Friday, September 9, 2011

Lesson 6 Leash Work 2

Using the Long Tracking Leash 2

This lesson for using a long tracking or trailing leash for search dogs is split 
into 3 sections and postings listed at the right or at the bottom of this page.

Long Dog Puppy Obedience Recall Training Agility Lead, Leash GREEN, BLACK, RED, BLUE, or ORANGE - by, Pet Supply City, LLCThe first lesson is Lesson 5 Leash Work 1

The second section is Lesson 6 Leash Work 2     

The third section is Lesson 7 Leash Work 3

This 2nd lesson of 3 lessons in using a long leash for tracking and trailing  continues where lesson 1 stopped. 

Be sure to refresh yourself with lesson 1 before beginning this lesson.

This lesson begins by first using a person, children work great! 

As a pretend dog for you to learn how to use the long leash without 
getting caught up or tangled in the leash. 

A dog can tangle and trip you in seconds, possibly injuring both of you.

Using this leash is not as easy as it looks but you will catch on quickly if you 
follow these instructions.

1.  Have your pretend doggie stand with their back to you; hook the snap of the long leash on the person’s waist band or belt loop at their back.

2.  Hold a piece of the leash about 2 feet from the snap in your left hand.

3.  Use your right hand to hold the rest of the leash.

4.  Using your right hand, throw the entire long leash behind you.

5.  Keep a hold of your dog with the leash in your left hand.

6.  Do not pay any attention to the part of the leash you tossed,let it drag behind you.

7.  Holding the leash in the left hand, use your right hand to take up a piece of the leash that is lying across your body. Now the leash is in both hands with maybe 2 ft hooked to your dog and the rest behind you on the ground.

8.  At this point, you are ready to start moving.

9.  Have your person start walking and as they walk away from you let the leash slide through your left hand and use your right hand to feed the leash to your left hand. Sounds tricky but once you get the hang of it; this really makes using the leash easy.

10 Have the person stop walking and as you walk towards them, pull the leash back to you with your right hand sliding it through your left hand.

11 As you walk and pull throw the extra leash you pull in with your right hand behind you. Just toss it and keep walking.

12 Keep practicing with the person going different speeds and stopping.

13. Once you are comfortable using the leash like this then have the person make turns and go in different directions just like a dog does.

 Practice this until you know what you are

Then go to the Next Lesson


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lesson 5 Tracking Leash 1

Using the Long Tracking Leash 1

This lesson for using a long tracking or trailing leash for Family Search dogs is spilt into 3 lessons that will be listed on the list of posts to the right.

The 1st lesson is Lesson 5 Leash Work 1

The 2rd section is Lesson 6 Leash Work 2

The 3rd section is Lesson 7 Leash Work 3

As we discussed in previous lessons the Bloodhound and other trailing and tracking dogs often use a long lead or leash when they are working. This lesson will teach you how to handle and use a long trailing and tracking lead.

First a leash is often called a lead. Both are the same thing.

The long leash is anywhere from 20 ft to 50 ft depending on what the purpose of the leash is. A lounge line for a horse works well for large dogs and long leashes can be purchased in any weight or width to fit any size dog. Buy one to fit your size dog. Even the smallest dog can be used with a long leash and plenty of practice.

The nylon material the leash is made from will give you a bad rope burn on your hand if your dog is one to bolt off and the leash slides through your hand. 

Dogs that are not use to being given room or those who are use to being in the back yard may be so excited by the freedom or they may see something they want, like a cat or another dog that they take off without you expecting it. 

Be careful when you first put your dog on a long leash in an open area and gloves are always a good idea.

Do not put your dog on this leash for play, or exercise until the dog is well trained to trail or track. This lets the dog know that when you have this long leash they are going to be working. They will learn to expect and love the time spent on this long leash as if it is a tracking game. They know the different equipment and rules for each game they play and we will use this to our advantage.

You will also need a harness for your dog although a harness is not absolutely required and many dogs work with a collar as well but using a harness lets the dog know that they will be doing the tracking game otherwise they may think you are expecting them to play a different game, like obedience.

With multi-purpose dogs, those who do different jobs, the different equipment is their clue to what will be expected and then they can get in that mind set. A police dog knows when his handler is in uniform they are working.

Your family pet is very much a multi-purpose dog and you should use the harness during training to help the dog understand this is not obedience work or taking a walk down the street exercise. Read the lesson about harnesses before practicing this lesson often with your dog.

After a few lessons when you walk up to your dog with the long leash and harness then they will get excited knowing what’s to come. This is when you know they really understand.

Long Dog Puppy Obedience Recall Training Agility Lead, Leash GREEN, BLACK, RED, BLUE, or ORANGE - by, Pet Supply City, LLC
Dean & Tyler All Weather Dog Harness - Medium - Fits Girth 28" 34" - High Quality, Strong Nylon Everyday Use - Multi Purpose - Very Strong!!! - Made in Europe !!!Planet Dog Cozy Hemp Adjustable Harness Apple Green Small
These are examples of tracking leashes and harness we use for tracking.
You can click the image to purchase.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lesson 4 ; "Find It "

Lesson 4; " Find it " 

Only do this trailing/tracking lesson with your dog 1 or 2 times a week. Skipping a week is okay because we do not want your dog to get tired of playing this game. 

