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September 27-30
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1993  HC J-Rae's Honey Bear O'Firethorn HX, CD, HGH ~Carol Weigand 

1995  HC Mi-Hi's Kansas City Star CDX, TT, HX ~Sharon Allen 

1996  HC Jazzman O'Firethorn HX, HGH ~Susan Sullivan  
          HC Indian Ledge Lex O'Firethorn HX, HGH ~Susan Sullivan 

1997  HC Fluorescence Vom Insel CD, HX ~Dot DeLisle  
          HC Pa-Gairs Kaiserin Chelsea CD, HX ~Diane Wright 

2000  HC Hillside v Weiden's Eclipse UD, HXCs ~Karen Weidenbener  
          HC Lexa HXCs ~Carol Weigand 

2001  HC Klaatu Berrada Nicto HGH, HXAsdc, HXCs, HXBd, HIBs ~Dot DeLisle   
          HC Kingswood's Jessica HXAs ~Linda Leeman (Handler)   
          HC Mississippi Rip HXAsd ~Nancy Lee Obermark  
          HC Maximum's Little Charley HXAs, HXBs ~Bob Dias 

2002  HC DeBrut Kiss Me Kate Windridge HXAs, HIBs, UD, NA, TD ~Sheryl Evans 

2004  HC Von Weidens Night Hawk HXCs ~Peggy McKee 

2005  HC Omega's Peaceful EZ Feeling HXCs ~Susan Sullivan   
          HC Drazi Vom Insel HXAscd, HXBd ~Dot DeLisle   
          HC Diva's Solo HXAsd, HXBs, OA, OAJ, OAP, OJP ~Richard Godfrey  

2007  HC Tango Thru The Night v Elumed VCD2, HXCs, RA ~Ellen Adomelis   
          HC Abel vom Quasliner Moor HXCs UD RE MX MXJ OF HGH SCHH3 ~Kirstin Siarkowicz   
          HC Caro vom Quasliner Moor HGH, HXAsCs ~Linda Holloway (Handler) 

2008  HC Windy Acres' Quintessential HXCs ~Diane Wright   
          HC Antha vom Whirling Thunder HXAs HSCs ~Linda Holloway (Handler)   
          HC Cathlin's Lucca of Bramble Hill HXCs ~Debbi Humble   
          HC Barrie vom Quasliner Moor HGH, CDX, RE, HXCs ~Debi Feliziani 

2009  HC Siena of Flusstanz HXCs ~Debbi Humble  
          HC von Weiden’s Single Shot HXCs ~Karen Weidenbener
          HC Debrut's Dixieland Jubilee UD RN HSAS HSBS HIAS HXAS NA NAJ - Sheryl Evans

2010  DC New Challenge Aviator HXCs ~Jon Scarr   
          HC Esti vom Landstrasser HXCs OA OAJ AXP AJP CD ~ June Marble   
          HC Omega’s Britta HXCs ~ Clary Douwes    
          HC Noroda’s Al Titus HXAs, HIAc, HIBs ~Barbara Easton   
          HC Eddie Haskel CD RN HXCs HGH ~Debi Feliziani   
          DC Sea Crest’s Heart of Gold HXCs ~Susan Sullivan  
          HC Cheyenne HXCs ~Carol Weigand  

2011  DC Carwin’s Alex v Rochill ~Tracy Parciak
          HC Timberline Duke Of Bavaria CDX RAE2 HXAdsc NA NAJ OAP AJP NF - Michael MacLeod

2012  HC Debrut's Jonnie Be Good of BFF CD HSBS HIAS HXADS HXBD - Sheryl Evans
          HC Brecken Vom Leerburg CD, HXAsM, HXAdM, HXBd - Bruce and Debbie Ekstrom
          HC Cruiser Von Jagerstadt VCS1, GN, RA, HSAdcs, HIAdsc, HXAds - Dottie Seuter
          HC Acira Vom Haus Kirschental HXCs - Rhonda Grubb

2013  HC Gidget Tjuya Vom Adelhertz HSAs HXAd HXBs HXCs HXAsM - Steven P Pettit
         HC HTCH  Alta Tollhaus Just A Singer CGC, RN, HT, PT, HSAsdc, HSBs, HIAs, HIBs, HXAsM - Rich Godfrey
         HC Gina V. Tehillah HSAsc HSBs HIAds HIBs HXAds HXBds, Barb Easton
         HC Stoli von Zwei Freunden CD RE HSADS HSBD HIADS HIBD HXADS HXBD OA AXJ  - Darla Welty

