Golden Retriever Club of BC
Dedicated to responsible breeding and ownership through education
Tracking


What is it?

Tracking is the development of the natural ability of a dog to recognize and follow human scent. You have undoubtedly noticed that whenever

your dog goes outside his nose is on the ground, following the scent of someone or something that has touched or crossed the course of your path or just investigating any visitors to the dog’s territory.

In sport tracking we take that natural ability and drive and with training we teach the dog to follow only one particular scent at a time.

Who Can Participate?
The sport is open to all breeds of dogs, even those that are spayed or neutered. It is a non-competitive sport - there are no scores in tests, only pass or fail.


Golden Retrievers excel at tracking, which is not surprising given the characteristic prey drive that has been bred into them over the years. That same desire to retrieve birds enables them to focus on pursuing a trail of human scent with the goal of attaining access to a particular target, be it a leather glove or an actual person at the end of the track.

How Do I Get Started?

Tracking is a great sport for anyone who enjoys being outdoors with their dogs. Because the dog must be on a lead or a long line at all times it can be done in public parks and urban areas as well as in the country and field locations.

 

There is minimal equipment required: a non-restrictive harness and a long line (three to fifteen meters) for the dog and some inexpensive little surveyor flags for marking the starts and corners of the track when training.  You will also need some articles for the dog to find such as gloves or pieces of leather.

 

Although there are limited tracking classes being offered in British Columbia tracking is a sport that can successfully by learned on one’s own through books and there are several great resource pages on the internet:

http://doglinks.co.nz/clubs/tracking_resource.htm

http://www.uwsp.edu/psych/dog/Work2.htm

http://www.dogwise.com/Browse/SubCatList.cfm?SubCat=Tracking

 

There are also several Tracking Lists on the internet that offer members dialogue and tracking advice and are a good place to meet other trackers that may be in your area or find out about seminars being held.. Three of these sites are:

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/ckc-tracking/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Tracking-L/

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Tracking_Dog/

What If I Want To Compete?

You will need to be aware of the rules and requirements for tracking tests. Rules for CKC tests may be purchased from the Canadian Kennel Club or downloaded from the CKC website if you are a CKC member.

 

Rules for AKC tracking tests may be downloaded from:

http://www.akc.org/index.cfm?nav_area=homepage

 

A good resource for finding when and where tests are being held in both countries is:

http://www.dogbiz.com

 

There are more tests per year held in B.C. than in any other province with clubs on Vancouver Island, the Interior and in Prince George supplementing the three clubs in the Greater Vancouver Area that traditionally host tests. However access to land is always the determining factor as to how many tracks are offered in each test and there are usually more entrants than there are tracks available.

What Titles Can My Dog Earn?

There are four tracking titles offered by the Canadian Kennel Club: Tracking Dog (TD), Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX), Urban Tracking Dog (UTD) and Urban Tracking Dog Excellent (UTDX). Any dog who passes all four levels will be designated a Tracking Champion and can display the letters TCh in front of its name.

 

There are three tracking titles offered by the American Kennel Club:

Tracking Dog (TD),

Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) and Variable Surface Tracking  (VST). Any dog who passes all three levels will be designated a Champion Tracker and can display the letters CT in front of its name.