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Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
SDS-N, ADPL5, ADPCH and ADPL1(2GC)... 30 and counting...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tracking Genius (21)

We were supposed to meet Nadine for urban tracking this morning, but the rain made it impossible.  Its coming down in sheets - which started Thursday afternoon.  It was nice for much of Sunday and Monday morning, but now the rain has returned with a vengeance.  Fortunately we'll be able to meet on Friday and the forecast is much better.

Nadine wanted to practice finding the direction at the start, which we'll need when we get to TDX level.  So, she set up a 3-part track to give the dogs a chance to try it.  The pink line shows the path we'd take to get from the end of the first track to the beginning of the second, so we didn't come in on Nadine's path (blue line).  The total distance for these 3 tracks was 690 yards, not counting the movement from one to another.

Gimme did pretty good on this, though she seemed a bit confused at times.  In hindsight I think this may be because at the end of each track, we would seem (from her perspective) to leave the track.  She doesn't seem to have any difficulty figuring out which direction the track went.  Also, we usually run my article track before her main track, so it may be partly because she didn't get a warm-up.

I did notice something, which I've seen before.  When she starts a track, she seems to take off at a slight angle from the track on a straight line, to where she is getting further and further from the actual track.  Then she will self-correct and stay dead on from there on.  I've seen it before, but didn't think much of it.  It was more apparent with three starts.

I laid a track which I intended to be an article circle of sorts, with an odd entry - where the dogs again had to find the direction, TDX style.  However, I ended up laying a very different track once I got into it, because I couldn't figure out how to do a "circle" and then get back to the car without interfering with the first leg (because of the terrain).  In keeping with Nadine's desire to get better at reading Cricket on corners, I only put flags in at every other corner.  I mentally marked the corners based on deer poop, a mole hill I stepped in and a "pretty" weed.  Since I intended to do an article circle I didn't count steps, but if I had to guess, I'd say around 400 yards.

Nadine decided to run Skookum on this track.  She has a TD and is nearly ready to try for her TDX.  This day on this track she was quite distracted.  There were a lot of very large "deer" tracks and we guessed the elk were coming down from the hills, because of the cold.  Usually this would have no affect on Skookum, so we were perplexed and wondered if a mountain lion had passed through the area.

I ran Gimme on it, expecting her to have the same difficulty.  Often she'll take little side trips where a dog before her took a side trip, but not this time.  Gimme aced this track and showed no concern.  Other than her obvious annoyance at having to wait on me while I picked up and stowed all the flags and articles, she really couldn't have been more perfect.

So we are left with no clue why Skookum had difficulty.  Thank God this wasn't their test day.  Meanwhile Gimme was finally happy as a clam.  She's always quite fussy wanting her turn and then another turn.  Usually two full tracks satisfies her.

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