I have read your book twice. I am blown away by the simplicity and logic of your method. All the difficult areas of tracking are really anticipated and “cured” before they occur! It even addresses one of the biggest tracking problems we have in the Southern U.S. – fire ants, which swarm on the food on the track, turning a reward into a punishment.
Since the dog starts out tracking for articles – no ants, no bites, no problem! I also applaud your detailed explanation on how to introduce and train with a remote collar. I know I need to use some sort of stim to get faster response and greater attention in other areas, but was not sure how one goes about educating the dog in the new communication system.
In that vein, some of your most insightful words are found on pages 14 and 15. When I reread them, I realized they are not only aimed at those of us who have preconceived ideas of how something should be done, but can just as easily apply to the canine/human communication. Dogs who haven’t been taught what the stim means and how the system works, cannot be expected to comply. Upping the voltage in hopes of compliance is like speaking progressively louder English to a non English speaker. He may eventually stumble upon what you want, but chances are he would not respond correctly the next time he heard those words. In short, he still didn’t understand what you were saying. Eventually learning will occur, but how much stress could have been avoided by an attempt to communicate better.
I suspect your book may be pooh poohed by many members of the schutzhund community – not because of the e collars, which they use (some heinously, some appropriately)
As for my dog, I actually performed your various tests to insure that she knows what she is tracking. She is having some trouble with the hour old track, which I have been walking rather than scuffing. She veers off occasionally, but comes right back. I can tell she is working and she corrects herself. I think I let her build up steam before telling her to slow (handler error) and that is causing mistakes.
With the weaker ground disturbance odor, she has got to work a bit harder. I am just so unused to speed being a problem with this dog. I know we will get this, though.
Ps…Just got back from tracking an hour aged Sch 3 track – she nailed it even through puddles. So much fun!
Thanks for your good work