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Top Tracking Canines to Show Off Their Skills During Invitational

Ten of the top tracking dogs in the nation will compete at the American Kennel Club (AKC®) National Tracking Invitational on September 19-20, 2009, at the Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky. Held for the fourth time, this prestigious bi-annual event is a celebration of dogs’ remarkable instincts. The event will feature 10 of the top tracking canines and handlers in the country following difficult tracks over challenging terrain.

“We are pleased to welcome the very best dogs and handlers in the country to a great new location in Clermont this year to show off their impressive skills,” said AKC Assistant Vice President of Companion Events Curt Curtis. “We received our highest entry ever – 38 entries for only 10 spots – so I know that we will witness some very exciting and impressive tracking this weekend.”

The AKC National Tracking Invitational is open to all Champion Trackers that have earned the title within the qualifying period of January 1, 2004 to June 30, 2009. Each day of the event, five dogs will follow a track of 600-800 yards in length with five to seven turns. Dogs will be responsible for finding four different articles made of metal, leather, cloth and plastic and overcome two obstacles in their path. This year’s invitational includes participants from eight states and a variety of breeds, from the Dachshund and Weimaraner to the German Shepherd and Flat-Coated Retriever.

AKC Tracking is a canine sport that demonstrates a dog’s natural ability to recognize and follow a scent. With a sense of smell 100,000 times stronger than humans, dogs are used to find lost people and animals, drugs, avalanche and disaster victims, and even to detect cancer. The sport of tracking is an important foundation for these skills.  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.