Monday, January 11, 2010

Tracking Practice at the McKowen Ranch

Sunday (in the very cold weather) John & Khayenne, Tracey & Lego/Sparkle/Xanadu, and Cheryl & Bern/Grace met out at Roberta McKowen's ranch to practice tracking. Mike came along to help lay tracks/cross-tracks. In all we laid TD tracks for Roberta's corgi Rhea, Bern, and Xan... the other 4 dogs got TDX style tracks. Grace lost her tracking field to a herd of cattle. Since the sheep escaped from their field, we used it for Grace's track. Poor Grace her track was too smelly from the long grass and sheep and she got too much "help" from the sheep guardian dog in training. The sheep guardian dog is a fuzzy Great Pyrenees puppy that is weeks old and not as big as Grace yet. One of Grace's articles along the track went missing... as did other articles on other TDX tracks likely due to raptor or critter activity at the ranch.

Bern did not have his most stellar tracking performance but managed to find the glove. I keep hoping he will get more confidence in his ability to trust his nose (which works better than he thinks it does).

I laid a great track for Sparkle. I was impressed with my ability to get the articles down, the cross track flags in for the cross tracker, and get out of the field with only the map left in my hands. Sparkle did great on the very wooded track... I so want Grace to track in that wooded field I think she would love it. Xan ran her TD track with great enthusiasm. She let the wind fool her a bit but recovered on her own for the most part. I thought Tracey wanted a full T.. not 1/2 T so Xan really had a workout but pulled in her harness to the end. She will have her TD title soon.

I missed Khay's tracking but John seemed pleased with her improved performance at the turns and the cross-tracks. Tracey, on the other hand, was disappointed with Lego's performance on the easy parts of his track. Lego is like several of the undergraduates I used to counsel at the COE at OU..... A's in the hard subjects and F's in the easy stuff like history because it was boring. How we encourage him to hurry through the boring parts to get to the fun parts I don't know.

All in all I think we all learned something about where our dogs were on blind tracks laid by others. Roberta said we can come anytime... we might try and go again before the LCCOC tracking trial in mid-March. John gets an A plus for his most excellent schedule. We actually followed it most of the day and left about when the schedule said we would be finished.