Tracking Dog (TD)The TD track is from 440-to-500 yards long with 3-to-5 turns (or change in direction) and aged from a half-hour to two hours.A dog must indicate a glove or wallet placed at the end of the track.
Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX)The TDX track is 800-to-1000 yards long, with 5-to-7 turns and aged from 3-to-5 hours.The track also has two sets of cross (diversionary) tracks and has some of the aforementioned obstacles.
Variable Surface Tracking (VST)A VST track is from 600-to-800 yards long, with 4-to-8 turns, and aged from 3-to-5 hours.The articles must be one each of leather, cloth, plastic and metal.The VST track must also contain three different surfaces with one turn on a non-vegetated surface such as concrete
With 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 17:53|