Sleeping beauty and the track

14 10 2009

(This blog is written a week ago and a lot have happened since. Next blog will be about BARFing)

Facts: As last time
We love mornings
Waking up with a sleepy dog. Mostly she’s lying in the foot end of my bed. Lazy, small eyes, yawning. Everything stupid she did yesterday is forgiven. The night takes the badness away. She is gorgeous.
And now, as we leave her in the morning, there’s no panic. Actually this morning she would hardly get out of bed.

Ten days ago I laid a track for her. All made up be shrimps and salmon.
(Before we started at all, Pandora tried to wear her track harness half an hour or so, to get comfortable with it so it wouldn’t distract her on the track.
)
Careful if there is a lot of wind the track will actually blow sideways (or wherever the wind comes from)
Leave it for at least 15-20 minutes the first time to make the grass leave some smells as it starts to putrescent. When the dog gets older and hard core to do tracking a track can be several hours old, even days.
Don’t EVER punish your dog, don’t shout, don’t do ANYTHING negative as the dog follows the track. You can ruin months of work, or even destroy the dogs ability to walk a track ever again!


Without the dog

The track was app. 10 meters (30 feet) long.
 I use wooden Chinese chopsticks to mark my track (natural smell, no bright colours) which is important so I can guide the dog in the EXACT direction in the beginning.
 At this first track, I took very small steps so that one footstep would touch the next. I did it at a lawn with well grown green grass. No obstacles were distracting (such as dead birds or more exciting obstacles – whatever would be more interesting than salmon?). For every 5-6 steps I put shrimps or salmon on the ground. As I know that she is very good at using her nose, I bend the track just a little. When I left the track, I made sure not to cross it again.


With the dog

After 15 minutes or so I returned to the track with Pandora wearing her track harness.
I showed her the beginning of the track and just few centimetres in I had left the first piece of goodie. Now she kind of understood that here was something exciting.  All the time, I showed her with my hand near the grass saying: seek, seeeeek in a soft tone, but animating.
 At this first track I almost showed her every bite I had put on the grass. She was a little unconcentrated, but then again she had no idea of what was expected from her. She ran around, and crossed her own track a couple of times.
The last few metres she started to react as she had understood the deal, but then the track ended. 
At the end of the track, a little more salmon was waiting, and she had millions of praises. Good dog, so clever, beautiful …


Track no 2

Yesterday I laid a new track. 15 metres long. Salmon and raw beef. Again marking every 1-2 meter with a wooden chopstick.
First she was a little confused again, then it was like she remembered! Ouh, meet!
And then she did an almost perfect track. Finding every bite on the ground. Of course she ran around herself a few times, but she didn’t miss a bite, she walked the exact perfect direction (and for every finding  I ‘clicked’ the clicker). A the end of the track a huge bite of salmon was put, but she didn’t want to end the track, so she follow my footsteps for several metres where I had walked as I left the track.
All the way home we walk in the side of the street and she couldn’t stop sniffing in the grass. It was like she suddenly had an urge to use her best ability. Sniffing. Using the nose.

The rest of the evening she was relaxed and calm. I had a walk with her later and she walk perfectly in the leach.
Right by my side, and sitting everytime we stopped to cross the street.
 It was obvious that the stimulating track gave her something important, and that it kind of took the stress out of her.
From now on I’ll lay tracks for her often.
The next 10 days we’ll be away from home together with her, so there’ll be lots of time to play, lay tracks and so. I’m really looking foreward to that.

Worries and food
I have made a discition to change Pandoras food as soon as we get home form our holyday.
 Right now she is getting dry food. Expensive, with the right amount of protein and stuff, but she drinks so much water and she pees indoor. Last night and the night before, she peed indoor 5 times – in the evening!
 That’s crazy. That’s too much. I’m afraid that she’s getting ill and loose too much weight.
I’ll look a little more into BARF (raw meet). It kind of appeals to me because she’s ‘half’ wolf. More about that next time.

A tired dog

A tired dog

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