Life with Allison

Our family's journey with a special needs child

Training Day 3: First Tracking

on August 8, 2013

Today was the first day of tracking. We split the class into 2 groups, a morning group and afternoon group. We were in the morning group. We met at 4 Paws and then drove to a local park. The dogs were already roused because they knew what was coming. One at a time, Jeremy (trainer) had an adult and the child the dog was for, walk off with the dog watching. After watching the kids leave about 50 feet, Jeremy blocked the dogs view so they couldn’t see where the kids were. Once they were out of site, we had to do a ‘talk up’. To the dogs, all their specialty work, whether it is seizure work, tracking or mobility work, is just a really fun game! So Perry has been trained to track down Ally if she were to run away, but to Perry she sees her girl run off and is excited to hunt her down and receive hotdogs and her favorite toy, the tennis ball.

So Joe and Ally walked off and hid in the trees. Jeremy talked Perry up and then said ‘TRACK’ and off Perry went. The way dogs track by scent is the smell of your dead skin cells falling off. You are constantly shedding dead skin and they fall to the ground much like crumpled leaves in the fall. Perry runs in an S pattern. She checks one way till the trail runs cold then swings back the other way. She had no problem finding them! It all happened really fast too! As we walked back to the rest of the group, the trainer told me that tracking is Perry’s favorite game!

After the morning tracking, we went back to 4 Paws and worked on more obedience. It seems like a lot of SIT and DOWN, but it is much more. We did some more distraction work, once where a squeaky tennis ball was bounced in front of Perry. She wanted it SO bad, but she didn’t break command!! She was quivering, she wanted so bad. Good girl, Perry!!

We also talked about the training collar and how to use it properly. We will be working with them more in the coming days. We learned just enough, basically the proper way to correct with it, so we could allow the dogs off leash tonight in the hotels.

PLACE is the last command. We had mutt mats out and all I had to do was point to the mat and tell her PLACE and she walked over, turned around, and laid down. The requirement on this is they must have 2 paws on the mat. They are free to do whatever they want on it, just keep those 2 paws, front or back, on the mat.

We came back to the hotel and tried to let Ally and Perry bond some more. We are having a few issues with the other 2 girls fighting and crying over when and how they can touch Perry. Its really getting old, but I know the novelty will wear off soon. Its just tough because they don’t understand fully why we are here and why this is so important. Perry has been doing what I ask in the hotel like laying around Ally but its just for the treats and praise at this moment. But that is the start. Ally is still shy about touching Perry for whatever reason I have no idea. I think this will all die down in time. My only fear is that Perry is bonding to me more than Ally. I’m not sure if it is the appropriate handler bond or not. I’ll need to ask about it tomorrow….if I remember.

Morning bonding

Morning bonding

A tired Periwinkle

A tired Periwinkle

More time together

More time together

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