Do as you did on the first lesson of  "Getting Started" but continue as instructed after the overview.

This lesson can be done indoors or outside, with a dog on leash or loose depending on the dog and where you want to practice. I often start this lesson indoors with a loose dog and a child playing hide and seek for the first few weeks. These guidelines should be followed indoors as well as outdoors for the best results.

Start with a person your dog knows and only do this lesson with that person 2 to 4 times each session once or twice a week. After 2 weeks, if your dog is finding the person fairly easily then you can change people and scent articles and only then use a different person. If you change people or scents to early your dog could get confused and lose interest. 

If your dog ever loses interest then stop and play with them for a few minutes. Then do the lesson again step by step so your dog understands. The steps for this lesson will be posted on a separate page for easy reference.

Overview of  Getting Started Lesson 3

Hold your dog by its collar as the person slowly runs and waves at the dog to a hiding place that is easy to find and only one turn away. 

Hold the scent article, the person's sock, to your dog's nose, say "Smell" and then turn your dog loose and say "Find so and so" use the person’s name, follow your dog to the person. More about the scent article below.

Your dog, no matter what age will attempt to find them.

If the dog does not start searching for anything and only stands there looking at you to find the person then encourage the dog to go with you and show the dog with excitement how fun it is to find the person. 

When you and your dog find the person, praise, praise, praise by you and have the person shower this dog with attention. Your dog will be so happy to do this again, you'll hardly be able to hold him.

"Find It " Lesson 4 - continue on with this in mind..

It's okay for the hidden person to give your dog a treat if your dog is more inclined to work for food then love as long as you remember to replace the food with love in a few lessons.

Read lesson 6 " Making Trails" to learn how the person should hide and how your dog will find them before your person hides to often. The dog can be easily confused and refuse to work if you ask them to think to hard at first or do to complex of a trail.

If you dog ever refuses to find a hiding person, go back to previous lessons and retrain until the dog is more confident and understands exactly what you are asking. Some dogs catch onto finding people right away and others take a little more encouragement.

Your dog must always find the person. 


After your dog has found the hidden person a few times, sometimes with help from the person calling out or making a noise then have the person be very quite so the dog learns to work people who are unconscious.

Even if your dog passes a hidden person let the dog go on until it stops on its own to turn around, they usually will turn around and find the person if given the time to move out of the air scent cloud they are working. This scent cloud can be far from the person and the dog has to learn to work out the scent cloud for later search experiences. 

 Never let the dog think it has not accomplished this and it will always lead you to them in a real life emergency. You must learn to Trust your dog's natural ability to find its pack.

Your dog is always right.

If he led you to a blanket and then goes to the closet to find the person, then the person has at one point or another touched this blanket.


Trust your dog and follow him and he will lead the way. After all, didn't you notice him standing there next to you wondering how he can help?

After a couple of weeks of playing hide and seek inside and outside, you can have the person stay hidden for a longer amount of time.

Start with the person hiding for 3- 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, gradually go up to 30 minutes. 

Once your dog finds a person who has been hidden 30 minutes, you can have the person hide without your dog seeing them. Give the dog the scent article, say "smell" and "Find 'em" the dog will go find the person using only the sock and trail left by the subject. More on this in later lessons.

Always praise.  

Even if you had to lead the novice dog to the person. 

Never ever scold the dog during this training or he won't want to help you. 
This is one area of training we can not make a dog do, they can refuse and you don't want them to do that !

If you ever have to call in a missing person's report, give the officer in charge your frozen scent article to use with the police or search dogs. They will be impressed that you knew this helpful clue in the investigation and it will save valuable time.

Take the scent articles with you when the family goes camping or on hikes, one never knows when the scent article may come in handy. Don't forget to take your dog camping with you; they could be a life saver if anyone wanders away from camp.

Remember your dog has lived with you a long time, he knows each family member's name so ask him to find them by name, and then if the sock isn't available he can still help you in real life disasters.

Make sure nobody else has touched the sock (scent article) except the person the sock belongs to. This means you too. Pick the sock up using a stick or hanger and place in a Freezer bag by itself. Use one scent bag for each person. Do Not combine two scents.

During the first 2 weeks of training, use only one person a day for your dog to find or the dog may get confused. Once he has the idea, you can change scent articles and people in the next lesson.

 Never ever scold the dog during this training or he won't want to help you and this is one area of training we can not make a dog do, they can refuse and you don't want that.

A scenting dog is not trained by you, they do this naturally. Do not expect them to do so just because you tell them to.

Actually the dog is already scenting and following each new scent that comes their way. 

All you have to do is watch and follow the dog. This is especially apparent during an emergency. Never forget your dog’s unique scenting abilities or their abilities to find their pack members. 

Practice makes Perfect..use the Training Goal Page to judge your progress.

Be careful to avoid K9 Burn Out. Just like people who overwork, dogs can experience "Burn Out" and not feel up to preforming the job. 

If your dog loses interest then take a few weeks break and go back to training only one day a week at the most. Working actual tracking courses like discussed above every two weeks works well for most dogs. 

If some dogs are worked to often the fun goes out of the game for them, so the less often they get the chance to play or hunt the more excited they get when the hunt is on again.

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