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Blood tracking
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    This weekend Juni and I have tried blood tracking.
    To be honest, we tried it once before when she was around a year old but at that time she didn't understand it at all and just ran around being goofy and playing. After that we have done some regular tracking which she really enjoys, so I thought I'd give blood tracking a go again. It has been a perfect spring weekend with wonderful weather to be outdoors. And she did super good, I am so proud of her!
    We used regular plastic bottles filled with cow blood, then a leg of a deer. You drag the leg, tied to a string, while you walk a straight line and as beginners you drip a bit of blood for every step you take, at the end you hide the leg under a tree. The dogs should mark when they find the leg. The dogs follow both the scent from the blood and the scent from the deer hoof. Yesterday we only did around 50-70 meters and a straight line. Today we introduced corners which is a 90 degree angle in the track and did roughly 100 meter tracks. Next weekend we will do longer tracks.
    You can take a test and get a diploma and then you do a 600 meter track. When you practice you always mark with clothes pegs with plastic strings attached where you walked and where you do corners but in the test nothing is marked for you so you have to trust the dog to know what he/she is doing. You have to walk at least 5 meters behind the dog.
    I would love to try and do the test. After the test you can start compete and you can also take additional classes and become a team that can be called in to track traffic injured animals that need to be put down quickly and humanely. (Luckily you team up with hunters because I wouldn't be able to kill the animal myself...). I guess I am a bit ahead of myself but I get a bit carried away when I finally found an activity Juni enjoys and is good at.

    The teacher said Juni was very accurate in her tracking and she is the only shiba she has trained that hasn't cared about the people and dogs behind her when tracking and she thought we were a great team that cooperated well (not sure what the cooperation was, I was just busy walking 5 meters behind and trying not to disturb her...).

    Anyways, we had a great weekend and I think nose work activities really suit Shibas so I can definitely recommend you guys to try it.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    @ Juni: I am not surprised that a Shiba would do so well when the put their mind to it.

    For anyone out there in the U.S. though, check with your local DNR, not every state allows it. Blood tracking legislation varies from state to state and often requires a permit (on or off leash).


  • lbuebellbuebel
    Posts: 98
    That is so cool! I wish we could do this here in Brazil, but I'm afraid a concrete jungle wouldn't be the best place to try lol :P

    Maybe when I travel? ;) Congratulations!
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    We used blood that is classified fit for human consumtion and then no permits are neccessary. If you use other types that are classified as waste products like blood powder mix you do need a permit from the Agricultural Dept.

    I also did not want to encourage people to go out on their own but to take classes with a qualified trainer, who besides knowing rules and regulations regarding the blood, will be able to explain what your dog does and why. For example Juni walked a pretty big half circle away from the track. To me it looked like she lost the scent but the trainer said it indicates she is very thorough and want to make sure she is doing it right. The trainer told me next time she will go more straight on. And she did.
    Post edited by Juni at 2014-03-10 01:36:14
  • That's an interesting way to enrich your Shiba's life and give them the opportunity to taste the hunting life they were bred for.

    I know that tracking injured animals is a long way off, but please desensitize Juni to the sound of gunfire before going out with a hunter. That loud bang can come as a heck of a surprise, especially if it comes from the direction of a stranger (the hunter).
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Oh yeah that is way ahead of our capacity and may never happen at all. Juni is afraid of fireworks so I know to be aware of that. But walking past shooting ranges has not scared her the same way so it could be possible to desensitize her.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Last weekend Juni didn't do so well tracking, she kept stopping, came back to me for reassurance, scratching me and whining, got distracted by everything, one big snowflake landing on her back made her jump...!
    The teacher thought she had a "shiba day".
    Slowly she did the whole tracks and the difficulties (back tracking, turns and the pause in tracks) she did just fine with. But for some reason she was not in to it.

    So we haven't practised at all this week so she would get a break from it. Today the teacher had done a long track for us. And Juni did it in turbo speed, I could barely keep up with her. she was so good, I was so proud of my little girl.
    Then all of a sudden she spotted some animal in the woods and wanted to run after that instead. But I managed to get her back to tracking and that is when the teacher noticed the deer leg she had hidden was gone! So Juni probably saw a fox or a badger running off with her deer leg!!! What are the odds?

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