2014 DC Marathon's Power of One HSADSC HIAS HXAS - Natasha Kelley Sullivan
         HC PAM Juno vom Binderhaus: CGC, TC, CDX, RE, HT, HSBd, HSAsd, HIAsd, HXAsd, HXAsM, HSCs, HICs,
         HXCsM2 - Cynthia Binder DVM
         HC PAM Lana vom Binderhaus: CGC, TC, TDN, CD, RE, HT, PT, HSAsd, HIAsd, HXAs, HSCs, HICs, HXCs, AX, AXJ, AJP, AXP, NF, XFP, MXP2, MJP - Cynthia Binder DVM

2015 HVx (2013) DC Da-Jo Crestview's Ladyhawke PT HSAs HXCs - Julie Degen

2016 HC PAM Maya vom Binderhaus:  CDX, RE,  HT, PT, HSAsd, HIAsd, HSCs, HXCsM, AX, AXJ, MXP2, MJP2, MXPB,
         MJPB, NF, XFP, CA, RATN, BH, CGC, TC - Cynthia Binder DVM
         HV (2014) DC GCH Da-Jo Crestview's Ironman RN HT PT HXCs - Julie Degen (Breeder Dania Karloff)
         DC Brownhill-Kysarah's Leonardo RN HXCs - Susan Sullivan

tracking1With a keen sense of smell – 100,000 times stronger than humans – dogs are often used to find lost people and animals, drugs, avalanche and disaster victims, and even to detect cancer.AKC Tracking is a canine sport that demonstrates a dog’s natural ability to recognize and follow a scent and is the foundation of canine search and rescue work. Unlike obedience and agility trials, where dogs respond to the owner’s< commands, in tracking a dog is completely in charge, for only he knows how to use his nose to find and follow the track.

Getting started in tracking is easy, and you won’t find a more willing participant! A puppy instinctively uses his nose – training your dog to track simply hones his natural ability. And since all dogs have a natural ability to follow a scent, any breed is capable of learning to track.

Tracking requires very little equipment.You just need a harness, a 20-to-40 foot lead, a ew flags to mark your track and an open rassy area free of obstacles such as roads, ditches or woods. There are some great reference books that provide step-by-step instruction to help ou train your dog for tracking.

Tracking 101 (or Why is Tracking So Expensive When Only 8 Dogs Compete?)

An AKC tracking test is a simulation of a search and rescue for a lost person.

Tests are outdoors in the country. At the start point, the dog is given an article owned by the “lost” person, then follows the footprints of that person to a glove at the end of the trail.  The track, depending on the test level, contains from five to seven turns, may cross obstacles, and is from 300 to 1000 yards long.  In the intermediate tests, the dog must also find two personal articles the lost person dropped on the trail, before arriving at the glove at the end.

The tracks are aged from 30 min to two hours for the TD tests and from three to five hours for the TDX tests.  After two hours of aging, the TDX tracks are crossed twice by two different cross-track layers, to further challenge the dogs.

Plotting Day - Saturday

Running a tracking test requires a large pool of workers, starting with a team of two judges. 

The tracks are walked on the ground by the two judges the day before the test (plotting day). Both judges map the tracks on AKC judging forms as they are plotted. Following the two judges cross country are a stake holder, a stake pounder, the tracklayer, and - for the intermediate (TDX) tracks - one of the pair of cross-track layers.  As the tracks are determined, they are staked by the flag carrier and pounder while the tracklayer walks along behind the judges, plotting her own map.  The tracklayer may also put in small supplemental markers along the trail in particularly complicated areas. 

The cross-track layer carries her own special cross-track flags to mark where she and a partner, walking parallel to each other, will cross the trail in two separate places to try and draw the dog off the primary scent.  For TDX tracks, the judges also flag the locations of the intermediate articles and tell the tracklayer exactly which article to drop there. 

Either before or after laying the track, the judges examine the personal articles of the TDX tracklayers and pick the two, one leather and one fabric, which will be dropped along the trail. 

The Chief Tracklayer gives all the tracklayers for both tests the start bandana and ending glove, which must be throughly scented by the next morning.  This is often done by immediately stuffing both bandana and glove in a pocket for the remainder of plotting day and storing them overnight in a hiking boot.  All articles for TD and TDX tracks are either leather or fabric. 

Once a track is completely marked, the judges pick up another tracklayer, another cross-track layer for TDX tracks, and, accompanied by the stake holder and the pounder, go on to mark the next track.

