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Apache
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Apache is offline  
Location: Cheshire, UK
Joined: Apr 2012
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04-11-2013, 08:45 AM

Natural ability for Tracking

My dog (GSD) seems to have a natural aptitude for tracking. I have been training with him during the summer, single and double laid tracks, initially using a couple of treats.

I have also tracked my other half in the forest (without treats), through swamp, log piles etc, over a 1000 meters. He found her in 5 minutes.

Just wondered where I can develop this further in the Cheshire area? Are there any clubs I can join? Seems a waste not to use his natural ability.
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CaroleC
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04-11-2013, 03:19 PM
Have you visited the Working Trials World website? Most courses / training days are advertised on there. North West WTS hold their trials in Cheshire (next one w/e 24th Nov), their training days are usually Lancs or Wirral.
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Apache
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05-11-2013, 06:28 PM
Thanks Carole, i will look at that.
Shame i will be in a big jet on that 24 Nov, so cant attend, would have been good to see what goes on. Do you have to do the whole working trials thing, or could i just train for a tracking qualification?
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CaroleC
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05-11-2013, 08:23 PM
You have to do the whole stake in this country, and UD is the only tracking stake that doesn't need a qualifier. For a full description of the stakes go to Working Trials Monthly website. Click 'About Working Trials' on the home page, for a detailed explanation of the various stakes.

Just a thought - If you only want the tracking / trailing have you thought about Search and Rescue?
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Apache
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06-11-2013, 01:24 PM
Originally Posted by CaroleC View Post
Just a thought - If you only want the tracking / trailing have you thought about Search and Rescue?
Hmm, no i hadnt. Whats involved and where would i go to get started?
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CaroleC
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06-11-2013, 10:09 PM
Never done it, so no experience, but you could try the NSARDA website. Think your nearest group would be N. Wales.
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Kanie
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11-11-2013, 02:09 PM
To be a member of a SARDA team, you have to have been a member of one of the Mountain Rescue teams for a certain length of time and then be nominated by your team leader.

Most handlers decide to become search dog handlers after volunteering as 'bodies' first for several months and then get the go-ahead to join the search dogs and then acquire a puppy. Very few people begin their training with a dog they already own (although some do)

Most search dogs range out from their handlers over a prescribed area and air-scent until they get a 'strike' and run in to locate the body. A few teams use trailing dogs, which they see as a very different discipline to tracking.

It's important to remember that working a search dog is not a sport or a hobby. Handlers need to be committed to their MR team first and foremost and complete all the necessary training, like navigation and first aid, before they even think of training a dog. That's another reason why so few train dogs they already own: the dog could be 3 or 4 years before training begins and maybe 4, 5 or even 6 years old before it qualifies. For a dog with a comparatively short working life, like many GSDs, this is not a worthwhile investment of time and resources.

If you are interested, it's best to get in touch with the Training Officer and ask if you can volunteer as a 'body' to begin with and see what you think.
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