Monday, November 23, 2009

Scentwork Saturday

I am a couple days behind in posts because for some reason it was tough getting some video off my camera to the computer. Then it was hard getting it to post on youtube. Then to add insult to injury I STILL can't get videos to embed on here. (because they were to long for blogger to upload) Some days I hate blogger. I am still not sure why I had so much difficulty. Apparently I am not in danger of ever being a true computer geek.

WARNING: The following post has graphic photos and video of deer parts and blood. This may be upsetting for some viewers. I don't think it's to bad but I am a hunter that also feeds raw so to me it is like looking at lunch meat. I put the photos near the end so they are easier to avoid.

The following is video of Jenny's first bloodtracking training. I only did two tracks and short ones at that. My book came in the mail Wednesday and I was excited to get started. So excited that when I got to the field I still had prep work to do. It got messy and I learned that from now on I will do that at home before heading out. When I say messy and blood is involved I mean messy. I know I should have been in the woods to train but it was Saturday and hunting season. I haven't scouted areas to safely train yet so I went to the familiar local field. I still put some blaze orange on Jenny to be safe and to get her used to wearing something over her harness.

So here is her very first track. I wasn't really expecting much. I was mainly interested in seeing what she would do with the new scent. Excuse the crappy camera work. I was only occasionally looking at the screen and didn't realize you can't see the line of the track from the angle I captured. I laid the track with the wind to my back so it was blowing the scent away from us.

I was so excited about her first track that for the second one I added a turn. This is the other side of the field (that I had to drive to) so the wind was blowing from the right of the first part of the track to the left, and then to her back for the second leg of it. This one I shut up and let her work undisturbed. I love that you can see her really working hard when she isn't quite sure. Again my camera work isn't stellar but you can see she stays on task and keeps working even when not dead on. I'm not sure if it is obvious from the angle but she literally is scenting and doesn't see the leg at the end of either track until she physically runs into it.

After she finished both tracks I let her chew on the leg for a couple of minutes as a reward. On the second track when I picked up the leg she wouldn't let go. It was pretty funny to see her practically dangling from it as we played tug of war. I was laughing so she almost won! All I could think about was "I wonder how this looks?" to passersby. (the field is off two well traveled roads)

So it looks like she really likes bloodtracking which makes me happy. Or should I say she seems to have the ability for it. I know she at least really likes the end of the tracks. It will be interesting to see how she does in the woods instead of in a field. The scents there are much different. I plan on only doing woods training on Sundays or on land I know isn't being hunted. Even then we'll be wearing lots of blaze orange. Not everyone abides by the law after all.

Jenny loooves her prize. (She also loves that it is still in my fridge. Does having a deer hoof in my fridge make me weird?) The best part is that after speaking with other trainer that also does scent work I learned that I can continue to work her in both blood tracking and regular tracking. This just doubles our fun. My goal in tracking is fun first and foremost. If I ever consider trying for a TD test or going for a bloodtrackers licence that is just a bonus. I am just not a competitive person by nature. (It's to much work to be competitive! VBG) I think I will also try this with Jack. He also loves his deer meat and perhaps it will be more motivating to him than regular tracking is. His nickname became "One track Jack" due to his lack of enthusiasm for having more than one turn, or even for tracking to far. A bit of a drawback when it comes to doing much training.

So we'll be working on this in our spare time. (spare time, ha ha ha ha ha that was funny) One thing I do want to point out is that you should never underestimate what dogs can do. Don't paint them in a corner of their "breed" box. Try something different, you just may be surprised at what your dog can do.

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