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Why I choose Tracking for my new puppy!


Knowing that choosing to get myself a working line German Shepherd puppy I knew she would need to be kept busy, but how do you keep a puppy who you cannot walk for any length of time? 


Get them using their nose!


Any Scent Sports such as Tracking, Scent Detection or Mantrailing where you are engaging your puppies nose is and brain over physical simulation such as running around is going to be far more beneficial to your puppy not just short term but long term. Puppies need restricted exercise so they don't damage their bones and muscles, the problem is their brains need training to really tire them out and stop them being tiny sharks - especially a puppy GSD…Doing loads of general training (such as obedience style) is good and should be done for every puppy, but we can tire them out in a way that uses their natural instincts. 


For me I choose to do Tracking as my sport of choice for the puppy. 


Tracking gives them the mental stimulation to keep them happy but you are also almost more importantly getting them out and about, all while giving them a ‘job’ to keep them focused. It is always reward based training and tailored to the puppies preferences as we use food and toys as a reward, and as an added bonus it is always on lead so the puppy can't run off. It is always fun! It involves them using their natural ability to search for rewards to find a the jackpot - even better you do not need anyone else for the foundations of Tracking.


Tracking is also a low impact sport unlike sports such as Agility or Flyball, with the added bonus that you can start as soon as your puppy is fully vaccinated. 


Foundations!


We all know how important foundations in any training are important and I wanted to take advantage of how quickly puppies learn with doing Tracking and Scent Detection over teaching “sit’ & “down” this allowed me to spend more time working with her doing super fun training with the foundation work, the bonus was of course a tied puppy. I often get asked how has Raven been as a puppy… my response is always something like “she been super easy and sleeps most the time” wouldn’t you like that?


Raven now of course has now been taught all the “basic” cues that most people teach their puppies, I just prioritised scent training over these…


Proof is in the pudding as they say and Me and Raven passed our Foundation UKTDA Foundation Assessment, she was just over six months old when taking this assessment (dogs must be six months old to take the assessment).



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