Today I finally had some time to take Jenny out for this years first track. It went pretty well. I only did two short ones since it was warm out. I slept in and didn't get out first thing in the morning which is ideal for tracking practice. It is cooler then and the grass being damp helps with the scent. She was panting after the second track and I didn't want to push it and risk her overheating. As a pug she is more prone to that issue when using her nose so much. I also want to keep it fun for her and quitting before she gets tired of it keeps her drive up.
I decided to take some video because I know there are people who just don't believe I am tracking a pug. I have posted photos but they don't really prove she can do it. I hope this helps. I am sure there will be some people who say I am doing everything wrong. The downside to posting video is that it opens yourself up to criticism from some viewers. I have one viewer in particular that loves to rip me down, hence one of the the reasons I have moderated comments.
I'll go on record saying that I am not a tracking expert. I have been doing it off and on for about 10 years now but never seriously. It is just something I enjoy doing with my dogs, and watching other dogs and handlers do. There is nothing like seeing a dog doing something that comes naturally to them, and that they also have fun doing. Jenny is much more driven than the other dogs I have tracked with so perhaps I will finally get serious about it.
No you do not need to train for tracking with food. It is just how I choose to train. And with Jenny food is the perfect motivator. So I hope you enjoy the video. It is about 2 minutes long and there is sound. I was trying to explain things as I went along. I should have just shut up and let her work and explained it after. Next time I will have someone else do the videoing so I can concentrate on the work. It is hard trying to do everything all at once!
I think she did a pretty good job all thing considered. I especially like the part where she gets off the track and circles back and finds it again quickly. I am still not sure about using food under the first article. I might skip that next time and only use it under the next articles. She works so much faster than other dogs I have handled so I am still working out the kinks of article indication.