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Thread: What should be the standards for a tracking dog?

  1. #1

    What should be the standards for a tracking dog?

    Well after the last thread I started was hijacked so many times I got feed up with trying to get it back to it was started for, to help promote the use of dogs to track here in the uk.

    I this thread you can all put what you think should be the right level of testing or not as the case maybe.
    I do not have to post in in because you just have to look at the web site to see what I believe is right.
    so please feel free to give what you think should be right.

    Cheers Tony

    Deer track and recovery
    Free of charge and confidential service

  2. #2
    This is what I need a dog for so I hope it can be of a help to you.

    1) to walk at heel off the lead
    2) sit or at least stop when I stop walking. to stay sitting if I walk/stalk on unless told to walk at heel
    3) calmly indicate deer
    4) remain calm/sitting whilst shot is taken
    5) to track and dispatch wounded deer. To help find dead deer quickly so I can move on and cull more
    6) to stay at the carcass until I arrive(this is because I use gps tracking)
    7) Not to chase any farm stock

    I not really sure how practical standard setting would be of use to me. I want the dog to find deer asap after shoot. So personally dont really have the need for dog to track a beast that was shot at, 24 hours ago so to speak. The majority of the time its to find dead deer. However on the odd occasion when a beast is only lightly wounded the are the best that we can do to try and make good of the situation. I have had my dogs track and kill a beast 1.2k from where the beast had been shot. This was as the crow flies. If I remember I think the total distance the dog ran that time was about 7k

  3. #3
    Hello Tony.

    As a novice but ( hopefully ) improving tracking dog handler, I am looking to people who do know what is required - in `real tracks` such as yourself and Richard. So I would do whatever is required, on the basis of `best practise` to train and get my dog to a acceptable standard, determined by people who do this week in week out - for real.

    Having met people like Kim, and Alan Rogers, on your, and NGO training days, who are coming from a European tracking system, and with UKDTR working along the lines of testing that they train / test to, I cannot see how or where the UKDTR testing criteria is unworthy in anyway. To pass the test criteria already laid out ( with breeds other than scent hounds ) people will have needed to put in the serious training time, and variations of scent / length of track / terrain / weather / distraction / time of day etc.

    As you know, I recently found the 20 hour track you laid very difficult, and pulled my dog, as I knew he was not going to make it - HOWEVER, that experience, and the excellent feedback from you all, gave me massive encouragement to work harder, and my young dog is now regularly completing 17 - 19 hour tracks over 500+ meters over different terrain, so I am pushing myself and the dog to more difficult tracks. Hopefully by Sept this year, you will see a different dog...

    Anyway, while I agree that `hard / difficult` tests are valid, you must have a baseline to work from, and there is just not the widespread knowledge / experience / infrastructure within the UK to go straight in at a very difficult level, as you just cannot develop skill that quickly. My feeling is that you have to start somewhere, and your existing parameters using known values are the baseline to work forward from. As UKDTR develops, and the supporting infrastructure grows in UK tracking, then there is no reason why the criteria cannot be enhanced to be more reflective of the more challenging tests used in Europe.

    Many people will have many opinions, that is a fact of life, but for your new UK based organisation you need tests that reflect the level of skill achievable to be effective, and raise the bar from there once you have a solid base of experience.

    I would otherwise say it like this..... The baseline standard required, needs to be challenging to ensure that the welfare / reduced suffering of the beast is paramount in any circumstance. Any standard achieved above that is to the benefit of the beast, rifle, landowner, tracking organisation, and increased knowledge sharing in the tracking community.

    Wish you all the best in this venture.


  4. #4
    The level could be The Novice track as done in Scandinavia followed by the open class test. These are relatively easy tests for anybody who has put the training into their dog.
    A dog with the right training should do the novice test by the time its a year old and be able to clear the open test soon after. We also have Elite class and a test for boar tracking that are for the more expirenced dog that are nearer the german model. If people feel their dogs can pass the German test then that is a good idea as well.

  5. #5
    Tony I think the easy tracks are very good education and will help all deer stalkers with there deer dogs. Most dogs should be able to track the same day EG 12 Hours. This test should be called just that a deer dog tracking test. 400 600 800 etc. Then to step up and call your self a team tracking dog and handler you would need to pass some thing similar to what the Scandinavians or Germans have as there top test.

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