Earlier this year Barbara took me to a tracking workshop at the APS. Gordon Setters have excellent noses and Barbara thought I would enjoy finding things using my sense of smell. Well I had a great time. All I had to do was put my nose to the ground and find a glove that had some hot dog in it. Very easy! Barbara and I practiced tracking in the fields near home and sometimes we met our friends at the park or fields to track. The tracks got longer and a bit harder but I could always find the glove or sock. I learned to do turns and to find things made of plastic and metal. It is a lot like doing a puzzle. There is always a nice reward at the end. I wear a special harness and it is the one time that I am allowed to pull so I like that too.
It was so hot and dry all summer that we didn't get to do much tracking (I don't like the heat much) but we have been doing some short tracks on cool mornings. This morning we got up early and went to see our friend Chris. She has three Golden Retrievers (one of whom is my boyfriend Trotter-more about him later) who know how to track. Chris and Dreamer and Barbara and I went over to a field near Chris's house. Barbara laid three short tracks for me while Chris laid a long one for Dreamer. Dreamer is a very good tracker and has been doing it much longer than I.
I was very excited to be out in the field and wearing my tracking harness. I tried to drag Barbara to the start and was so excited that I didn't want to wait and sniff the glove. I was a bit silly on that first track but it didn't help that Barbara was off the track too!! She really should pay more attention to her landmarks and make better maps. I found my end article however and we got ready for the second track. It had a right turn that I overshot but circled around and picked up the track and found my article (a makeup case with food in it).
I finally settled down and did a great job on the third track which had a left turn. I railed the turn and found the slipper at the end. Barbara gave me lots of praise and treats. I am so glad that we are doing tracking again. It is great fun and I get to smell lots of delicious things. It is wonderful to be outside on a nice morning with Barbara and our friends. If we practice a lot and I continue to do well we will take a special test and I can show off how good I am at tracking.