AKC® Tracking Judging Requirements and Approval Process

Judges requesting an observation, please send requests to cejdgobs@akc.org.

Apprentice Judging Program: Permission to apprentice must be obtained from the test giving club and both judges.  Only one apprentice judge will be allowed at each test.  Apprentice judges must attend both the day of plotting and the day of the test.  Apprenticing is for prospective judges only and is to be done at the level they are eligible to apply for. Apprentice judges must submit copies of the plotted tracks and a copy of the apprentice document with their application to receive credit.  Apprentice judging forms are located on the AKC website at http://www.akc.org/pdfs/events/tracking/guidelines_apprentice.pdf.

To qualify as an applicant for TD or TDX judging – you must have:

1. Personally owned, trained and handled two (2) dogs that have been awarded an AKC Tracking Dog title (TD); (if applying for Tracking Dog)

OR

2. Personally owned, trained and handled a dog that has been awarded an AKC Tracking Dog Excellent title (TDX) and title at least one other dog to a Tracking Dog (TD) title; (if applying for Tracking Dog Excellent)

3. Have been active in the sport a minimum of six (6) consecutive years;

4. Observed tracking judges in planning and plotting tracks by:

a. Serving as a tracklayer for a minimum of ten (10) TD tracks or six (6) TDX tracks at an AKC member or licensed tracking tests, whichever you are applying for.  Must submit completed charts of at least two (2) tracks of which you served as a tracklayer.
b. Apprentice twice under two (2) different sets of judges and at least one judge must be an approved regular status judge. The apprentice assignments must be at two (2) different TD or TDX test, whichever you are applying for, and the judge may not be a member of the apprentice’s household or immediate family.

5. Attended an AKC tracking seminar within the last three (3) years.

To apply as a Provisional Judge:

Forward completed application, questionnaire and Part I (open book test consisting of two questions) to the Companion Events Department, PO Box 900068, Raleigh, NC 27675-9068 to begin the approval process.

The application, questionnaire and Part I may be found at http://www.akc.org/pdfs/masterform.cfm at the bottom of the web page.   A “pass” is required for Part I in order to proceed.

Provisional Approval:
All applicants are required to pass a written test consisting of multiple-choice questions, followed by a personal interview with a Tracking Field Representative. The Companion Events Department will schedule a test and interview at an appropriate tracking test.

Completed applications and test results are reviewed by a Judges Approval Committee for final determination. Following review, applicants will receive written notification of the Committee's action. If approved, the applicant's name will be published on the Secretary's Page of the first available online issue of the GAZETTE as a Provisional Tracking Dog, Tracking Dog Excellent or Variable Surface Tracking Dog judge. You may accept judging assignments for the approved provisional test level once you receive written notification or your name is published, whichever occurs first. 

As a provisional Tracking Dog or Tracking Dog Excellent judge, you must judge a minimum of six (6) tests with at least three (3) different judges, only one of which may be a spouse or immediately family.  In addition, a satisfactory observation judging at the provisional level must be completed within two years of the request for regular status.  For ease in scheduling the observations, the provisional judge must inform the Companion Events department when judging assignments are accepted.  Send the name of the club and dates of the assignments to cejdgobs@akc.org.

Regular Approval:
Upon completion of the assignments and satisfactory observation, the provisional judge must contact Companion Events to request regular status.

The TD form can be found at http://www.akc.org/pdfs/Regular_Tracking_Dog.pdf
The TDX form can be found at http://www.akc.org/pdfs/Regular_Tracking_Dog_Excellent.pdf

Companion Events will review the request for regular status. In some cases, additional assignments or observations may be required with approval delayed until the completion of same. In others, however, approval will be granted and the judge's name will be published on the Secretary's Page of the first available online issue of the GAZETTE as Provisional Tracking Judging Completed and have been granted Regular Status.

Once all requirements have been met, an application for the next test level may be submitted and procedures are followed as explained above.

Overview of Procedures:

  1. Complete requirements for TD
  2. Send in application and Part I Test
  3. Take written test and interview with Field Rep
  4. Name published as provisional judge
  5. Judge a minimum of six (6) tests as a provisional judge, one (1) satisfactory observation by a Field Rep within the last two (2) years.
  6. Request regular status
  7. Complete requirements for advanced levels.  
  8. Follow procedures 2 through 6

Requirements to apply for Variable Surface Tracking

1. Must be approved to judge TDX or an approved regular status TD judge who has owned, trained and handled a dog that has been awarded a VST title;

2. Observed tracking judges in planning and plotting of VST tracks by:

a. serving as a tracklayer for a minimum of four (4) VST tracks at an AKC member or licensed tracking tests. Must submit completed charts of at least two (2) tracks of which you served as a tracklayer.
b. apprentice under two (2) judges.  The apprentice assignments must be at two (2) different VST tests and the judge may not be a member of the apprentice’s household or immediate family.

3. Attended an AKC Tracking seminar within the last three (3) years.

Provisional approval for VST:  Complete overview steps 2 through 4.

Regular approval for VST:

  1. Judge at least three (3) VST tests as a provisional judge with three (3) different judges , none of which may be a spouse, and been observed at least one (1) time by an AKC Tracking Field Representative within one year prior to the request for regular status.

Upon completion of the assignments and satisfactory observation, the provisional judge should contact the Companion Events Department.

The VST form can be found at http://www.akc.org/pdfs/Regular_Variable_Surface_Tracking.pdf