is a sport where a human "lays a track" from a starting point "the
flag" to "the article"
which is the item (glove, wallet, cloth, etc.) that we dogs are supposed
to find and "indicate" (pick up, sit down, lie down, bark, etc.) These
tracks from starting flag to article are between 450 to 500 yards in TD (tracking dog) work.
(Believe me, that is a long, long distance!) We dogs work with our handler as a
team. We wear a harness attached to a forty foot lead held by our handler.
track" means a human walks over an area of different terrain and vegetation and makes turns
at various points--could be left, right, different angles, etc. along the
length of the track. Scent is produced by the human body, and when
vegetation on the surface of the ground is crushed or disturbed when walked on
by the track layer the scent remains on the track.
Now about my
I am with Mom at the start flag. Mom points to the ground at the start
flag and says "Track Betsy!" That is when I get to work. I have to get my
nose down to the ground and sort out all the scents, the human track scent from
the scents of all the other critters who have left scent in the field, and
follow the human scent.
am on track and now we are cruising!! I really have to concentrate because
I never know when or where there will be a turn. Look at the size of the
field! This is really hard work, because I am looking for a small article
in this vast, beautiful countryside, and Mom and I have no idea where it is.
The track was laid by my trainer,
Sarah Wilson, long before Mom and I
got to the field. All we have is my nose to count on, and Mom is learning
to "read" me as I track through the fields
Oh--now comes the really hard part--the scent has gone into the thick brush,
ravines and woods, and I have to really concentrate and not get distracted by
all the other critter scents, prickly thorns, etc., but I am staying on track!
is really getting hard! The vegetation is three times higher than my
little body, I can smell the horses and deer who have been through here, but I
am staying on track, as I have been taught. My lead got tangled but I was
concentrating so hard that Mom did not want to distract me to untangle it, and
we keep moving on track.
I found the
really hard mental and physical work!! I went home and pooped out!
We are training very
hard, three times a week, and I hope to receive my "TD" title some time this