Karleen & Frisco AM TDX

Recently I had the thrill of being at the end of the tacking line when my three year old German Shepherd Dog, Tehillah’s Frisco Kid, passed his American TDX. The track was laid through several variations of vegetation including fields of grass, baby cabbage plants and grass with standing water. There were obstacles as well: mud and water filled tracks to cross, 6′ deep ditches where I ended up sliding down on my butt and climbing out by digging fingers and toes into the bank while Frisco waited for me on the other side anxious to continue his track. There was an unplanned obstacle which we encountered when a “critter” was flushed out of the grass in front of Frisco ‘s nose, leaping into the air with all four feet stretched wide and then landing in the tall grass with Frisco leaping into the air after it. With a definate “Leave It and Track” command Frisco returned to follow his track as if nothing had interrupted him. There was also a double cross track laid by two people intersecting the track at two points. In order to pass Frisco found all three articles which had been dropped along the track with the final article at the end. All this took place during a 10 minute walk.

Tracking with my dogs over the years has been a wonderful experience and some great times shared with these companions. There has also been some frustration, some humbling moments when “I thought I knew where the track went only to be shown otherwise by my dog. One must learn to trust the dog and his abilities to follow the scent. I find this hobby a very pleasurable time to spend with my dogs, I get great exercise, lots of fresh air and they get to do what comes natural to them, using their noses.

Along with the enjoyment of working with the dogs I have also had great pleasure in meeting and working with other dog owners. This is a sport where people help each other and there is a sense of comradery. I have shared many a laugh with my tracking partners as we have related our experiences.

Tracking tests give us the opportunity to challenge, our own and our dog’s abilities and training to complete a track. I would like to acknowledge all the people associated with putting tracking tests on, whether it is the judges, test secretaries or all the volunteers laying the tracks they give up a lot of time so us, the dog fanciers, can test our skills. Many thanks to my tracking coach, Gary Roe and my tracking partners for all the good times shared on the tracking field.

Karteen Ammann