The first tracklayer then walks her track again, refining her personal map.  Some tracklayers will leave the fields and return to the Headquarters area, then come back to the track again some time later to walk it for a third time.  For this reason, clubs usually provide one tracklayer per track, for a total of 8 people.  Cross-track layers can usually work two tracks each, so only 2 pairs are required.

The next morning (test day), on a pre-determined schedule based on the time required to adequately age each track, the tracklayers walk their tracks, pulling the track flags, dropping the articles and pulling their flags, and picking up any extra markers as they go, leaving only the start flag(s) and - on TDX tracks - the cross-track flags.

The tracklayer drops a pre-scented article at the start of the TD test and a pre-scented glove at the end.  The TDX tracklayer drops a start article, two intermediate articles, and the glove on the Intermediate tracks.   Once the TDX tracks have aged for two hours, the pair of cross-track layers walk their designated routes, pulling their flags as they pass them.

All of these people are driven to and fro around the tracking site on both days to limit the amount of extraneous scent wafting around the area.

This intricate ballet is coordinated by the Chief Tracklayer in the weeks before the tests.  She/he then runs the entire site on both plotting and test days.  The Chief Tracklayer combines the organizational skill of an executive secretary;  an encyclopedic knowledge of the tracking site;  and the get-it-done personality of a drill sergeant. We are extremely fortunate that GSDCA member Diana Reich recruited the Oriole Dog Training Club’s Chief Tracklayer, Nancy Skinner, to take this position for the GSDCA tests in 2013.

Meanwhile back at the Hospitality Tent, both a continental breakfast and lunch are available both days for the entire crew and also the exhibitors on test day.

Test Day - Sunday

As explained above, the Chief Tracklayer, Hospitality, the tracklayers and cross-track layers have been at the test site for many hours before the judges and exhibitors arrive.

The Novice Level (TD) tests are run first, as they do not have to be aged as long as the Intermediate (TDX tests).  Thirty minutes before the TD test begins, the Test Chair, the Test Secretary, the two judges, the tracklayer, and the exhibitors gather at the Test Headquarters.  The  Test Chair or Secretary gives a very short welcoming speech, makes administrative announcements, then introduces the Judges.  The Judges usually have a few words for the competitors, then The Draw is held.  Four identical items, numbered on the bottom, are laying on a small table in front of the judges.  In catalog order, the handlers pick (draw) an item.  The number on the bottom determines which track they will run.

The handler goes off to get the dog and the judges and tracklayer are driven to the start flag of TD Track #1.  The handler may either drive her/his vehicle to the start or be driven by one of the volunteer drivers.

At Track #1, the handler finds two flags:  the start flag with a scented bandana on the ground next to it and another flag, thirty yards out in the field.  The second flag gives the handler the direction in which the track goes off from the start.  The handler puts the dog on the track and, hopefully, the dog puts its nose down, smells the bandana, and goes off down the track.  The judges and the tracklayer follow at some distance. 

If the dog and handler make it to the end of the track and find the glove, they have passed and titled. If at any point along the track the judges determine that the dog is not “working”, or has gone completely off the track and has no hope of recovering, they will “whistle it off”.  Condolences are offered and the judges leave for Track #2.  The tracklayer stays behind and the competitor is offered the opportunity to put the dog back on the track, with the tracklayer walking behind, coaching the team through to the end.  About 75% of the handlers take advantage of this training opportunity.

When all of the TD tracks are completed and/or the first TDX track has aged for 3 hours, the TDX draw is run in a similar manner to the TD draw.  Depending on the judges’ preference, the TDX draw may happen at a scheduled time with or without the judges being present.

At the start of a TDX track, the handler will find one flag with a bandana lying next to it.  The trail can continue from the start in any direction within an 180 degree arc.

The handler must give the judges the 2nd and 3rd articles and the glove at the end of the TDX trail to qualify.  Missing one of the intermediate articles disqualifies the run, even if the dog made it all the way to the glove.

At the end of the day, once all of the tracks have been run and the judges have completed their paperwork, awards are given to any TD and TDX teams which have titled.

Fun for You and Your Dog

rallyRally Obedience is a “user friendly” form of dog obedience competition.  The dog and handler team completes a course that has been designed by the Rally judge. The team starts with a perfect score of 100, and as in traditional obedience competition, points are deducted for errors as the dog/handler team completes the course.

