Tracking is always teamwork. That means – dog tracks and handler follows him in the way, what gives to the dog best chance to make perfect work. Anyhow a lot of people have tendency to help their dogs. Very often the help is very small and most of handlers even do not motice the help. Help in the tracking is like dialoque. Here is some exsamples:
1. Dog starts to track from the starting flag. Handler gives about 2-3 meters leach and follows. That tells to the dog, that he is doing well, as following the dog is like praising him for good job. It is huge help as in the competition you need to give 10 meters and that means, dog must decide after first 4-5 meters what to do. If in training handler follows always, it makes to the dog the competition more difficult, as there is no praising given this way.
2. Dog looses the track turning 1 meter away. Most of handlers usually stop then. If you make it systematically, then it is huge help. This way you tell to your dog, that you lost the track.
3. Dog finds the track and handler follows. Again whan it is done systematically, dog undretsands, that he does not need to conctentrate full, but just read the handler bodylanguage. If handler follows, it means no problems.
4. Same in the corners. If there is a mistake, handler stops. If everything is nice, handler follows etc.
I mostly train my dog and also dogs in my group so, that I do all different stuped things behind, what are not logical at all. So dog understands very well, that he needs to use his nose and his head not “listen” my body language. Very often I use also method like in the video. I releaze the leach before the corner, so dog needs to trust just his nose. Then I walk totally not logical direction and I cross the track after the corner. So there will be different difficulties for the dog coming in the row.
First the help is dissaparing as I keep the dog from leach and then I just throw the leach. Usually it affects to the dog selfconfidence or at least his ability to work.
Next I walk to totally not logical direction, so dog cannot read my body language or even not reading my body language he will be for sure surprised about my action. Very often it makes to the dog as much distraction as necessary, that he will have problems in the corner.
Now he will come to the corner beeng not so selfconfident and he needs to make decision by himself and he basically needs to make a turn to my direction. That is again not logical for the dog. So he needs to be really selfconfident and beleave just his nose and head. Then as a next step he needs to cross my track and just after this I take the leach to continue the normal work.
In my mind this kind of work builds really nicely up dogs selfconfidence to work independently and solve problems without any help from the handler. It makes dog much better in the tracking as it makes him more selfconfident but also in the same time more precise as he can trust just his own nose. As I have been telling to the people participating my seminars for me the tracking is the game and this is like really good exsample of thsi kind of game.