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Litter Tracking Imprinting

tracking dog I take my litters out in the yard in an ex pen when they are 4-5 weeks old, and let them see me take their food dish with me. I plant a flag, stomp a little " scent pad," and dribble kibble around. Then I scuff my feet and walk through the grass , laying a simple "track," about 40- 50 feet long, dribbling food as I go, and place a pile of kibble at the end. The puppies are very excited by all this activity, and before I let them out, I return to the " start" and drop some more food. ( Otherwise they would likely run to the last place the saw me.) I talk them up " Want to track? Want to find it? And then I open the floodgates and lead the furry swarm to the flag with a " Let's Suuuuuuuuuuuuuch!" I leave them to their business and watch which ones seem most intense and which ones wander off. I especially note which ones stay the longest and which ones return hours later to search the same track. When this is the same puppy, I know I have a star.( Note to Peter M.: Your Nadya was this puppy) After just a few days of this, I actually start throwing in a gentle turn and watch as the little ones figure it out and find their food. What I end up with is a bunch of strongly imprinted puppies who love to track. Franz does this too, and when I saw how [his] 7 month old "Harry," was intense and calm in his 5-600 pace tracks with turns, I realized its a universally good idea. " - Julia Priest


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