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Ready, set, track! Beginner’s Tracking Online Classes start August 23!

You CAN learn how to track online and aim for your first tracking title! Register now!

Not everyone has access to a tracking instructor. Now, you can learn how to track right from the beginning through CKC focused online tracking lessons! Maybe you have a friend who is always asking about tracking. Please let them know they can learn about it through these introductory lessons.

No more worrying about fields either! In these classes, learn how to start tracking in urban greenspaces close to home! You and your canine partner will be a stronger team through great exercises that are easy to learn. Through the magic of technology, view handouts, presentations, photos and video. Head out to practice your lessons, then gather with your class every two weeks to learn next steps and ask questions!

These online classes are a first in Canada and have been very successful and popular.

You’ll learn:

  • How to get started!
  • Scent theory and proper handling
  • What you need to do to pass a TD (Tracking Dog) test
  • Tips for success!

The webinar is LIVE, so you can ask more questions, with personal answers and tips to help YOU in return. Expect loads of great tips and start a great new journey with your dog!

Who should take part? These lessons are aimed at BEGINNERS who have never tracked before!

What you need to participate: Computer and wifi with audio so you can speak and listen (you may need a low-cost headset to plug in)

What is an online course like? You would be surprised to see how quickly you get used to the online environment. We can all hear each other, and we are all looking at the same screen including photos, slide shows, videos and even a white board where we can all draw our ideas!

Handouts are available for download afterwards.

Your coach has been tracking since 1990 and teaching since 1995. I have many titles on three breeds, 3 Tracking Champions and happy, successful students.

As a trained and Professional Coach, my goal is to offer comfortable, stress free learning to help individuals become the best they can be!  Using my years of coaching and training experience, I want to help you come up with a plan for success, with real goals for effective training.

Online training is a perfect choice for people who want to invest a few hours into their training and take away tools to improve their approach instantly!

Tracking is a wonderful, non-competitive sport that all dogs, large or small, mixed breed and purebred can enjoy at any age.

Have fun, make new friends and share ideas with trackers across Canada!

Course curriculum: 2017 Beginners Online Lessons

To register: Fill in this online form and send payment as described. $200 for 6 lessons. That’s $33 per lesson, delivered in 3 sessions – all in the comfort of home!

Course description: Beginners Tracking Online Lessons

PICTURED above: A young Tracking Champion Caden von der KleinenWiese studies a tracking video to pick up some tips!

Puppy Training!

I am having so much fun teaching Micah foundations for her tracking career! It has been so inspiring, that I thought I would design a Start your Puppy Tracking Webinar that incorporates my puppy tracking ideas! I also trained Ben, who I bred, from the time he could carry a tiny glove around! He is now a Tracking Champion. Ben and Micah are the first of my tracking dogs to be trained completely with my own Spiritdance Tracking methods. Here is a link to the latest blog post over on the Training Micah blog! Of course, we have fun, as Ben passes on the joy of articles to his 4,5 month old apprentice!

More Webinars and 1:1 Coaching coming soon!

I just love the online training environment! When we are all together online, it is like being together in a class! We all look at the same screen (we don’t see each other); we can talk to each other, chat and share links, use a whiteboard, look at a presentation, view videos and get handouts! It is surprising how comfortable it is! Plus you can meet trackers from across Canada and build your network and share ideas!

Spiritdance online students have been doing very well in their tracking tests and preparation. One of the benefits you’ll notice right away is the difference it makes to work with a trained, professional coach. If you’ve never really had a coach, you’ll experience the difference when you take part. This is not cookie-cutter training. Your needs and individual goals are important!

If you are looking for ideas, don’t have access to in-person instruction, or if you are striving for excellence and would like performance coaching – why not try a webinar? No commitment to classes – learn some tips in one morning, then head out to practice!

Some new webinars have been added for Fall and Winter 2017!
  • Beginners Lessons
  • Getting Started in Urban Tracking
  • Starting your Puppy
  • Winter Tracking!

Details are here!

 

If you like the webinars and online lessons, you may like to try 1:1 Individual Coaching too. Offered in 3-session “chunks” we take things one goal and one topic at a time. No long-term commitments. Personal coaching will begin in mid-October. Only 4 people per month are accepted for two sessions per month (every two weeks). Watch for future coaching announcements!

Catching Up: New Tracking Champion Ben!

