On Friday, May 18th, Nadine and I met at Game Farm Park. We noticed a lot of workers with trucks setting up stuff, so we planned our tracks to go around the stuff they were setting up. We did not anticipate the affect this activity would have on our girls when they were tracking. For Gimme we laid a well marked track and then I set crosstracks 15 minutes later.
The track is in black, starting in the upper left of the picture. The thick white line in the lower left are bleachers brought in by park workers. The yellow lines are the tire tracks and the straw bale is just off the picture where the two tire tracks cross. The red line is my crosstrack, which Gimme ignored. I think next time I want to increase the challenge by laying my own track and having Nadine walk the crosstrack with her dog Skookum. The purple shape overlapping the third corner is the area where we think the dog was playing. The blue line near the path in the upper right is a bench with friendly people sitting on it.
To start Nadine laid the track over the tennis courts and when we came back after 1:45 we discovered the courts were in use. So Nadine picked up the start sock and moved it to the far side of the courts. Gimme was really distracted at the start, but finally got going and then did her usual zigzag down much of the first leg, which was very long. Even though I'd set my crosstrack to cross in 4 places, there was no sign that Gimme even noticed them.
Game Farm Park tracking video - What she did notice was all the truck tracks crossing and re-crossing her track. Right before she makes the second turn you'll see a pile of straw bales, which weren't there when the track was laid (they are just outside the track picture shown above). She really struggled with these truck crossings, which makes sense. When dogs are tracking they are following a combination of tracklayer scent and crushed grass. Because vehicles are much heavier than tracklayers, they create a much stronger crushed grass smell. Gimme really worked to sort this out and was inclined to go on a walkabout down the truck path. She was able to pick out her track and get to her second article, so she was rewarded for her persistence. This should have been the third article, but the second article near the bleachers disappeared (maybe park workers took it). This article had been moved about ten feet to the left of the track.
Right after the article in the vicinity of the third turn, Gimme again struggled to find the track. Right as we were starting the track, Nadine saw a woman and a large dog (off leash) in this area, which is probably why Gimme struggled with this corner. Nadine reminded me to re-scent her on the glove, then she was able to sort it out and was rewarded with another article. I need to get better about thinking to re-scent her when she has difficulty.
Right after the first path transition there should have been another article, but it too was gone. From there to the end Gimme did a good job, even ignoring the two people sitting on a park bench making friendly noises at her. Even though she was really ready for some free love, she stuck with the job at hand. She was rewarded for resisting their friendliness and for solving the transition across the larger path by another article. From there to the end she did great. She's a very good dog...