Updated: Sep 26, 2022
Enforcing the command Lie Down is critical!
A great way to prepare your dog and know you have the right mind set before tracking is to do this simple but very effective exercise on the way to the track. Bond with your dog when attaching leash by stroking his/her muzzle then start walking towards the track.
Side bar: Hopefully you do not have to walk through your sheep/goat barn to get to the track since this is very challenging. It can cause undue stress on animals plus potential wrecks from scared lambs/goats.
Back to walking your dog to the track: When walking, the dog should be by your side or behind you. A dog pulling on the lead in an assertive manner is a bad behavior and should be corrected. While walking to the track, the handler can give the lie down command to ensure the dog is listening. If dog is not responsive then a follow up growl tells the dog you are not pleased with his/her actions.
Once the dog does lie down, then release dog with the walk-up command. Doing this exercise several times on the way to the track gives you the confidence the dog is listening and reminds the dog who the alpha is as well as gets their mind ready to work and listen.
In the video you will notice the handler also uses the lie down command going in and out of gates including walking in the track while dog is looking at lambs. The last thing you want is the dog to take off after stock when walking in a gate. Their natural instinct is to go get the sheep/goats and bring them to you. By enforcing the lie down while livestock is in front of dog, it demonstrates to the dog, those are your sheep/goats, not the dogs, and that the dog needs to listen to you the handler.
With a dog listening and willing to lie down, tracking is fun! And a great way to exercise your sheep/goat projects to build incredible muscle shape.
Take Away: Track dogs must have a good Lie Down for you to Track for Success!