I am a bit behind in announcing that Ben is my third CKC Tracking Champion, passing his UTDX in May.  Why does this matter to you? I bring my experiences – pass and fail, and training efforts – to my coaching and training. I am actively training all the time, including starting a new puppy this summer! I keep it real. This is a wonderful lifestyle and sport, and I love to share my passion with others, to help them enjoy it and achieve success.

Ben is now Tracking Champion Spiritdance Blackthorn Ben. He is pictured above posing at Hillcrest Park in my hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario where he passed his UTDX in May under judge Marie P Babin.

Jet ribbons
TCH Alta-Pete Jet. First Border Collie in Canada to earn this title.

Ben is the son of my TCH Alta-Pete Jet who was my first TCH in 2012. My second TCH was my GSD Caden von der KleinenWiese who passed his TDX and UTDX in 2015 (back to back no less, on the same day!).*

Ben passed his TD, UTD and TDX all in a row 2015 and 2016 with passes each time – Marie P Babin and Dawn Sanderson. He made it through a half-UTDX (is that like a half-marathon?) in fall 2016. I was so pleased with his performance for that first half, and found out what I had to work on, to fill the holes in our bucket. In May 2017, Ben passed UTDX the following spring under Marie P Babin.

He will go on to try for the new Master TCH as he’s only 5 (well, he will be 6 on July 21!)

*I have had a hard time publishing that I lost Caden to spine cancer last fall, very suddenly. He was only 8 years old. He can never be replaced, a great boy with a great heart, a great partner and friend. He taught me so much and I will always be grateful I had him in my life for what feels like too short a time. 

Caden ribbons
TCH Caden von der KleinWiese. My partner and friend. 2008-2016. A wonderful teacher, Caden was larger than life. A great dog with a great heart.

Cool new stuff coming this fall!

It must be the time of year! I have been receiving webinar and coaching requests from Newfoundland to BC! WOW! I am so excited about this. I will be putting together some new packages that I know people will love – after the trial first year – and thanks to everyone who took part in the first year sessions and all of your wonderful feedback.

Coaching will begin this fall. There will be more short webinars starting this fall on specific subjects this year, for small groups. I will also offer small group coaching and will continue with 1:1 for people who prefer individual goal setting and plans.

I’m going to be offering training booklets online as well, including a special blog and channel that follow’s Micah’s tracking training from the start (or, how Micah trains me!) Micah – or Gem von Wendelin, is 4 months old and already doing very well learning tracking foundations! She is pictured above, doing a great 400 meter long track two nights ago. I am very excited about her training, using my Spiritdance methods! 

Information and registration will all be posted here – using a new method. Lots of cool new stuff coming. Keep an eye on this website for announcements!

Personal Leadership and Team Success: New Coaching Workshops make Nature your classroom and your Dog – your Partner!

Spiritdance Coaching offers two new ground-breaking workshops aimed at people, teams and businesses interested in Personal Leadership and Team Success Coaching – using tracking!

Over many years of teaching people and dog teams to track, it becomes apparent that the attributes of a great leader and a great team are highlighted in a fun and informative manner that leads to personal insights and a desire to form new habits and look at things in new ways! Dog tracking is a non-competitive, positive activity focused on gentle and motivational methods to encourage our dogs to use their powerful noses to find things and people. It is inexpensive and involves walking in the beautiful outdoors!

These workshops can be customized to meet your needs whether they are 1:1 coaching, for a team or group (you do NOT have to know a thing about dog training!) and are offered as an innovative alternative for a fun day out of the office.

This is also an excellent choice for youth groups, veterinary students and 4H Clubs. Existing dog clubs or teams and dog training instructors may enjoy this as a great way to have fun with a different activity with your dogs and with each other.

Let Donna Brinkworth guide you on a personal journey of awareness, transformation and mastery! Learn a new skill, think outside of the box and take away insights as you enjoy a relaxing and meditative time with your canine partner.

March Seminar description, photos and testimonials

The Spiritdance March Tracking Seminar last weekend is a wrap! 8 teams took part in exercises, master tracks and blind tracks over two days. There are so many highlights! It was like a family reunion for many of us who have trained together over the years. Meeting new people and welcoming them into the fold was also a great experience!

Click HERE to view a photo album of photos of the participants over the weekend.

Participants took part in tracklaying and plotting exercises, ‘semi-blind’ tracks, a few blind tracks, article games, and urban tracks (the focus of day two). We also had a mock TDX test at noon which was plotted and judged like a CKC test, which everyone found valuable.

