I know not everyone gets excited about being able to work a tracking test..lol I have always wanted to compete in a tracking test but never quite knew what was expected or how they are run. I have read the rules and know those but still reading the rules doesn't quite give you the feel of an actual event. Also on the upside I get to work for the only two tracking judges that are in this area. Its like a whole new adventure..or maybe I am just too much the optomist.
Kelly and Amber
Tell us more afterward!
Iwant to start doing that with Kona. Let us know how it goes and give us the details of the work of laying the track and the test itself.
"In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden
Linda, Kona and Bo
Ok there were 8 TD dogs that ran but only 1 dog passed the test. The first dog to run on Sunday a Belgian Trevurn(SP?) finished the test with a little bit of a bobble at about 1/2 way thru the track (the track had a corner near the top of a hill). the handler also had the dog tumble her down a hill on the second to last leg of the track yet the handler got up dusted herself off and finished the track.
There was a wide variety of dogs that ran ranging from a shihtzu to a lowland Polish Sheepdog, to a boxer to 3 trevurns.
On Saturday us tracklayers and judges got to the site about 8 AM and with winds just blowing about 15 MPH we started plotting tracks for Sunday. I got to do tracks #3 and #7. by the time we started track 3 the wind was hitting 20-25mph and by the time we got to track 7 we had already had gusts of 30-35mph. This was a wind blowing out of the dessert and it was dry! By the time I layed the tracks on Sunday morning the grass that was soft the day before was rather dried out and was crunching under foot. I think the handlers were a bit unnervered by this lake of humidity and caused some of them to make mistakes and not trust their dogs.
My first track was a basic horse head shape, 125 yards on the first leg, turn right go 40 yards, turn left go 75 yards, turn left go 120 yards, turn left go 100 yards for a total of 460 yards. The cover was short grass, clover, weeds, and some bigger tall weeds/tumble weed type plants. Not really thick cover but this track was actually sheltered from the direct wind by a hill. The dog got maybe 80 yards on the first leg and then just curved to the left and kept going off course till the judges whistled. I then had to (as a courtesy) help the handler finish the track. (good thing I took good notes on the track).
The second track of mine was run by a Trevurn who knew what it was doing, but this was the teams very first tracking test. This track was a "Chair Pattern" the start leg was a 100 yard leg followed by a left turn then a 60 yard leg followed by a right turn and a 85 yard leg followed by a left turn and a 100 yard leg and another left turn and then a 110 yard leg for a 445 yard test. This cover was 3-4 foot tall dried out weeds/stalks that were dense enough that you could actually see the trail I layed for the most part. The judges put the first two corners in places where the cover was less dense. The terv started off trotting off down the trail quite confident, got to the first turn and turned but slowed and lifted its head but kept moving, the handler thought the dog was going off course and stopped because the dog had its head up. The dog then circled back around and tried again to go down the correct track but still with its head up. the handler didn't move. the dog must have done about 8 circles before the handler inally gave up and went with the dog along the correct track. the dog picked back up to a trot and moved out and then over shot the second corner and kept going the judges had to whistle the team when the were too far past the corner. I get called up to help the handler. We point the dog down the third leg and off it goes no problem then over shoots the next turn because there is a cow leg bone about 10 feet past where the dog should turn. The handler looked a little upset by her dogs performance so I told her to take a minute and give her dog a drink and relax, she collected herself let the dog find the corner before the leg bone and then dog trotted across the next to last leg got to the corner and nailed it at a trot and kept trotting down the last leg and right to the glove. the handler gave me the glove and then start walking and the dog actually tracked my path back to the road and down the road to where I had waited for the track to begin which was probably another 150 yards. I think the dog would have passed the test just fine had the handler followed the dog on the first turn.
It took us about 8-9 hours on Saturday to set up the tracks and htye ran all 8 tracks between 8:20 and noon on Sunday. Lunch awards and gifts and we were done by 1:30. They gave me a shirt, collapisble cooler, a bag of Belgian Chocolates (It was the Belgian Terv club that put on the test) a ball for Amber, and a nice bag because I laid tracks. I couldn't believe how much I learned about tracking by working the test. I am so looking forward to doing this with Amber now, and I now know alot of people that I can train with in my area.
Kelly and Amber
Cool, Kelly! Maybe I'll have to tap into your knowledge for my 2 now, too! I think they would both really love this stuff and remember chatting with you about it about a year or so ago with regards to who was in the area. I just love all of this new stuff. VERY cool!
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
Awesome! I helped lay tracks last year for a local german shepherd club!