme.  I adjusted it to sit higher and it was better, but I still mostly saw was my hands working the line.  I also used it in nosework class today and an even higher adjustment seemed to work okay.  Still have to look over those videos.  Since the strap adjustment seemed to work well enough for nosework, I'll have to be sure whatever I do for tracking can be easily put on and taken off.

It took us 1 hour to get to tracking and 2.5 hours to get back to town, it would have been almost three hours if I'd gone home.  There was an accident on I-5, which slowed things down a LOT.  By the time it was cleared up, I was caught in rush hour traffic for Tacoma, Ft Lewis and Lacey/Olympia.  I was passing the general area where our nosework class is held and decided to take the exit, run an errand and then go straight to class.  Otherwise we'd have gotten home with just 15 minutes before time to leave for class. 

As it is, Miss Gimme is sound asleep...  I do think she'll perk up when she realizes its dinner time. ☺

No comments: