Well I am not quite sure what you want to track? If you are talking about AKC(American Kennel Club) tracking then you will be tracking humans. Typically to start tracking you have another person go to an area that no one has walked in for 24 or more hours and have that person put a stake (about 3 foot tall) in the ground and a glove and then walk forward 15 feet and place a glove they have had with them for a while on the ground and put hotdog bits on it. walk another 15 feet put another glove down with hotdog, walk another 15 feet put down another glove and more hotdog bits. Then you bring the dog up to the stake and have them lay down for a minute or so and then with the dog in a tracking harness and a 15 foot leash you can tell your dog to go find it. some dogs will automatically just follow the tracck and find the gloves with hotdogs. If you have a dog that has problems you may want to have the person that lays your track rub hotdog on their shoes heel before laying a track, or you may even want to do some initial tracks where the person stays at the end of the track. typically you do the first few into the wind to get the dog to use its nose then after a day or a week or a month you start doing downwing tracking to get the dog to actually start ground scenting vs. air scenting. For AKC you want them to follow the ground scent. A dog that is air scenting will have its head up high off the ground and will typically do alot of large sweeps side to side as it goes. Dogs that are following ground scent will have their noses down near the ground. I think typically AKC tracks are about a 1/4 mile long and have several turns in them and an object is found at the end such as a glove or wallet etc. You have to teach your tracklayer to walk in a straight line (line up 2 objects in the distance and then keep them in line) and you need to mark turns and every glove put down with a stake/marker that is visible enough to see while you are at the last one. When you start this the dog will be aware of the track and will find the glove with hot dogs, it might take a while for the dog to put these two things together, once it associates a track with hotdogs then it will really start wanting to follow the track. It would be similar if you were in a field and saw a bunch of different colored lines going in different directions and you stumbled on a $5 bill where a few of the lines crossed, then you went a bit further and found another $5 bill and noticed that the "Blue line was at both spots, then went further and noticed that if you followed the blue line there was another $5 bill. Well eventually you would just follow the blue line because you knew that there would be more $5 bills(hotdogs) on the blue line. As you gradually increase the distance between the gloves and add distance the dog will actually start trying harder because it wants to get paid off.
Thanks for the info!
We want to train her for bird hunting and search & rescue. I went to one of the sporting goods stores today and found some duck spray to put on a trainer. We're going to start with that but if there are some hunbters on here that can give me some pointers that would be great. We have lots of land and time to spend with her.
I'd try tying real duck wings to a bumper rather than 'duck spray' or better yet, a dead duck and drag it around. Most duck hunting though is not really 'tracking' but rather marking. A valuable skill though might be blood tracking for waterfowl, where a wounded duck would swim/fly and the dog would have to track the critter that way. I think the Dratther (sp) (i.e. NAVHDA) do this with their dogs.
Ok, cool. I can get wings from my uncle. He has a ton of those things and i believe he uses those for training. I get the newest pair he has and start with her asap. She has good instint for it, When she sees a bird walking arcoss our yard she get real low to the ground and starts almost belly crawling towards. Like she sneaking up on it...lol