Taking tracking on the road. Training circuit starting soon!

Have you always wanted to learn about tracking? Have you started to track, but haven’t learned enough to get into a test? Now is your chance!

Spiritdance Coaching & Tracking is taking our training show on the road! Alberta really is a great place to drive a circuit. Starting in July, I will be giving regular lessons in Calgary, Olds, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for beginners and experienced trackers! More tests are being offered across Alberta and elsewhere. New judges are ready and that means more people to help spread tests around! There is a new ‘Master Tracking’ title available to Tracking Champions, meaning more chances to play! MIXED BREEDS are allowed in CKC tracking tests and many are earning titles from TD to Tracking Champion!

Whether you are a beginner, wanting to learn about urban tracking or seeking the Master Tracking Champion title lessons and coaching can help give you the tools to train well and succeed.

Because it takes a lot of time and space to teach tracking, it is tough to find tracking instruction. I happen to be passionate about sharing this sport with others and I’ve been teaching tracking since 1995. I love it, and love meeting people and their dogs. We have fun!

Tracking is a very intensive sport to train, and so I can only fit in 5 (FIVE) lessons a day whenever I am in town. That’s why I put a 2018 Spiritdance Tracking Lessons, Seminar and Tracking Camps Calendar together to help you plan and pre-book if you’d like to meet regularly.

My mission as a coach is to inspire and motivate and because I am a Professional Coach, I focus on your unique needs and your goals when we work together. I’m committed to the continued love and growth of tracking, a non-competitive outdoor sport that attracts great people – a sport dogs of all sizes and ages enjoy and love!

Since moving to Alberta in 2008 I have been privileged to see people become interested in tracking, obtain titles and even form new tracking clubs to offer more tests. It is a wonderful feeling to see students grow, and to make new friends. It is rewarding to have been a part of this tracking growth!

Details about seminars, lessons and individual coaching are always posted on www.spiritdancetracking.ca Please visit the website frequently to keep up! Training opportunities and other fun stuff is also posted on the Spiritdance Tracking Facebook page.

Take that next step! Plan to attend a seminar, a camp or a lesson and find out why people get hooked on this sport. I hope to hear from you.

Advertisements

URBAN TRACKING SCENT Workshops!

NEW! Learn more about the exciting world of urban tracking and how scent works in settings like colleges, industrial parks, city streets and back alleys! Unravel the mystery of scent in urban areas to increase your success in training and tests!

TWO dates and two locations. Suitable for everyone wanting to understand scent theory and learn about tracking.

Medicine Hat AB: June 16-17

Please also visit my new website! www.spiritdancetracking.ca

These workshops will offer in-class learning and outdoor theory in practice.

Experienced tracking teams will demonstrate scent flow and scent properties in these highly contaminated and ever-changing environments. These workshops are suitable for beginners to participate in as observers, to learn in-class and observe the teams at work.
BC Seminar
Working teams must already know how to track. Full tracks will not be provided – but working teams will be challenged to work in a variety of scenarios with many interesting challenges on both blind and known tracks. Some beginner (TD ready) teams may be able to take part depending on how working positions fill.

An experienced team is defined as ‘TD-ready’ or already working at the TDX or urban levels. Experienced SAR teams are also welcome. 

Workshops will include:
  • scent theory
  • line communication
  • reading your dog
  • understanding the urban environment
  • tools to train for success
  • opportunities to participate in urban scent challenges for working teams
  • a chance to observe experienced dogs at work for beginners
  • maps and handouts
  • other goodies!
Beginners to tracking are encouraged to work in urban areas. This is a great way to learn!
Please use the contact form to express your interest in other training opportunities (lessons, seminars for your club or group, mock tests and training camps)

I look forward to being your coach! 

Spring 2018 Beginners and Urban Tracking Online Classes!

Spring marks the beginning of tracking season! Just in time, I am excited to offer two MORNING CLASSES for Beginners and for Urban Tracking! These are not just webinars – they are mornings of personal, live instruction with small classes and interactive participation. As a professional coach, I am always geared to meeting your needs and goals and committed to your progress and success.

Each class is 4 hours of instruction (with coffee breaks of course!) When you take part online, you can chat live or use a typed chat feature to ask questions or make comments. Whiteboards are used – to draw maps and other diagrams that help explain things more clearly. There is a presentation, we will have a quick look at video, and handouts are provided. Everyone leaves with practical lesson plans and ideas to get out and get training!

Class content is based on proven successful methods that I have developed over the past 27 years as a teacher, clinician and active participant! You can see more about my dogs, read testimonials and learn more about my involvement in tracking here on this site under Learn More, or on my business website.  

This information is soon to be published so be sure to check it out now! *A Spiritdance Tracking Book is in the works! 

