It was time for a little tracking lesson out in the woods.
After gathering at the club house we got divided in groups and drove out to Rinkaby Skjutfält, into the woods at the coast, located south-east of Rinkaby. The area is normally used by the military for shooting practice purposes, but especially in the weekends (and always when the barriers are open) it is okay for the people to go in and use the area for recreation purposes as well.
We went there today to get instructions on how to teach a dog to track... and to see which of the dogs had the interest and talent to do it.
Since we have all kind of different breeds in the class it was exciting to see how everyone would do.
Of course, there are breeds who are predestinated for that kind of work, like hunting dogs and shepherds...
but it is amazing how even a little Chihuahua or a crossbreed (mutt sounds so diminishing) are able to get excited about following their owners tracks and how happy they are when they find their favorite toy in the grass somewhere between the trees. :)
It's all about the attitude, right!
Well, here (for the ones that are new to this kind of dog sport) is how it's done...
At first you have to make sure that you lay out the track in the right direction, meaning you have to make sure you have the wind in your back (ideally) or coming from the side.
Then you need to bring your dogs favorite toy and maybe a small wooden stick and some goodies.
On a short track you don't need to mark where you lay it out, but when you go and lay out longer tracks you also need a couple of ribbons or something that you can tie to a tree or something along the way.
You need to be able to remember where you went cause when the dog get's distracted and you are not sure where you went, you are screwed! *lol*
Ingrid and Aaron got to be the first to try, maybe because Aaron was already anxious to get into action, I don't know. Jessica, Ingrid's and Aaron's trainer, gave Ingrid instructions and then she took over Aaron.
Ingrid had to walk away from Aaron in a straight line, about 75 meters. Then she placed the toy at the ground, made a 90° turn to the right, walk another 15 meters and then make another turn to come back to us/Aaron.
Aaron was getting all excited and when Jessica told him to sit down he had really a hard time following her instructions. Once Ingrid was back, he couldn't wait to go and "find out" why his mommy went into the woods between the trees, he just looked at her, jumped and said LET'S GO!!!
Ingrid took Aaron to the starting point and gave the command for him to start tracking...
Boy was he quick! No doubt that he LOVES to track! He doesn't even want to stop after he's found the toy, the target, the destination, whatever you want to call it.
He wasn't very interested in playing, he just seemed to want to go on and finish the entire round Ingrid had walked. But that is, of course, not the goal. So Ingrid had to take him back the same way he had tracked before even though Aaron didn't seem to like that. He was sure he wasn't done with his job!
It was so funny!
He really did well on his first GO.
After everyone was finished with tracking for the first time, it was time for "fika" - a coffee/tea and sandwiches.
Everybody was equipped with something to sit on, a outdoor chair or just a blanket to sit in the grass... only we didn't have anything. Well, NEXT TIME we'll be prepared! ;-)
Time to practice "Nose-trick"
All the dogs got to try a second time and it was nice to see how much everyone improved and did their best to their abilities.
Here are some more impressions of a very nice Saturday morning in the outdoors, humans/families spending time with their best friends, their dogs...
Have a great weekend everyone!
Use it and spend time with your loved ones and animals! ♥