A new journey begins… training plans and goals

Jet sunset
How did it happen that Jet has become my ‘old retired girl?’ It seems like yesterday that I was tracking with her constantly, dreaming of future titles. When you love tracking, it can be like a circle of beginnings and endings.

Tonight as I was out tracking, I thought a lot about how a journey seems to close with one dog, and a new one begins with another. It was a bittersweet feeling. I am excited to track with Ben now, but after working so hard with Caden, I find it hard to let go of working with him… I don’t want that journey to end! I gave a lot of thought to what’s next. Here is a description of the evening and my goals for the coming year.

Tracking Champion Caden von der Kleinen Wiese

Caden end of track
Caden at the end of the track tonight – he re-ran Ben’s track! It was fun.

I wanted Caden to finish his advanced titles so badly! He did it, and I am so glad. He’s going to be 8, and Ben needs more attention. But… today, I had time to take Ben out to do an urban track, and I felt like a traitor not doing anything with Caden. I think I will keep Caden’s skills strong, so that I can enter him in tests to support tests that don’t fill. He is such a joy to follow on a track. After I ran Ben, I took Caden out and let him re-run the track to the final glove, which we left for him. He ran it with such intensity. He has no idea about training or tests. He just loves to work.

Here is a link to Caden’s 2 minute rerun of Ben’s track!

Spiritdance Blackthorn Ben TD – son of Jet and Ted

Ben end of track
Ben indicates his final article tonight after a wonderful non-veg turn!

In 2013-14 I regularly did urban tracks with Ben. This year, I decided to just focus on his field tracking and footstep work, offering him all kinds of scenarios to ensure he was solid. Now I can do urban again and he has not forgotten it at all! I believe the confidence on the field carries over to urban tracking. Tonight he did a 45 minute old track that was about 250 metres, with 3 leather articles. He did this so well!

His turn is on a crack with weeds which I crushed under my runners – and it helped him to make a very confident non-veg turn. I think we will be ready for UTD next spring. Ben has come a long way from his start, at 4 months old (below). I’m so proud of him!

P1030531[1] P1030541[1]

TED – Ted is a son of Scott Glen’s well-known Pleat, and looks so much like Pleat
Ted is a TD hopeful!

Ted tracksI have tried to train Ted before. He is Ben’s father and was trained to herd sheep by Scott Glen. I bought him as a ‘started dog’ from Scott in 2007. Ted was two and had all of his basic commands. We moved to Alberta the next year, and have not had luck pursuing herding, hence a focus on tracking.

When he was younger, Ted clearly detested tracking. I’ve tried twice to start him and even entered him into a test for his TD (fail). His heart just has not been in it. Now that he is 10, he is still very athletic and so bright. It seems like he should have more attention and a little job.

Tonight I did a track with 5 articles, including three leather gloves. Ted LOVES to play and I always let him play with gloves after the other dogs have tracked. I did a track for him that followed a chain link fence. He did well along here – happy and wagging.

At each glove, we stopped to play. I may have asked too much – I turned away from the fence to go over a little berm and double back. With help, he figured it out – and he took the third turn on his own, to track with no fenceline and less bait – to his last glove. I was just elated!

At one point, I was trying to pick up an article on the fly and he got way ahead of me looking so motivated! Ted is actually very smart, but can act goofy, and he is a character. Tonight I can see that he remembers and understands tracking. I’ve decided I will train Ted while Ben’s tracks are aging.

Ben lie down ball
It seems so weird to talk about Ben doing more advanced tracking now! I still see him as a baby puppy, but he is now four years old.

And then, there is JET
Tracking Champion Alta-Pete Jet. She is a daughter of Diane Pagel (Scott Glen’s) Open dog Maid

Jet follows Ted 1
Here is Jet following Ted’s track and finding left over treats tonight!

Jet finished her TCH in 2012 right after my father died. She is the only Border Collie to date to become a Tracking Champion, and she has been such a great partner. Sadly, Jet is always a bit sore and has a bad back and sore hip. Tonight, after everyone else worked – I took her out and we cleaned up treats left by Ted, then played ball.

She is younger than Ted but seems years older. It is so hard to see her age. She and I had a wonderful journey together. With my dear River gone. Jet is my only girl, in a house full of boys!

How I treasure her. It seemed like a nice way to cool down after serious training. Thanks Jet!

Goals for next year

  • BEN – UTD then get working on TDX and UTDX
  • TED – TD (and have fun!)
  • CADEN – enter UTDX to support tests, if it is feasible, keep up his training. Caden will also become a walking and hopefully, running dog. At age 7.5 he is slowing down, a bit!
  • JET – love that little Peanut and enjoy every moment with her, walking and keeping her in shape
TCH Alta-Pete Jet, the first (and so far, only) Border Collie to earn this title. She has been a wonderful partner.
75 Riverfacekiss
I miss you River. You are my special heart dog. Lindau’s Uncharted Course TDX UTD You taught me everything, and shared my life journey.

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