Who out there knows the article game? As you know, I got my tracking certification last winter and need to get a spot in, and pass my Tracking Dog Test the end of October or it is back to square one. I’m not into tracking like Bailie, but I can do it if I have to. Lately, though, I’ve quit stopping when I find an article and that is a serious issue.
Besides being able to follow the track, a dog needs to stop and alert the human to the end article or the team will fail. In the past I sometimes stopped, but lately, I cruise right by. Mom and Bailie went to a tracking seminar in the summer where one thing they learned was the article game. Bailie always stops, so they haven’t played the game, but Mom thought it might be a good idea for me.
In a tracking dog test, the article is cloth or a leather glove. Mom has a bag of articles so she chooses eight or ten different ones, scents them, and tosses them about. To scent articles, she simply stuffs them in her shirt against her skin for a few minutes and they are ready to go. We have old socks, pieces of cloth, bandanas, and gloves in our “collection”.
The object of the game is not to track, as the articles are tossed out, it is to teach me to lie down when I come upon an article. We started by Mom saying down when I came to an article. Once I was down, I got major treats served on the article. This was done a few times, then I was allowed to come upon articles and figure out on my own I needed to do a “down” to get my treats.
It didn’t take long until I figured out the system – article, down, treats. Pretty simple!
Whether I lie down next to, on top of, in front of, or behind the article, it does not matter. The point is to lie down near the article so Mom can catch up to me and see the article to show the judges we have found it. You can also play this game indoors if there is bad weather. We dogs think the article game is a lot of fun to play.
Why am I smirking? Because I have this article game figured out and when I run tracks, I am super excited to find articles and do my down for them…but…now I have stopped doing turns! I like to keep my mom on her toes. I wonder what game she will come up with to fix my turning issue!