There was a fog in the valley, but that did not deter the hardy souls who attended the Newf Club of Seattle's tracking seminar. 20 dogs and handlers learned the finer points of basic AKC tracking skills from able instructors Judi and Ellis Adler.
They broke up the day with beginner, intermediate and advanced dogs working so the beginner dogs (and their handlers) didn't get too tired out.
Alot of individual instruction, hands-on experience and pairing with at least four different partners over the day insured that everyone would have a good start in their tracking career. From oldsters like Sahsa ( 8 years young) to babes in arms Kes and Sam (both 5 months) all the dogs were enthusiastic about finding gloves and treats, especially when it meant running in the beautiful fields that made up the event site.
300 acres of mown fields gave every team ample room to challenge their noses. Event organizer Debby Forry worked hard to make sure every attendee had all their supplies and felt welcome and comfortable, plus she brought a delicious chocolate cake and LOTS of hot coffee! The Adlers were excellent instructors, taking the time to explain, demonstrate, observe and give hands-on examples so that everyone had a clear understanding of all the steps involved. The weather could not have been more cooperative, all in all making for a wonderful day.
The following books and videos will help you get started in
tracking, provide ideas for your training program, and help you
understand the dynamics of scent. Unfortunately, your dog won't be able
to read them, you'll have to.
The Audible Nose, Training Your Newfoundland To Track, by Judi Adler
Keeping Track: A Record of Your Dog's Progress in the Tracking Field, (Mueller Publications). This nifty package includes blank maps, mobile map-maker and Pocket Tracker.
Tracking From the Ground Up, by Sandy Ganz and Susan Boyd (Show-Me Publications). An easy-to-use resource. Perfect for the beginning tracker.
Tracking Fundamentals with Sandy Ganz, ESGEE.
Tracking Dog: Theory and Methods, by Glen R. Johnson (Arner Publications). The "bible" of restrictive tracking. This book is more technical than Ganz & Boyd, but I highly recommend it. Together, the two books provide all the information you need for success. This book is currently out of print. The ISBN number is 0-914124-04-8
Practical Tracking for Practically Everyone, by Julie Hogan and Donna Thompson. Another good how-to manual from authors with a combined total of 70 tracking titles.
Fun Nosework For Dogs, Hunter. Exercises and games to help your dog improve scenting skills.
It Only Takes a Scent, Spencer. A practical and fun approach to teaching tracking.
Scent and the Scenting Dog, by William G. Syrotuck (Arner Publications). A very technical manual about the dynamics of scent and how dogs perform this amazing feat. Read this after you're completely hooked on the sport.
Training the Competition Tracking Dog, Leerburg Video ProductionsThis tape provides an excellent description of scent dynamics in different types of fields.
Training Police Tracking Dogs, Leerburg Video ProductionsUseful information for those interested in variable surface tracking.
Tracking Regulations, the American Kennel Club. Read the rules before you send in your entry.