A TD Tracking Test is to test the dog’s ability to follow a track laid by a person under a variety of conditions on moderate terrain and to find an article dropped by that person at the end of the track.
Your dog wears a non-restrictive harness while tracking. You attach a 30 foot lead in which you must stay at a minimum of 20 ft behind your dog during the test. The laying of the track consists of a tracklayer walking 440 yards but not more than 500 yards. You must have at least 3 turns but no more than 5 turns. Each “leg” of the track must be a minimum of 50 yards. The track must age for 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours. It shouldn’t cross water or paved roads.
Their will be a drop at the beginning flag and at the end of the track. The articles may be a cloth glove on bigger than a wallet size, or a wallet.
To prove that your dog knows how to track you must be certified first. In doing this you have to go to a licensed judge and he will lay you a regulation track. If you pass this track, the judge will issue you 4 certifications slips and when you enter an AKC Tracking Test you must send them one of those certifications slips along with your entry. Your 4 certifications slips can be used for any tracking test that you enter. If after 1 year you do not pass a Tracking Test you must be re-certified again and you will be issued 4 more certifications slips.
Tracking is a very rewarding sport for both you and your dog. It get’s you outdoors and you learn a lot about your dog and how they use their nose.