Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Belgian Tervuren Ace The Test At The 5th AKC National Tracking Invitati

Two dogs successfully completed their tracks at the 5th annual AKC National Tracking Invitational,...

Two dogs successfully completed their tracks at the 5th annual AKC National Tracking Invitational, held September 17-18 at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky.

CT Eastern Waters’ Sea Zephyr VCD3 RE MXJ NF, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever owned by Doreen & Gary Palmer of Columbia, Connecticut and CT Montage Surfs Up VCD1 CDX PT, a Belgian Tervuren owned by Maura Hogan & Kathryn Madden of Syracuse, New York passed the test, which was a track of at least 600-700 yards that went across a variety of vegetated and non-vegetated surfaces.


“Congratulations to all of our NTI participants who showed off their wonderful working abilities. They were supported by many tracking enthusiasts who came out to watch and volunteer their time and skills,” said Curt Curtis, Assistant Vice President of Companion Events. “I’d like to thank our AKC staff members, tracklayers, Holly Leale of Argus Ranch, the Mid-Kentucky Kennel Club, Greater Louisville Dog Training Club and Susan Ritter, the Marketing and Communications Officer of Bernheim Arboretum, all of whom contributed greatly to making the event a success.”


In Tracking, tracks are laid in advance and aged for a certain amount of time, depending on the level of the dog. The exhibitor follows behind their dog, which is on a 20 to 40 foot lead, as it uses its nose to follow the path the tracklayer has walked and find the article(s) dropped along the track. Judges trail the dog and handler to determine if the dog is on or off the track. There is no time limit as long as the dog is working.


The National Tracking Invitational was open to dogs who had earned their Champion Tracker titles between January 1, 2005 and June 30, 2011. A record number of Champion Trackers entered – 46 – and after a drawing held at the AKC Operations Center in August, ten dogs and handlers were selected to compete at the Invitational. Breeds from five AKC groups participated, including a Belgian Tervuren, Bullmastiff, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Dalmatian, Golden Retriever, Otterhound, Rottweiler and Weimaraner. The event judges were Sally Diess, Roy Fair, Herb Morrison and Carol Ruthenberg.  


The AKC's Tracking Tests allow dogs to demonstrate their natural ability to recognize and follow human scent and are the competition form of canine search and rescue. There are three levels – Tracking Dog (TD), Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX), where the track is older and longer, and Variable Surface Tracking (VST), where dogs do “real world” tracking through urban settings and the wilderness. A dog that completes all three tracking titles earns the prestigious title of Champion Tracker (CT). For more information, visit


For additional details and photos of the dogs in action at the Invitational, please visit the website at