This seminar kicked off the Summer Seminar Series and so I surveyed participants to learn what they liked the most and found the most valuable. I also asked what we could do less of, and how they would rate the learning and enjoyment. The survey is anonymous so that people can provide feedback which helps me to continually improve everyone’s experience and adjust things for the coming season.

What did people enjoy the most? Everyone mentioned the support, fun and the fellowship they felt all weekend and everybody liked the coaching through their tracks and exercises. Participants also enjoyed the group discussions and feedback after each track.

The majority of respondents also said that one thing they enjoyed the most during the weekend was watching Ben run his 6-hour old UTDX track. I rarely run tracks with my advanced dogs during a seminar so this was a pleasant surprise. It just happened that someone was too sick to participate on day two, so I did the demo with my dog.

Since it was my dog, I didn’t run the UTDX at 3 hours – I ran it when we were at a natural break in the afternoon, and it was 6 hours old! Ben did a great job.

You can view photos of Ben’s 6 hour UTDX track here. 

People said it was motivating and inspiring and that they learned a lot watching it and learned what to aim for. Several people wrote that they really liked watching two tracking ‘novice dogs’ run Ben’s track to see the similarities and differences plus the enthusiasm of a track being used again.

I asked participantsDid you learn something new or have any pleasant surprises?” 

Most people mentioned that they enjoyed being responsible for laying a “pre-planned” short track with a map, then observing dogs coming to run them. Participants felt they really learned more when they laid tracks for other dogs and knew where each turn was and where the articles were placed. People also really enjoyed watching other teams and felt new information was presented or important information was reinforced after every track throughout the weekend.

Some of the maps were spectacular, but this one was really the BEST map of all!

One of our participants, Jacquie Moore, was laying a track for Dan Wing who is new to urban tracking. Behind a building the snow was crusty on top but soft underneath. Jacquie did quite a faceplant which we assumed was a considerate tracklayer gesture to give Wriley the Black Russian Terrier a good scent pool in the shady part of his urban track. This is her map!

What was even more funny was that Wriley rolled on his back right where Jacquie fell! I think he decided to make his own snow angel in honour of her great track laying. Later after his urban track, Jacquie and Wriley have a ‘moment’ where they discuss this. As you can see – Wriley is a very accomplished footstep tracking dog. It was a thrill to see him tackle urban last weekend and to see other participants also take on urban tracking for the first time! Please visit the photo album to see their great work.

As a Professional Coach, I was happy to see that everyone liked being coached through tracks if required. Running blind tracks or ‘harder’ tracks was a thrill for a couple of teams. And of course, we made sure to cover the importance of handling, trust and patience in tracking.

Here are some quotes and testimonials people shared upon request, to let others know about Spiritdance Tracking Seminars. 

March Seminar Testimonials

  • The most valuable part of the weekend is Donna’s feedback; I need the feedback from Donna; it is incredibly valuable. The best part was the coach. Donna you are N inspiration! Amazing knowledgeable coach. Expert instruction and coaching, very valuable for both my dog and myself.
  • The Spiritdance seminar was so amazing. The coaching we received was gold standard. Donna took the time to help each of us understand where the holes were in our buckets and how to fix them. She left me with the confidence and tools to keep on tracking!
  • After attending the Summer Series of Tacking Seminars with Donna my boy Wriley became the first BRT in Canada to earn his CKC TD Title. Donna’s seminars are motivational, thoughtfully designed, well organized and fun. It continues to be a great experience to learn and train under Donna’s watchful eye.
  • How Donna freely shares her knowledge, passion, dedication, attention to details, support and faith that we all can succeed.
  • Donna’s knowledge of tracking is always expanding and there is something new in every seminar.
  • Whether you are an experienced handler preparing for Tracking Exams or a Curious Novice, Donna will show you the path to success and that there is always something around the next corner.
  • The seminar is just so informative. I learn something new from new people – new dogs – different weather / environment. Spend time with your dog, meet good folks, learn so much about tracking…the seminars are always great.
  • So much valuable information and sharing! Wonderful group of participants. The participants are always a pleasure to work alongside. Learning is tailored to each individual team so there is always something being learned or reinforced.
  • It doesn’t matter what level you are, you learn so much and on top of it all it’s so much fun.

Thank you everyone for taking part and for your great suggestions and feedback!

It was a great weekend and great start to the year! I am honoured to be a part of your tracking journey!

Looking forward to the next Summer Seminar Series weekends coming up in May, June and July. Please check the Seminars tab for more information.