Tracking season is short in California-it runs from November to early April. Afterwards it is too hot and dry to do anything but lawn work. Echo has really come along way in a short time. We have been out tracking probably every other weekend since December. She is almost ready to certify. Her weakest area-and true for all my dogs-is article indication. Most trackers ask their dog to lay down or sit over the glove. Since a greyhound rarely will offer this behavior out in a field I have always just asked them to stop and stand over it. This is not a particularly strong indication and easy to miss. I decided with Whisper and Echo I would ask them to paw it or pick it up. I use the "touch" command to shape the behavior. Below is Echo learning the basics of article indication. You can tell by her behavior the glove is not a big treat-yet. Touch Treat is done over and over again-it is a good exercise to practice in the house.
After learning the glove will provide a reward we move out into the field to track. This a 32 minute old track with some but not much food on the track. Although the track layer has marked the turns and is giving me advice of what the track does, Echo is not getting any help from me to indicate which way to go. She is telling me the direction the track goes. Her turns are excellent and her desire to track is very good. Now we just have a run a blind track or two and get better article indication and she will be ready to certify for a tracking test.