To stimulate the debate about creating a tracking society or a list of approved tracking hounds Rudi, the chairman of the Belgian Society asked me to translate the few pages he wrote.
+The creation of the Vlaamse Zweethonden Group, the Flemish Scentdog Society
Inearly 1994 during a training session of working dogs, when we were a few peopletogether and there was a discussion about training dogs for tracking. Personally,I then had a dachshund that I had already successfully ran in Belgium, theNetherlands and Germany tests.. A part of this training was the scent work.
Atthat time working with dogs on the trail was barely known and roe deer numberssubstantially increased here Flanders. During our conversation it became clearthat there was no Society which dealt with the search of injured or woundeddeer. So we decided to investigate what we could do in order to form a groupthat would solve that problem.
The result was that we few months later with a 6 friends, all with one goal:the creation of a society for tracking wounded game Its creation was mentionedin various magazines and candidates from different fields signed up to help.
Alsothere were a lot discussions about both pro and contra. The same discussionsthat are currently taking place on the SD.
From the beginning we have made an rule that only dogs with a recognizedpedigree could participate. Also, we based our rules on the tests which wereprescribed for scentdogs. We still follow this rule. Our tests are similar withtests anywhere. They are built on the same basis as the tests of HS and BMH, soit should be.
Thereason being that a dog participating in a trial should also be able to trailin another country. An example is that last year a member of the SD ran a testsuccessfully in Belgium. An article on this appeared in the SD.
The first years we also had problems caused by those who knew better. They saidthat training was not necessary, that dogs without pedigree should be allowed.Wewent our way and state that training of the members is a must that commitmentand perseverance are rewarded, and we noticed that the right people sooner orlater join because they realize the need to find wounded game.
Inshort, firm and clear information have enabled us to form a group of peoplethat have united behind their work, it is a challenge and an experience to workfor the hunting world that also has to adapt to our requirements, whichsometimes require a lot of negativity punches but is now understood.
Themedia are also involved, the different hunting organizations, magazines etc.The result is that we now as a small group of trackers are treated withrespect.
We have made use of every opportunity to express this through our lectures tohunters associations; the result is that hunters know where to find us when ananimal is injured. I know the way of hunting is not the same as in your countrybut the goal must surely be the same. It is ethically and morally bound ananimal out of its misery, with all remaining human potential there to do. Wellwe are available for everybody, voluntarily, but we here paid a small fee. Severalcommunal shoots have already created the rule that when an accident occurs theymust call us, quite simply, a central number, Always available day and night weensure that there is someone on location.
Please note that all our members have been trained, every year there is atraining, day each member has a specific scent dog, and I think we are muchstricter than most, since we have only allow tracking breeds. This has been accepted.The demands on our members and their dogs are high but the idea is to offerquality in our services, and it pays. Both members and dogs are getting bettereach year.
If you in Great Britain start with a good dialogue you should be able to gettogether group of people who are regard with respect because of their knowledge.It is a challenge you must rise to.
Ithink I can say that I find discussions normal, but note that the scentwork isstill little known. Therefore listen to those who take the lead, you will can learna lot and will find a wonderful form of hunting for you and your dog.
It is an ancient form of hunting and that is exactly why working with a dog onthe trail of scent so fascinating. It is therefore up to us to continue this.
I wish you much success and am prepared if questions receive an answer.
FlemishScenthounds SocietyUndo edits