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Monday, September 10, 2012

Blood tracking training at its best: Education of a young dachshund Theo

We have not posted much about Theo lately even though we have been getting regular updates from Darren Doran. Darren's updates are very informative and show how to go about training a young blood tracking prospect. The below post comes from a compilation of Darren's e-mails from the last two weeks. Darren, a big thank you for working so hard and diligently with Theo!

Theo was born on April 6, 2012, so now he is five month old. He is out of "Moose" (FC Nurmi von Moosbach-Zuzelek) and Paika (FC Paika von Moosbach-Zuzelek).

At the end of August Theo graduated from the basic obedience class. Darren and Theo are second from the left.
Ireland Brook, August 26, 2012
Training Line
Line was 700 yds long and put out with fresh buck feet with a tarsal gland. Three ounces of blood were used on the hoofs and squirted on the ground. There were various 90-degree turns and one wound bed. There is also a power line crossing and three woods road crossings.
Training Goals
To expand on last week's exercise and see if Theo handles this one in a similar fashion.

Actual Line
The line was 16 hrs old. It was about 75 degrees and humid with no wind.

Theo started well. He took the line immediately and tracked well to the power line. There were high weeds on both sides of power line, and a mowed road through the middle. Theo got on the road and went up and down a couple of times, then he crossed into the weeds on the far side and started back down the road. You could see when he hit the line. He took it through the weeds into the woods. We then tracked to a woods road and he did the same thing. He went down and back up and across the road and down the far side and hit the line. At one point in here he got on a deer run and took it. He realized he wasn’t on the line and started searching. He reacquired the line on his own but missed about 30 yds of it while searching. We came to the second woods road and this time he started down the road, but then went across and back on the far side. He hit the line much quicker this time. He missed the wound bed when he got off the line right before it and by the time he found the line we were past it. He crossed the last road much faster and tracked to the skin. It took 25 minutes to finish.
Theo tracked this line very well. I want to train with Theo as if we were in the real word tracking. I did very little in the way of helping him. I offered a few words of encouragement along the way. He has a tremendous amount of concentration on the line. He can remember and go back to spots on the line when he needs to. He can quickly tell when he’s going backwards on the line and straighten himself out. His search pattern is efficient and he can realize when he’s off the line very quickly. His ability to process and understand what he smells is excellent. His working speed is very comfortable to keep up with. I didn’t even have to keep the 50 ft leash in my hand. For a young pup he is training way ahead of what I would call normal or average.  
Pigeon Swamp Back Side, September 2, 2012

Training Line
Line was 1 mile long prepared with tracking shoes with buck hoof and tarsal gland, 8 oz of blood squirted on hoof and about 5 steps apart on the ground. There were various 90-degree turns and some woods road crossings. The line went through a couple of deer feeding areas. Line ended up being longer than I wanted. Line was finished 10 am 9/1/12.

Training Goal 
Goal was to prepare Theo for the start of bow season Sept 8.This line would be the hardest line we’ve done to date and in my opinion the closest thing to a real track.
Actual Line
It was 70 degrees with no wind and humid when I parked the truck.

We haven’t had rain for a while and the woods were dry. It was 7:14 am when we started to track. Theo took the line right away and didn’t have any problems till we got to the first road by a dried up swamp. The road here was a circular part of the four wheeler trail and this time I walked on the road on the left part of the circle then across into the woods. It took Theo some time to figure this out, but he did it on his own. There were no real problems until we got into the feeding area. I could see he was tracking live deer on deer runs. When he was off and didn’t correct on his own, I would pinch down on the leash until he would lift his head and say ”is that right? find the blood”. Theo would start searching and most time he worked back towards the line.

I would not let him get further than the 50 ft lead. If he was having problems or would take the same wrong way twice I would ask him to search here and direct him back towards the line. Theo will take this command very well in the woods. I had one 45-degree turn on this line and it was in this same area. This was the hardest part of the line for him and it was about in the middle of the track. I stopped him a couple of times along the way to give him water and he restarted right away. We got to the second woods road and this time the line went right across. Theo took the road to the right but then came back up on the same side to the line and then went right across. The rest of the line was uneventful until we got about 30 yds from the skin. Here he drifted off and had to search around a little. I know he was getting pushed to his limit at this point. Theo found the skin and got the most praise I could muster up. I had some meat on the skin and more in my pocket. I sat down on a log shaking my head watching him chew the skin. We finished at 7:52am. It took 39 minutes.                         

This line was too long and I could have made a big mistake here. I wanted 1000 yds but got a little carried away. It was 21 hours old. Theo tracked this like it was his UBT I. I’ve been very systematic with my training with Theo. I’ve repeated exercises to make sure the first one wasn’t a fluke before I’ve advanced him. This line was the biggest jump as far as age and length.

At this age his concentration and natural ability continue to amaze me.

He will track live deer when the opportunity arises. I will work on this, as he gets older. I’m looking forward to tracking with him this fall. I will have no problem taking him in the woods to track for a hunter.

Red line shows the line that Darren put out, yellow color shows the way Theo moved.

Real Tracking

On Sunday evening Darren shot a average size doe and she only went 100 yds but very quickly. In his own words: "The arrow hit high on the right side but the angle was steep and the broadhead exited nicely but the arrow stayed in. I found some blood right away so I went home to get Theo. Home wasn't far and it only took 20 minutes round trip. There were 8 deer total there where I shot. I knew there would be plenty of distraction there when we got back. I started Theo and he started searching around. He found blood and once he got the beginning worked out where all the other deer were, he tracked right to the deer. It wasn't a hard track, and he was surprised when he got to the deer. He didn't know what to make of it. I put Theo up and brought the deer out whole on a cart. I gutted it by the out buildings with Theo watching. Buy the time we were done and he had a taste of warm liver and belly meat, he was looking at the deer in a different way. A couple more of these and he'll realize were tracking for food."
Theo's first find.

1 comment:

Lindsjö taxar said...

Congrats very much!!! Very talented...interesting reading