Beginners Tracking Online Class Poster

The Beginners Tracking Online Class is aimed at people who don’t have a TD or who are looking for new ideas for foundations and training. If you have never tracked, this is the class for you. If you are new to tracking or feel like you need to go back to square one with some fresh ideas – please consider this class. I will share my methods and ideas to get you going.

Urban Tracking Online Morning Class Poster

The Urban Tracking Online Class is for both beginners to tracking and experienced trackers. Beginners to tracking and beginners to urban tracking will find some unique and fresh ideas to get started in the fun and way cool sport of Urban Tracking! Be careful though – it is addictive!

  • If you are new to tracking, you will learn how you can begin to train for urban tracking once your foundations are in place and how urban tracking can improve your handling and test readiness. Plus, once you have that TD, you are ready to move on!
  • If you are an experienced tracker, you might be looking for some new ideas, new ways to train or ideas to improve your performance in urban tracking.

To register, click on the Training tab on this website or check out my new Spiritdance Tracking ‘business’ site for links to registration forms.

As always, I am excited and happy to share information about this sport with people who are passionate to learn.

Your Coach,

Donna Brinkworth
http://www.spiritdancelifecoaching.ca
http://www.spiritdancetracking.ca

Winter Training Begins!

From the Training Micah Blog: I LOVE winter tracking! I started out tracking way back in the 80s with a Conservation Officer who had an OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) certified Bloodhound named Nero. He tracked all year ’round and I would hide as Nero’s victim in the snow. When I started CKC tracking, it made sense to me to keep tracking all winter.

When I began to teach and started Spiritdance Tracking as a business in 1995 I encouraged people to come out no matter what the weather! Over the years I have accumulated a lot of anecdotal, experiential and ‘book learning’ about winter tracking! This all forms the basis of my Winter Tracking Webinars. 

Yesterday my friend and tracking partner Judy Wallace laid a short snow track for Micah in the snow. It was a great opportunity to reinforce “footstep tracking” and give her little corrections for leaving the snow tunnel of footprints. She loved it! The three cloth and leather articles were slightly hidden in snow and she was very excited to find them and picked each one up, giving it a shake.

IMG_8296 (002)

Today, I laid Micah and Lark each a parking lot track following edges. These tracks were 100% hard surface, although the snow acts like ‘veg’ on a day like today. It was 3C and the snow was soft and melting into puddles along the parking lot edges. There were great ‘berms’ to follow that would hold the scent.

Both Micah and Lark were allowed to problem solve, so that they realized the track truly was NOT in the snow. They explored scent puzzles and figured out that the scent was on the parking lot! Each of them did very well! Read more on the Training Micah blog!

IMG_8260 (002)

Learning to read my new pup & link to tracking test photo album!

Over on the Training Micah blog, I just posted an article about our track today! If you are interested in WHAT we look for when we follow our tracking dogs, you may find this interesting. I chose some stills from the video of her track and put together slideshows of the things I pay attention to when I follow my dogs – and things I am trying to learn about Micah, since each dog is an individual. Micah just turned 7 months old today!

Last weekend I judged a big tracking test in Thunder Bay (you can view the photo album of the test HERE). I was daydreaming all weekend about the day I have Micah in UTDX. I have been working on her tracking, exposing her to all surfaces and ages, and decided that for her birthday I would try a 3 hour old UTDX track. She did a fantastic job! It is very exciting to start a new dog and I am especially feeling blessed with this new puppy. To view the entire post and learn more about how we learn to read our dogs, click HERE!

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.

Online Training & Coaching

In 2016 Spiritdance Coaching offered the first online CKC-focused tracking classes and webinars in Canada! Many thanks to those who have participated in the first test-courses to help as this format has been developed and improved to provide in-home training! Imagine – a tracking class, coffee in hand and relaxing in your pajamas!

Please check out Online Training – Seminars, Webinars, On-Demand and Coaching
*Keep checking for updates. Many are offered as live classes. On-demand is coming soon!

In the past year, Spiritdance Coaching has offered the following online classes and seminars, bringing together people across Canada:

  • Beginners Tracking (Foundations and TD / Field Tracking – 6 weeks)
  • Advanced Tracking (TDX and Urban Tracking – 6 weeks)
  • Winter Tracking (two sessions)
  • Tracking Goals and Training Plans (Weekly January webinars)
  • So You Want to be a Tracking Judge (1/2 day Webinar)
  • Google Earth Maps & Tracking Apps (On-demand 1 hour training)

Donna Brinkworth, a Professional Coach, has also enjoyed 1:1 Personal Coaching on weeknights, for both new and advanced trackers across Canada since last fall. Coaching is offered from Fall to Spring in the tracking “off season.”