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Long time, no see! We’ve been pretty busy around here…two herding clinics, a 15th birthday, Turkey Day, local obedience trial and this weekend I’m laying 2 tracks for our local fall test. *whew*

Joe, Mesa & I have been trying to do a lot of tracking…

Mesa’s bugaboo has been adding length. She could do a track as complicated as you please, but throw in a 100yd leg or go over 250 total…nope. I’ve been working very hard to make her love going long. It seems to be working. She did her very first regulation length track about a week & a half ago. I don’t see us being ready to certify soon though.

Joe is learning to follow tracks aged to TDX duration (3.5 – 5 hrs). He did his first 2.5 hr track today. He already knows one flag starts, multiple articles, has worked with roads, some non-grass surfaces, and drastic changes of cover. Length never bothered him, it’s just a matter of conditioning and air temperature. His bugaboo was always deigning to notice articles, but he’s been giving me a rock solid stop lately (even a quick one is very obvious through the line) and has been throwing in a down or retrieve about half the time. I tried to teach him a down on the article, but it’s beginning to look like a retrieve might get us farther. I think it’s a bad choice for VST work, I’m cool with anything that gets him excited about stopping and showing me the article.

My bugaboo is trying to fit tracking with two dogs into my very short days. I’m finally learning to read Mesa. That’s gotten us farther than anything else. She is an air scenter (alway finds the articles, but cuts corners) with a long history of faking the track if the leg, or whole track, got ‘too long’. Working Joe has helped me learn her more subtle signs and I just don’t move unless she’s tracking for real….or, at least I try. 🙂

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