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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'm interested in trying tracking with one of my basset hounds. I've done some research on the internet, but haven't been able to find something very despriptive and beginner oriented - for instance, the sources use words like "glove" but don't explain what they mean. They talk about laying track, but don't explain who lays the track in competition and how to get a dog started on a track - although they mention something about a "plate."

Anyway, if anyone knows a good resource - and even better - if anyone lives in the Baltimore, MD area and knows tracking groups out here, I would love to hear about it.

A quick sidebar: Both my bassets especially love tracking live bunnies (which I know is not how it works in competition). The other day, I found a bunny my cat had brought into the house stuffed into the corner of an armchair. Cute.

Thanks so much,
Susan O.
 

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Hi All,

I'm interested in trying tracking with one of my basset hounds.

We've been tracking for about 6 months, but I've had to quit temporarily due to a leg injury and to the fact that you can' track much anyway in California in the summer--rattlesnakes and fox tails. However, it's great fun, and the bassets just love it. There are people on this forum who've gotten tracking titles with their dogs, and they are in a better position to advise you than I am. The one book I have is 'Thinking from the Ground Up' by Ganz and Boyd, but I've never used it much. Your best bet is to find a tracking instructor or class to get you started. I'd contact the closest dog training club, and see who they know or recommend. Even though most of them will probably do obedience training, rather than tracking, usually there are a few members who track. They might also be able to steer you to a tracking association near you. Good luck!
 

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I start my beginners on a 6 ft. leash and buckle collar. When they have a good understanding of the basic idea, I move to a harness and longer tracking line.

Teaching is pretty straightforward. I use food--good smelly stuff like hotdogs, cheese, or liver treats. I rub a bit on the toes of my shoes, take baby steps and put a little piece of food down every step or two to start. You want to lay your starter tracks in short, straight lines or very gentle curves to begin with, and they don't need to be more than 20-50 steps long. At the end of the track, you want to lay an article (glove, sock, etc.,) and put food in it, on top of it, and underneath it. Finding this article is the goal. Put a marker, like a sprinkler flag at the start of the track and at the end, and as your tracks get longer, put a flag or two along the track, so you'll know where it is. Also when you return to the dog, arc around and give the fresh track a wide berth; don't cross over it.

You'll need to figure out what to do with the dog while you lay her tracks; consider leaving her in the car or having someone hold her. Having someone hold her near the start works well to get her revved up.

As the dog progresses, tracks get longer, turns are introduced, age and more turns are added. The food also gets faded.

Here are some excellent articles by Craig Greene, longtime basset owner and tracking judge.

Craig Green's Tracking Articles

Here are some other references that are usually available through vendors like Dogwise or 4-M Dog Books

Tracking from the Ground Up, Sandy Ganz and Sue Boyd (another Basset person and tracking judge)

Enthusiastic Tracking: The Step-by-Step Training Handbook, Sil Saunders

Bring Your Nose Over Here, Wentworth Brown--hard to find, but worth the effort. Various obedience and tracking clubs have copies for sale.

You can also subscribe to the Tracking_Dog e-mail list.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
THANK YOU!!!!!

You guys are great. I'm going take your suggestions and start playing around with it. I will the articles/books you all recommended, sign up for that email list and also talk to a trainer in Maryland - I think this is going to be fun.

I appreciate your help.

Susan O., Guther & Belle (the bunny tracker)
 

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I have but that was with my previous bassets.
It was great fun for both me and the hound, nothing tires them like following tracks.

I used to go out with a bucket of blood and a stick with a spunge on it, and laid the
track. At the end there was beef; a real incentive. After a couple of hours I
brought out the hound.

You and your hound will have so much fun. After all this is what bassets are made
for. I don't know what kind of tracking your interested in, so I don't have much
actual information to give you as it seem like it is not tracking for injured game your
talking about.
 

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Ruby used to stalk flies.....and if I say, "go find the bug", she'll literally sniff all over the yard for it. I know it's not the same thing.....but she's real good and finding things, "Ruby....find the sock" (that I've hidden in the yard).

I guess she could learn to actually track. One of my neighbors in Florida, when we lived here, had a hound mix who used to track and said Ruby would be a perfect candidate.

I've never done it with Ruby tho.

Janice
 

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I'm also interested in training my basset to track. He's only 3 months old so I have some time for reading up on the subject. I tried hunting with my last basset, but we both had more fun playing than hunting. I went to a basset clubs field trials in California last fall, everyone there was friendly and helpful with info. Look up AKC rules and regs, they have all the information, but I'm lost as well on some of the terms. The Potomoc Basset Hound Club has a good website if thats any help.
 
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