Gimme again had difficulty committing to the start when I'm not facing in the general direction. She starts and then comes back to me, because I don't immediately follow her. I want her to have the confidence of her convictions to haul me down the track whether I know to follow or not.
Once Gimme got the start, she had to follow it across a short mowed path to the area between the path and a ditch. Her first turn was 45° and ran parallel between the path and the ditch. The next turn was also 45° and led to a cloth glove. Then we came to another turn that led to the gravel path/road, which went up hill. The part of the track on the gravel wasn't really a straight line, more of a soft curve. Gimme got distracted and went out to a water pipe (blue circle) which sticks out of the ground. When she finally got back on track, she took another 45° turn which led her to a leather glove.
Then another turn for a short leg through a patch of tall grass. The next turn brought her out in the open and then into another patch of tall grass, where she found an eyeglass case. The last turn was in the middle of this tall grass. Then straight ahead to find a glove at the base of the telephone pole.
Gimme really struggled with finding the start direction without my "support" and then struggled throughout this track - the oldest she's ever had. Kudo's to my little girl for sticking it out and for continuing to try. Honestly, we gave her too much at one time.
So Nadine and I talked about how we could separate the start issue and the age issue into different training days. We devised plans to address the training, which can be done both at Flaming Geyser (fields) and Game Farm Park (sports park). It is:
- For the start issue we've drafted a rough plan of 4 starts, with a short leg to a glove. Its rough because we have to make sure we set it up so any breeze we have isn't giving Gimme a hint of where the glove is. The start legs will only be 30 minutes old.
- Then for age, we'll have 1 long straight leg with a glove at the end... so all she has to do is pick up the scent and follow in a straight line to the article. Once she is comfortable with straight legs and age, then we'll start adding some turns.
*** This picture is Gimme waiting impatiently for something fun-for-Gimme to happen. You'll note there is a hint of exasperation in her expression... as we'd just arrived after a long drive and I'm already on the laptop.
I also hoped to watch Jon and Cherry run, but traffic interfered and I arrived just a few minutes too late. The site was really nice cover, but very windy and cold. Only 2 dogs qualified out of 6 runs.
The track was a perfectly reasonable TD track, but the wind (blue arrow) threw in a twist. As Cricket went down the second leg, she missed the second turn. Nadine said she was pulling hard and steady and we are certain she could smell the tracklayer's scent on her exit path (dashed line), so Cricket thought going straight was the right answer. If the track had been flipped, she would have aced it. Cricket's weak area is usually the first leg and amazingly, this time she did her best first leg ever.
At least we can train for this. We don't get the strong winds here like they have in Bow, so we'll make a parallel path much closer than the rules permit to create a similar challenge. I'm sure they'll get it. Cricket is a good little tracker - she just had bad luck both tries.