If you follow my blog, you would know Bailie has had some issues with focus in nose work and tracking and had failed her TD test twice this past spring. The third time was the charm at Kinnickinnic State Park in Wisconsin. She not only passed the test, she ran her track like a text book tutorial on how to track! Mom says she couldn’t believe it was Bailie on the other end of the leash!
This is her actual track map. There are two judges and each fills out this map form. A TD track is 440-500 yards long, has 3-5 right angle or open angle turns, a start and an end article. There are all sorts of things that go into laying and running a track but I won’t go into all of them now. The track was 455 yards long with three right angle and one open angle turn. Bailie ran the track in a super fast five minutes.
5 reasons Bailie passed her TD Test
Mom and Bailie had tried this test thing twice. The first time they really had no idea how it worked, the second time they had the system down but Bailie had no motivation. Now their third time, they knew what to expect and Mom knew better how to motivate Bailie.
2. Ideal Conditions
The weather and track conditions were ideal that weekend. After a long dry spell, there was a lot of rain and wind on Friday. Saturday when the track was plotted and laid, the rain had stopped and the wind was dying down. The weather was also cool. The dampness and cool temps, with no wind helped keep the scent on the track really well for Bailie’s run on Sunday morning.
3. Home Field Advantage
Kinnickinnic State Park in Wisconsin is only about forty five minutes from our house. There was no travel time, no overnight in a hotel, life stayed in our normal routine. Being local, Mom also knew many of the people at the test which provides a comforting feeling.
4. A Training Buddy
In August, Mom and Bailie started training with a friend and her dog. They tracked together once a week and it made a big difference. Tracking is a solitary sport, but with a buddy, there is someone there to offer advice, help you find ways to make tracking more fun, and not tracking alone is simply more fun. They were thrilled their tracking buddies Kristi and her PWD Hydro also passed their TD test on the same day. Bailie and Mom were the first track, their buddies were the fourth.
5. A Revamped Reward System
I’m a dog who loves to work, but Bailie only works if it is worth it for her to work. By the time spring rolled around, she had lost most of her motivation to track with Mom and her nose work motivation was spotty. Mom was at a loss. Thankfully, between the new tracking buddy, and some great training instructors the past couple of months, Bailie has her motivation back and is working like a machine. Stop by next Friday where I will be talking about rewarding, motivation, and training, sharing our secrets which are paying off big!
It was a great day for tracking. Six of the nine dogs entered in the test passed! Mom and I couldn’t be more proud of our Ethos Irish Cream CGC, TD, aka Bailie! When you pass your test, you get to keep the end article and it is customary for the track layer and judges to sign it for you.
I’m co hosting the FitDog Friday Blog Hop with SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love! Please join us on Fridays to share your fitness stories with others, find new ways to have fun, and new fitness ideas too! Tell your friends to stop by as well – fit dogs are healthier, happier dogs!