Tracking Video

I am excited to share this video! It is the view from above of a tracking dog — specifically, Harper B for Best Tracker.

It starts with a short view of track laying and the site, which is where the June tracking test is held — so amazing.

The video then shifts to following us on the track right before the first of four turns. Here is what to watch for:

  1. See if you can tell when Harper is on the track and when she is searching a bit. Harper is a superb tracking dog and spends very little time searching — but if you watch closely you will see search/indication for every corner.

  2. Note that when she is searching I handle her differently — I slow down or stop (or fall), and I will back up. The cover is a lot of bunch grass and Harper is fast — you will see me go down!

  3. Harper finds three articles on this track. The indication at the first was solid. In watching the video I see that she indicated the second but it was subtle and I missed it — I spotted the article and asked, “what did you find” and that drew her back to it. The third and final article was indicated clearly.

Let me know what you think — and if this video is a helpful tracking tutorial.

Sunday Morning in a Magical Place

It has almost a year since I have done agility with my dogs — I am reminded how much I love it. But what is not to love about spending a few days with friends and dogs at a beautiful place like this?


Yellowstone Dog Sports is a magical place.

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Dawn at YDS.jpg

Daisy had her agility debut yesterday, earning a qualifying score in Novice Fast Preferred and showing her amazing potential for this particular dog sport. Claire is also running a class or two a day and while not qualifying, is having fun and doing better than I expected with her five weeks of training.

Harper B for Been Felt Up spent some time being evaluated by a rehab veterinarian who is here, and we have some great ideas for keeping Harper sound and healthy as she ages with her two repaired knees.

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I hope your day is magical.

Sparkle having a rolling good time.

Sparkle having a rolling good time.

Listening to the Nature of a Dog

Something I think is important to say about performance events with dogs is that it is okay to have individualized goals. In fact, we should have individualized goals because we are different people with different dogs and different circumstances.

Harper is a perfectly acceptable obedience dog but she is not a high scoring, precise obedience dog — it is not in her nature.

Harper on a wait.jpg

And I am a fan of listening to the nature of a dog, appreciating and honoring what she brings to the table.

LOVE this photo.

LOVE this photo.

Therefore, Harper will finish up a git ‘er done CD (the novice level obedience title) and be done with obedience. Her Super Power is tracking.

On the other hand, the Specialty revealed that Claire’s Super Power actually is obedience.

No hair, No problem.

No hair, No problem.

Assessment skills are a pretty important part of Life with Dogs. But an unprepared dog who did not actually know to sit on the finish (minus 2.5 points) and still scored a 196 (out of 200), placing second in a class of 50+ dogs is not exactly a subtle indication of potential.

Note extra cute collar, which is easier to see given that Claire had no coat to cover it up.

Note extra cute collar, which is easier to see given that Claire had no coat to cover it up.

In order to maximize that potential, Claire will not show in obedience again until Spring 2020. Different dog, different goals.

Claire with attention.jpg

Instead, we will train and train and in the process, have an awful lot of fun together.

Claire jumping obedience.jpg

Because if it isn’t fun — for both of us — why do it?