Last night I got home from work, packed up both dogs (along with an insane amount of "stuff") and we headed to a Nature Park about 20 minutes from our house. I took Buzz walking there once, and it was beautifully large, secluded, and had a LOT of things for us to work through. I laid Bailey's track, laid Buzz's track and then ran Buzz. The past couple times I've taken him tracking, he hasn't offered the article indication I want to see. He's been "taught" to pick up the article (since he won't sit or down reliably on wet/otherwise yucky grass... and I need a reliable indication), but just hasn't lately. Sometimes I waited for the correct indication, but other times I just let him "get away with it" (said tongue in cheek) and we continued on. At the UGSDA show this weekend, we worked on our article indication. Yes--in the midst of a conformation show, I trained my dog for tracking. *gasp*
1. Find suitable article
2. Get dog playing "101 things" with it
3. Reinforce the desired response
4. Reinforce some more
5. Take dog out tracking almost two weeks later and see that training the dog has a positive effect... whoda thunk?
I let Buzz "get away" with not indicating in previous tracking sessions and yet he... indicated (arguably) better? Yes!
I also chose not to work on Bailey's LLW after we tracked. LLW takes work (imagine THAT), so instead I put her x-back harness on, put my skijor belt on, and off we went. She happily pulled ahead, I was happy to be pulled... and neither one of us was hurting ourselves. Best invention and suggestion ever (the x-back and skijor belt with line that is). I guess I let my dog "get away" with pulling then, and by that I mean I encouraged it!