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Categories: Police or S&R Tracking

Q. I have your Tracking Thru Drive video. I went out 100 yards and hid, my dog went crazy to find me as I left him. Was this correct?

Just had a couple of tracking questions/comments. I recently purchased your Tracking Through Drive Level 1 tape and have started watching it and doing some of the basics (handler laid tracks)....and boy, have I already come under serious scrutiny over doing it differently then our trainer does it. I started doing the actual exercises today by having someone hold onto Remco while I ran away, calling him and teasing him as he went crazy. I went straight out then hid behind a tree about 100 yds out. The officer that helped me proceeded to tell me that I went out too far, that I only should've went about 25 feet, and that I should start by having someone ground in several steps about 25 feet out then drop a toy for him at the end, and continually point to the ground as his is making his way to the ground so he keeps his nose straight down. Needless to say, many of the tracks that our canines do are generally right on, but by the time they find where the bad guy went to he is already long gone. Anyway, the question that I have is this: Should I use the same toy every time he finds me or the helper at the end of the track? My dog will go crazy over anything...ball, tug, sleeve, rope, etc... Today we used the tug, but I just am wondering if I should stick with that all the time or is it ok to switch it up? Thanks.


A. I have this saying:

You need to be careful about who you listen to on training your dog. “Everyone has an opinion on how to train your dog – just ask your mailman, your neighbor, your hair dresser or barber, or your best friend – the problem is that very few people have the experience to back up their opinions which results in a lot of bad information being handed out”

Your friend falls into this category.

The fact is if you are working a dog that 12 months old you should have gone out to 500 to 600 yards. If you review the video I believe you will see that this is the distance I recommend.

So my first advice is to stick with the training protocol in the DVD – the RCMP have been at this a little longer than your department.

What you use as a prey item is not important as long as the dog likes it.

I don’t know if you have the DVD on HOW TO LAY A TRAINING TRACK. If you don't have it you should get it. The training will progress at a much faster pace if the tracklayer knows what he is doing. There is a great deal that goes into laying a training track.
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This video was done with the RCMP in Canada. In it we train a dog to track in a suburban and urban environment. In Level 1 Tracking (Video 205) we taught the dog to track in the country. The reason all police dogs must first learn to track in the country is because the country is relatively distraction free. We actually teach the dog to track in the country and then use a large part of that work to train in Level II & III teaching the dog to deal with the distractions of the city.

Training Tracking Dogs for Police S&R
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This video was filmed in Alberta, Canada at the police dog training center for the RCMP. The RCMP instructors are the best tracking dog instructors in the world. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) catch 45% to 50% of all the people they track (this includes suburban and urban tracking). If a suspect runs in the country, they catch 95% of them. If you are a K-9 officer who trains his service dog with food & a ball you know that you only catch 3% or 4% of the people you track.

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This Nylon Search and Rescue harness is made from 2 inch wide webbing with highly visible blaze orange attached webbing and reflective tape that covers both sides of the harness. This search and rescue harness is lightweight with a 2 inch side release buckle and adjusting slide. The Harness will fit a girth from 30 to 37 inches. This harness is highly visible by day with the blaze orange webbing and by night with the reflective webbing.

Option 1:

25% off Training Your Sport Puppy DVDs, streams, and courses good through Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT