Tracking Dog Success!

Tracking Dog Success!

Tracking judge Betty Winthers recently judged the Tracking Club of El Paso's Variable Surface Tracking test along with Judge Jeff Shaver on January 5, 2014.

She was so impressed by the work of the great dogs at the test that she shared a first-hand account of her judging experience.

Looking to get your dog involved in a sport and think he or she could be a pro at tracking? Learn more about the sport here and read on to get a first-person account of what a test is like.

Here is Betty's story:

Each dog entered in this test was a credit to its breeders. Many dogs had titles in front and after their name, including Champion, Agility Champion, Master Hunter, Rally Advanced Excellent, Versatile Companion Dog and more. These exhibitors certainly are active supporters of AKC Dog Sports. Every dog started the track, but somewhere along the way most got sidetracked and failed. Out of the eight dogs entered, two dogs passed and became Champion Trackers (CT).

Rottweiler Phantom Wood Just M'Jammies VCD2 GO RE TDX HSAs AJP CA CGC passed the test on Track # 4 with tracklayer Sharon Jolly and owner Michele Mauldin. This dog had a rather complex track with buildings. She started out frolicking then settled down, made the first turn, and continued tracking. As she was working on her moment-of-truth turn (a non-fringeable, non-vegetated surface turn) in the parking lot when there appeared two big fire engines with five to seven firemen standing around the two trucks. While the dog was working out the turn, one of the Fire Engines started moving on her track, then the second one began turning in front of her, causing her to stop. After the trucks stopped and parked, she went right back to work out the turn until she came to the end glove. Michele hugged her dog with tears in her eyes. The spectators roared with joy. What an incredible work ethic! This dog well deserved the coveted Champion Tracker title.

Belgian Tervuren CH. Jamaica The Painted Pirate VCD1 UD VER RN TDX passed the test on Track # 8 (the last track of the day) with tracklayer Norma Rust and owner Gloria Napper-Owen.

The track for this dog was more open with large amount of hard surface. The dog started out very businesslike, found the first turn and continued on to the first article without a problem. In the parking lot, he worked hard to locate the second article. He was almost to the end of the lot, but continued working until he found the second article, then worked out the moment-of-truth turn. The last leg of the track was parallel to a major road with traffic noise. This dog worked hard until he found the last article. Again, what wonderful work ethic! He brought to his owner the coveted Champion Tracker title.

Truly, this test, and seeing these two dogs working out the tracks, was the highlight of my judging career. My hat is off to their breeders, owners and trainers.