Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More tracking by Page

On Tuesday I laid a track here at home for Page. The track was 200 yards long. The first two legs were 50 yards to left turns, then the last leg was 100 yards and we crossed my gravel driveway at 70 yards. The track was on short grass and it was aged 1.5 hours when we ran it. It was cloudy and 67 degrees with a light 8 mph wind.

Page started strong, even with the age of the track being twice what she ran the day before. She did a lot of casting on the first and second leg. I think this had more to do with the short grass and the wind than the age. She has been tracking in heavy cover, so the short grass was new to her and I expected to see a difference.

Both of Page's turns were lovely. She also handled the gravel driveway extremely well. She only gave a short pause at the transition and then nose down tracked across the driveway. I was especially pleased with her nose touch and down at the article when it had no kibble in it.

Today we did some field training with Steve, Janet and Sheree. I asked Janet if she would lay Page a track since Page has never tracked anyone but me. Janet was a real trooper and laid a lovely track with 4 turns and approximately 250-300 yards. We went down a hill to set up marks while Janet was laying this track, so it was also a blind track for me.

About 2 hours later, we returned to to run the track. This was the most age Page has done to date, and she's never tracked someone else. Add in that it was a blind track for me, and I didn't know what we'd have. The good news was that the track was in pretty high cover (up to my thighs) and it had rained while the track aged.

I've said that Page doesn't have the best starts, but now I'm rethinking that. Page has good starts; they just aren't what I'm used to. Donna told me when Bizzy is working field, she'll mark and seem to say to Donna, "I got it! Send me!" Now I think I know what that looks like by Page's tracking starts. When I've asked her to sniff the start article or lay down at the start, her attitude is, "No, I got it! Let me go!" and she seems to dismiss me. So I've let her go with that kind of start. And you know what, she does have it!

I brought Page up from the side about 3 feet behind the start flag. I pointed to the start article, a stuffed animal, and she sniffed it. Her body posture was slightly different like, "What the heck? This is odd." She started off and I let the line out, but then she circled to the left almost immediately. I let her go and work it out. She circled all the way back behind me and picked up the track there. She passed me, sniffed the based of the start flag again, and then almost seemed to shrug and say, "Well, this is different from the other times I've tracked so Mom must have lost her mind, but I'll play along" and off she went!

From the start, Page never missed a step in her tracking style. She tracked strong on the first leg. In the tall grass I had a good idea where the track went because I could see it even after 2 hours. However, when her head came up and she went left, I stopped dead. I was a little confused because the track looked like it went on straight; but sure enough I turned to my left and saw a path in the grass. I was standing on the first turn. Page overshot it by 25 ft., but she knew it and was working back to the turn.

Once on the new leg, it was nose down tracking again. She read the second and third turn much more quickly. On the fourth leg we started coming out of the heavy cover, and the fourth turn was in a roadway of grass much shorter than the surrounding cover.

This last leg of the track was very long. Page stopped about halfway up and investigated something in the grass. I called to Janet and asked her if that was the glove. She said no, it was farther on up. I told Page to track, and she did but came back to this spot. Finally I saw her eating something, and I realized she was eating rabbit poop. YUCK!! I told her to leave it and track, and she did. Several more yards and she found the glove. Page sniffed it and her tail went 100 mph and she stood over it, but she didn't do a down on the article.

This was an awesome track for Page. I am so pleased to have her track someone else and not miss a beat. And nearly 2 hours of age and a blind track was an added bonus!

No comments: