We've been very busy here so I am sorry that it has taken so long to post about the Variable Surface Tracking Workshop. I worked very hard and learned a lot.
This is Ed Presnall, the tracking expert who taught the workshop. VST tracking is the hardest type of tracking and he set up lots of great exercises to help us dogs (and our scent handicapped people) succeed.
I met lots of nice dogs at the workshop. It was interesting to see the different ways each dog approaches tracking. As you know, I am pretty intense about my tracking but some dogs are more deliberate or relaxed about it. I actually have to learn to slow down!
We began with easy starter tracks and article games. I know them but Ed said it is very important to practice them often. I am not very good at article indication so we are going to be doing a lot more of that.
In VST we don't just track on grass but on pavement, sidewalks, near buildings, near cars, across roads, up and down stairs and such. Each track that Ed laid had a problem for us to solve and each track got progressively harder.
Here you can see that I've made the turn. Barbara has to read my body language to see when I've gotten to the turn. She also has to learn to trust me, that I know more about scent than she does!
I've found the plastic article on this leg of the track. I also had to find leather, cloth and metal articles.
Even though this is the fourth track on Sunday, you can see that I am still going strong. It was a lot of work but so exciting. The only time I stopped tracking and got a bit silly was when one of the tracks went near goose poop! I just couldn't resist and grabbed some before Barbara saw it and told me to leave it!
We were all very tired after two days of intense learning and tracking. My brain and my nose needed a rest from all the work.
If you are interested in seeing more pictures of us tracking go here. Grady's person took lots of great photos of us working. Maybe you and your person would like to do some tracking. You can go to Ed's website to find out more about next year's seminars. You will learn a lot.
I had a great time and of course we are trying to put into practice all that we learned at the workshop. It is too hot here in NC to do much tracking right now. Ambrose has stopped itching so much thank goodness and no longer has to wear his satellite dish. I am glad because I was getting sick of getting bashed with it. Tomorrow I will be practicing my freestyle routine because that competition is in 3 weeks! Yikes! I better get down to work.