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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Darren and Theo resume training on artificial lines

Darren Doran's Theo von Moosbach-Zuzelek is a full brother to our Sky and Tuesday. He was nine months old on January 6, and at 19.6 lbs he has a perfect weight and size. Darren is very happy with Theo, and recently he has shared his training experience with us. Thank you Darren!

Training Line

Training line was 880 yards made with tracking shoes with doe feet and tarsal gland. 3 oz of blood were used and all materials were from the same deer. The training line was put out while I was wearing Elimitrax over-boots for added scent control. Blood was put every 10 to 20 steps. There was a 70 yd power line crossing and numerous 90-degree turns. Some turns had a blood squirt at them, some were just made walking with the shoes, and some had an article of skin and hair left at them. There was one wound bed with hair and extra blood in it.

 Training Goal      

The goal of this line was to work on asking commands “is that right”, “find the blood”, “get back on the line”, “is that it you got it”. I wanted to also wanted to observe Theo’s check work and see how it was progressing. I was tracking with the 50ft fishing line and had decided to follow Theo (with in reason) with out stopping his progress on the track to see how he would work and correct. I also wanted to look for signs of adolescence.

Actual Line

The line was 20 hrs old and ran at about 11am. There was a skiff of snow overnight but by the time I was able to run the line it had melted. The ground was not frozen and the vegetation and forest floor was wet from the snowmelt. Blood found at the hit site and wound bed was puddled up in the leaves.

Theo started a little rough. We train in areas with a heavy deer population, and I saw deer putting out the line, and I think he was on fresh deer. I really wanted to get out there while the snow was on the ground. It wasn’t enough to hinder the tracking, but it would have showed fresh deer tracks nicely. He was paralleling the line and I let him go about 100 yds until he passed the first turn and it was apparent he hadn’t locked on to the track. I picked him up and brought him back to the hit site. I held him there and let him smell the hair and blood. This time he started better and was over the line. He wanted to drift off again before the first turn and I asked him “is that right” he looked at me but kept going. I then said very sternly “get back on the line and get to work”. He quit following the wrong line and came back to the blood track and made the turn.

We then tracked to the power line. The line angled across it, and Theo had no problems with it.  As soon as we got in the woods the line made a 90. Theo tracked past the turn about 10 yds before he started to circle. As he was coming back to the line towards the turn, 3 deer busted out in front of us and ran right across the line about 70 yds from where we were. Theo didn’t see them but I expected some problems from them very shortly, and of course they ran into the wind and their scent would be blowing back to us for a while.

By this time Theo was locked into the track. He tracked right to the wound bed and stopped for a second to sniff the skin and hair article. He continued on to the next turn, which he made very easily. We were now on the straightaway headed to a turn by where the deer had crossed. As we got near the spot, Theo wanted to track backwards the way the deer came from. I let him go a little, then he just circled left then right and came back towards the line. I could tell that he could air scent the deer as he lifted his head a few times but he continued to search and he hit the line after the turn and tracked like nothing was bothering him. He never opened or showed the interest in the deer that I thought he would.

The next turn had a skin and hair article in it. He tracked to and made the turn perfectly, and crossed a woods road to the next turn. This turn was just a walking turn and blood was about 10 steps past the turn. Theo tracked past it but checked in a few yds and made the turn. This part of the line was in tops blown down from Sandy and another good deer hangout. Theo tracked fine to the last turn that paralleled the power line. This area was kind of brushy. Theo made the turn and at this point the wind was quartering from Theo’s front right shoulder to his left hindquarter. He was on the downwind side of the line slightly and tracked past the skin then did a hard 90 to it and got his meat reward.


Theo tracked this line very well. I forgot my phone so I don’t know how long it took. I would say that he has not entered adolescence yet. The entire time on this line whenever Theo would hit the breaks and bury his nose on the line I would ask him “You got it? Is that it?” and when he would resume tracking down the line I would praise him hard. I believe the places where he buried his nose were blood squirts, and it was confirming to him he was right and it gave him more confidence on the track. 

I’m going to continue this type of training. I think using all the same parts from the same deer along with the tracking shoes with minimal blood is accelerating Theo’s training. Most of my tracks this year have had minimal blood so this is a good thing.


Lindsjö taxar said...

How interesting!!!
Thanks for linking. If I can show you how we work with our dogs its great.
This weekend it will be to cold to go hunting...we only have to end January to go with them. I think I have to get the last first price for Ayla in Oct -Nov. Its to much snow now.
I will probably start as a trainee for blood tracking judge.
I have trained my on dogs for at least 25 years so I will have the knowledge.
They need new ones in the Dachshunds club. And I am also got into the board of dachshunds club in our area.
They called and got my name recommended from several persons....Im´m flattered

Andy Bensing said...

Good write up. I wish more people would submit details of how they train so we can all share ideas.

I especially liked the Map ;-)

Jolanta Jeanneney said...

Congratulations on being recognized for your work with dachshunds!

Jolanta Jeanneney said...

I suspect that very few people are as serious about training as you are :)