Using the Long Tracking Leash
Lesson 3 of 3
This 3rd lesson for using a long tracking or trailing leash for search dogs is spilt into 3 sections and postings listed at the right.
The 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 3nd lesson in using a long leash for tracking and trailing continues where lesson 2 stopped.
Be sure to refresh yourself with lesson 2 before beginning this lesson.
How to Use the Long Tracking Leash
Now the time has come to use your dog instead of a person as we did in lesson 2.
This Lesson is best done step by step and do not change the steps with this lesson or you will confuse your dog.
This lesson is setting up the dog so they learn to take the clue that they will be tracking or trailing. They are putting on their Family Disaster Dog uniform.
This is best practiced in a large place without any obstacles.
If your dog is the off-leash type then have your dog stay walk with you and do not let your dog run all over the training area until this lesson is over.
If your dog will be on a short leash and taken to the training area then keep your dog on the short leash until you are ready to start this lesson.
Using the dog’s short leash walk the dog to the area where you will be practicing, carry the long leash and harness with you.
When you are at the spot where you will begin working a trail this is known as the LKL,
or the " Last Known Location" of the person you will be searching for.
You will learn more about LKL later but keep in mind this is an important spot because;
At this spot is where you put your dog in its equipment, the Harness and Long Leash.
- Have your dog stand or sit and put the harness on.
- Do not change the short leash from the collar to the harness.
- Hold your dog with the short leash as you do put them in the harness.
- When you are ready to start, then snap the long leash on the back of the harness.
- Hold your dog by the collar and unhook the short leash, continue to hold your dog’s collar while you pocket the short leash for using to walk your dog back after you run a trail.
- While holding your dog’s collar in one hand have the person who will hide run away from the dog, calling its name.
- Give the dog a smell of the person’s sock, drop the bag with the sock on the ground at this point in training but later you will pocket the scent article bag in the carpenter or hunting apron you have for the purpose.
- As soon as your dog gets a good smell of the sock then release the dog’s collar while taking a hold of the long leash as explained above.
- Tell your dog to “Find them “and run with your dog to the person.
- Throw the leash behind you and handle the Long Leash as you learned in Lesson 6 Leash Work 2.
- Try to keep the dog in front of you, and not beside you or behind you.
- Have the other person call the dog, if the dog does not know what to do.
- You have to get the dog moving in order to work with the leash.
- At this point in training the person does not have to hide. They can be across a big yard or field so the dog can easily lead you to them.
- Keep the leash high in the air and loose so the dog does not feel any pressure.
- You never want to jerk or discourage the dog when they are on the long leash.
- Let your dog take you to the person; try to make this fun and fast work with excitement so the dog enjoys this game.
- Be sure and use the leash as instructed and let your dog find the person.
- As you train more, both you and your dog will become experts in using the long leash.
- Only do this long leash lesson 2 or 3 times each day of training no more then 3 times in one week.
- Praise your dog when they do as you ask. Praise your dog tenfold when they find the person, even if the person called them.
- Do not train more then 3 times a week.
- Never “walk” your dog on the harness and long leash. Always use your short leash snapped to the collar.
- When you reach the person you find then unsnap the long leash from the harness and snap the short leash to your dog's collar to walk back to the beginning of the trail. This will teach the dog that when you use the long leash they will be tracking.
- Keep in mind as you practice that your dog will learn to go by the amount of pressure that is on the leash.
- In time, you can learn to feel the tension and pressure on the leash and understand what your dog is doing when the dog smells.
- There will be more to come in advanced lessons but these three lessons will give you a few weeks training exercises with your dog.
- Enjoy and have fun.
- If you dog loses interest then skip a day of training, do something else and try again next time. They get tired of the same ole thing too.
Practice makes perfect and enjoy!
Use the left or right hand to hold the leash as explained in Lesson 2
I often switch hands because I have many years experience with this method.
Notice the long leash thrown on the ground behind me.
I do not hold all the leash in my hand to get tangled in.
I will not pay any attention to the leash behind me and as the dog moves away from me I let the leash out and as I get close to the dog I take the leash slack out and toss it behind me..cool trick once learned.
Notice the scent article bag I am holding and will pocket as I move off with the dog.