We went tracking today. I tried to lay a track that was pretty close to the TDX requirements. We have satisfied many of them. Our track was 740 yards, just 60 yards short of the required minimum of 800 yards (my GPS switched from feet to miles and I did not know how many fractions of a mile 800 yards was--I looked it up now). We also satisfied the requirements for the turns, the articles, and the obstacles. I only aged the track for 1 hour 45 minutes (minimum is 3 hours and we're slowly building up to that). We also did not have a cross-track.
Scotty did pretty good with this track. There were parts where he struggled a bit and did some minor quartering. But on most parts of the track he was pulling me forward confidently. He was a bit confused crossing our obstacles in the form of tall grass clusters dividing the fields. He was funny actually stopping and looking through the tall grass to the other side and thinking (or I think he was thinking). And then he committed to go through the tall grass and did great. We had two obstacles like that.
We're still working on crossing the road. I had quite a few hotdog pieces on the road to get him to put his head down and sniff. It was a dirt road, not asphalt. I think I need to keep putting some hotdogs down to help him keep his nose down after crossing the road. He got a bit unsure once he crossed the road. So, we'll see how he does next time.
I am pleased with his tracking progress and hope that we'll be ready for the test in the spring. Here is a photo of today's track (not to scale):
Some people make a spray (scent in a bottle) to use on the hard surfaces - you might try that. You can use hot dogs, broth, or some even soak a sweaty sock and use the liquid from that. Depending on where you are in the country (thinking of bad weather, snow, etc.) it is quite likely you will be ready for a spring test. Be careful to sometimes just do short motivational tracks and don't do full length ones all the time.
Dunn's Marsh www.dunnsmarshlabs.com