BETSY'S PLACE

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MY TRACKING CAREER

Tracking 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.

"Laying a 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 tracking career---

 

 

Here 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.

 

 

 

I 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 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!

 

 

 

This 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 article!!  Hurray!

 

 

 

 

This is 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 fall.

Happy sniffing!