Dog trains man

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Viva the Tracking Dog Against All Odds

Who said a 7 year old dog that never has tracked before, and is fighting with serious health issues like spondylosis, cushing's disease, allergies and a fear complex, cannot track?

Viva is becoming quite an excellent tracker and Kenzo is getting some serious competition.

Viva has great focus on the track and there is not a lot that can distract her when she is tracking. What I love so much about tracking with both Kenzo & Viva is their different style.

Viva has a determinant style. When we trained cross tracks today - a "fake" track crossing the track I want her to follow - you can see that very clear. When she realizes she is distracted by the cross track, she makes an abrupt turn with her head and snorts, like if she is annoyed she has let herself get distracted! Here is a video of that - although it is difficult to actually hear the snorting part so you have to trust me on that:

Pretty impressive if you ask me! When we train cross tracks I lay treats directly after the cross so there is a reward when they follow the right track, or when they return on it after being distracted. Viva is an easy student.


  1. Viva looks like a quick study to me! I love seeing dogs use their different styles to do things. It's part of the fun!

  2. We expect dogs to fit into our worlds so much of the time. It's wonderful to see them getting a chance to do something that only they can do--follow a scent.

    It looks like Viva enjoys having a "job." I'm so glad to see you've given her a chance to enjoy tracking despite her health challenges.

    Yay Viva!

  3. "Old" dog? Check. New tricks? Check. Piece of cake.

    I'm very proud of her! Such a pretty girl, too!

  4. This reminds me of a time when I tried to convince my Peruvian shelter workers that one of our dogs, that had a lot of border collie in her, would instinctively round up the puppies and get them into their kennels. When I tried to demonstrate, the dog, Pelusa, ran away from me and straight into her kennel. My employees still laugh about that! Good for Viva!

  5. We are believers in what old dogs can do! We are glad that Viva is showing so much interest!


  6. Old dogs really can learn new tricks! I think it is great that you are training Viva to track. Tacking is a gentle enough exercise for her to do and it gives Viva something to "think" about.

    You video made me smile :D

  7. She looks so happy! It's wonderful what you two are doing together. Thank goodness for our dogs - they'll keep us young. =)

  8. Leo - This was totally awesome! You're right. She IS more methodical in her tracking. You an tell she loves it. How cool that she should take it up at her age and find it so rewarding. Now I am really itching to try this with Daisy. If Viva, with all she's got going on with her, can do it, then so can Daisy!

    I do have some questions about the cross track. Does it go very far off the main track? Or do you just step slightly to the side to create it.
    I'm so proud of Viva!


Blogger Template Created by pipdig