I’ve started working turns with Ian. Now comes the interesting part of tracking – reading the dog. Ian is very clear when he loses scent, and he does a good job of searching. However, I’m having a hard time figuring out when he finds the new leg. He pulls in the direction of the new track, but he’s about 30 degrees off the line. I don’t go because he’s not correct. Twice now he after going through this search process, pulling me a couple of times in the “not quite but close” direction he comes near me and stands and stops working. At this point I ask him where his track is and take one step in the direction of the track. He immediately drops his head right on the track and tracks off. This indicates to me that he knows exactly where it was, but stopped working because I didn’t follow. But both times he indicated a line in a direction 30 degrees off the track. I’m wondering if he’s fringing a little due to wind (I’ll have to consider the wind direction next time to watch for that). This is just something odd that we’re going to have to work out.
The second odd thing is his flinging himself versus tracking nicely. The last several times we’ve tracked has been taller cover, and he’s been a little wild again. However, Sunday morning we tracked on short cut grass (the lawn of a school near the tracking test so a totally new field for him). He tracked like a dream with his nose down and really working. The only difference was the location and the change in cover. Hummmm, something else to think about!