Perfect “heel” position and perfectly straight fronts/finishes are not penalized as severely as they would be in traditional obedience competitions. Retrying a station is allowed, for a 3 point deduction.  The only stations you may not retry are the jump(s) and the “sit/stay” at the end of the Excellent course.

leftaboutYou need to qualify 3 times (70/100 points) under at least 2 different judges, to earn each of the first 3 Rally titles (Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, Rally Excellent).  After that, you can try for the RAE (Rally Advanced Excellent) title.  This needs 10 “double Qs”.  You need to qualify at both Advanced and Excellent at the same trial, 10 times, to earn the RAE.  Each set of 10 “double Qs” will add a number after the RAE (for instance, RAE2, RAE3, etc.). 

At the Novice level, the entire course is completed on lead.  For the Advanced and Excellent levels, the course is completed off lead.  At the Excellent level, a “stay” is added on to the end of the course while the handler retrieves the leash.

haltUnlimited communication from the handler to the dog is to be encouraged and not penalized. However, if the judge deems the encouragement to be pleading, luring, or coaxing, points might be deducted.  Additionally, if the dog is barking excessively, points can be deducted.

270At the Novice level, handlers are permitted to talk, praise, encourage, clap their hands, pat their legs, or use any verbal means of encouragement. Multiple commands and/or signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler's arms need not be maintained in any particular position at any time. The handler may not touch the dog or make physical corrections, except to “stand” the dog at the Novice and Advanced levels. At any time during the performance, loud or harsh commands or intimidating signals will be penalized.  Food and/or toys are not allowed in the ring.  As you move on to the Advanced and Excellent levels, hand claps and leg taps are penalized.  Hands held as if food is in it will also be penalized.

The Top 10 Ranked Obedience Dogs for 2015 (Dog of the Year)

RANK Points Dog Name Primary Owner



 Von Sontausen Holy Grail UDX3 OM4 BN GN RE

Regina Steiner



OTCH Heka Shining Brightly Vom Mika-Ashmead UDX6 OM9 GN GO VER TD

Kristin Jones



Nocturne's Gabriel II VCD2 UDX2 OM2 AJP

Timothy Muldowney



 Vanderville's Sarah Von Owens UD BN GN CGC

Anne Vandiver



 Nocturne's Timo CDX GO NA NAJ

Richard Hood



 Miriamm Z Eurosportu UDX3 OM4

Shannon Canard



 Zanys Jerny To Kodiak UDX4 OM1 RE AXP AJP

Larry Reese



 Performax Special Agent CD

Shannon Canard



 Genesis Trudi Trueheart UD 

Susan Holland



Ashmead's Broadcast News UDX OM2 BN  

Angela Bauman



Obedience TrainingObedience training is many things to different people – teaching their dogs to do a specific job (guide dogs, herding dogs, service dogs, K9 partners, etc.); teaching their dogs manners so they are better companions; teaching their dogs obedience in order to compete in many performance events (obedience trials, agility trials, rally trials, herding trials, tracking trials, water trials, lure coursing, earth dog trials, hunting trials, etc.).  And just like the beat, the list goes on and on and on.

The wonderful thing about obedience is there is a level for everyone…you can train at many levels, it is all up to you and your dog and your level of commitment.  To compete in any of the above events, you and your dog can go for broke and aim for the highest scores or awards, or just compete at a level comfortable for you both.

Novice obedience as seen in AKC obedience trials is the basis for all future work with your dog.  Once through novice obedience, you can continue on to unlimited levels of work in many venues or performance events with your dog, or be happy with a dog that minds and is a joy to have around…in short, a great companion.

And best of all, once your dog has a great foundation, it stays with him for life.  Your dog will never forget what he’s been taught – as well as never forget what he learned he could get away with – so be on your toes with your basic training; that will set the tone for your relationship with your dog, or any further training you decide to advance to.

Each community usually has obedience classes taught by professionals and amateurs alike.  Many dog clubs also offer obedience classes.  Visit their classes to see if you like their approach to training.  Once you find one you like, sign up for their next class and you’re on your way to owning a dog that not only you enjoy, but all your friends and family will enjoy as well. 

If you can’t find an instructor in your area, there are many books and videos on the subject you can buy or check out from your local library that will get you started.  Keep in mind, however, that anyone can write a book.  So as in visiting local obedience classes, be discriminating on which book or video you decide to follow…if it doesn’t sound right or make sense to you, keep looking for one that does.

Most dog shows offer obedience trial competition; a visit to them may also give you some insight on local trainers; talk to exhibitors you enjoy watching and find out where they train.

Obedience can open a whole new world for you and your canine companion(s), a world that may even become a way of life for you.


Dalene McIntire has been involved in training German Shepherd Dogs since 1960 and is an AKC obedience judge as well as an AKC breed judge for German Shepherd Dogs.