Saturday, May 2, 2009

A walk in the fields and woods with Ola - upbringing of a young blood tracking dog

Ola is 15 weeks old now, and she is a nice, promising puppy. We hope that we can develop her into a good blood tracker. However, the training of a blood tracking dog requires much more than working her on artificial blood lines.

At her age she needs a great deal of socialization and exposure to the outdoors. As a blood tracking dog she will have to travel well in a car and be comfortable around strangers. Also she will track in unfamiliar places, sometimes in a very thick, punishing cover. She will have to be able to handle cold and wet conditions, go through swamps, cross creeks and streams. So now, is a good time to take her for walks in the woods and fields. These walks, of course, should not be physically too demanding.

Today we had a lot of fun during our pretty long but easy walk. Ola was fascinated by the scent left by wildlife, especially rabbits and turkeys. She handled very well - she ranged and investigated all the new scents, yet she was very obedient and always came to me when called. It was a good bonding experience too. For owners of many dogs it is not easy to spend time with each of them individually. But for a young dog it is critical that she develops her own identity and independence.

It is a big world out there!

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