During the Lexington Kennel Club’s Dog Tracking event on November 3, the competition will pit some of the country’s best noses against one another in a friendly but important competition to determine the best trackers.
Tracking events are the competition form of canine search and rescue. They demonstrate the extremely high level of scent capability that dogs possess. Dogs are blessed with the gift of actually enjoying repugnant smells, and it’s good for us that they do. For centuries, their exquisite noses have saved the lives of countless people who were lost, kidnapped, trapped or trying to survive in other precarious or life-threatening situations.
There is no scoring in AKC tracking - it is either pass or fail and a dog only needs to complete one track successfully to earn each title. All of the dogs are already certified trackers. They have been narrowed down from entries all over the country. One interesting aspect of this competition is that a 5-pound Maltese can successfully compete nose-to-nose with a 150-pound Rottweiler. It’s all in the nose.
There are three levels of tracking tests. A dog earns a TD (Tracking Dog) title by following a track 440 to 500 yards long with three to five changes of direction. The track is laid by a human tracklayer and is "aged" 30 minutes to two hours before the dog begins scenting. The goal is to use the scented track to locate an article left at the end of the trail by the tracklayer.
The TDX (Tracking Dog Excellent) is earned by following an "older" track (three to five hours) that is also longer (800 to 1,000 yard) and has five to seven directional changes with the additional challenge of human cross tracks. In the real world, dogs track through urban settings, as well as through wilderness.
A VST (Variable Surface Tracking) dog has demonstrated this ability by following a three-to five-hour-old track 600 to 800 yards long that may take him down a street, through a building and other areas devoid of vegetation.
In TDX and VST tests, there are several articles left on the track and at the end of the track that the dog must find. A dog that has successfully completed all three tracking titles (TD, TDX and VST) earns the prestigious title of CT (Champion Tracker).
This event has been approved for all AKC-Recognized Breeds. The closing date for participants will be on Thursday, October 24 at 6:00 pm (Eastern Time Zone).
Put your nose down and your tail up! The fun begins at 8:00 am on Sunday, November 3 at the Kentucky Horse Park. For more information about the Lexington Kennel Club Dog Tracking, visit www.lexingtonkennelclub.com or call Bonnie Massie at (859) 223-8873.
Date & Time:November 3, 2013 – 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Admission:$5 for parking
Location & Parking:Check in at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Main Show Office