LUCKIAMUTE DOG TRAINING CLUB
AKC AND LDTC TRACKING HISTORY
April 10, 1936 - the first official
"Regulations and Standard for Obedience Test Field Trials" was published.
The first licensed
test held in accordance with these regulations took place on June 13, 1936, and appropriately enough, was held with the North Westchester Kennel Club all-breed show at Mount Kisco, New York.
Tracking was originally part of the
Utility class, and a dog had to pass a separate tracking test in order to
earn a UD.
For roughly the first ten years, tracking received one paragraph of description in the regulations, which set out the barest
basics of length and age of the track. On the day of the test, the tracklayers were to walk the tracks, deposit the article,
and retrace their steps to remove all but the two starting flags. By 1938, it was added that the tracklayer could not wear
rubber-soled shoes, and the dog had to be on a 30-40 foot leash and work without help from the handler. By 1943, the
tracklayers were required to follow the track, deposit the article, and walk directly off the course.
In 1947, tracking was made a separate
class, and more detail began to appear in the regulations: The tracklayers
required to wear leather-soled shoes until they deposited the article, whereupon they were to put on a pair of rubbers
and walk off the course at a right angle. The article was to be a leather glove or wallet. Finally, the dog was permitted one
additional chance to take the scent between the starting flags, provided he had not passed the second flag. It is obvious from
the changes in the regulations that there must have been considerable discussion of how a track was to be properly laid by the tracklayer. Tracking and advanced tracking regulations were destined eventually to swell, from the original single paragraph of description in 1936, to forty-five pages today.
As early as 1947, and encouraged
by Obedience Advisory Committees, the tracking fraternity urged AKC to approve
more advanced type of tracking test that would test a dog's ability to track a person over a course that had aged for at
least three hours and for about twice the distance required by the Tracking Test. This advanced test, called
Tracking Dog Excellent, was approved by the AKC in 1979 and became effective on March 1, 1980. The first TDX
dog was a Dachshund, Gretel Von Bupp Murr UD, who passed the Tracking Dog Excellent Test on March 15 of that year.
This dog was owned and handled by George Richards of Sun City Center, Florida.
From the beginning of the sport,
all tracking tests were held in fields and open spaces. Due to urban pressures,
these are fast disappearing in many areas of the country. A new test, called
Variable Surface Tracking, was designed to utilize industrial
and office parks, college campuses, etc.
In 1995, Merrill Cohen laid the number
one track at the first Variable Surface Tracking Test on a beautiful, clear
in Ellicott City, Maryland. Darlene Ceretto competed on the track laid by Cohen, track one (of six). "The tracks were the
epitome of what VST is all about," said Ceretto. "Although none of us actually passed, all the dogs did a remarkable and
credible job, working with determination and perseverance."
The following weekend Ceretto became
the first exhibitor to put the VST title on a dog, at an event held by the
Obedience Club of Glenview, Illinois. Her female German Shepherd Dog Sealair's Raggedy Ann UD TDX, also became
the first CT - Champion Tracker - a designation awarded to dogs with all three tracking titles.
LDTC's TRACKING HISTORY
Luckiamute DTC was formed in January, 1991. Our first members, and those who put the club together and got us approved by AKC, were Margie Dykstra, Arlene Courtney, Barb Griffin, Janet Rhodes, Sheila Cordray, Patty Storkel and Terri Pope, Jean Kane and Bob Parker, and Dana Stillinger.
We held our first licensed event, a TD Tracking Test in the fields around Oak Grove School in the fall of 1994. We added the VST test in the spring of 2000, and TDX in 2008.