Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of Canada

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About Tollers
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  Tollers in Action: Tracking
A description of the levels of Canadian Kennel Club competition

Tracking is a sport that any dog can do, but Tollers, and indeed most Sporting breeds, excel at this sport due to their ability to find downed birds in all kinds of cover, usually by using their noses.

Tracking is a great sport for young puppies who aren't ready for the rigors of competition but still need an outlet for their great intelligence.

Puppies as young as four months easily catch on to "find it" and it's a great confidence builder for both dog and handler as the dog learns to do something on its own and the handler truly learns the meaning of the words "trust your dog."

There is no one-on-one competition involved so there is little to no pressure during a tracking test (other than the pressure you put on yourself). The tracking fraternity is a small one, and all the other competitors are out there rooting for you and your dog. For everyone there is only a pass or fail, not a competitive score.

A CKC Tracking Dog Test (TD) tests dog and handler over a 400-500 metre track which has been laid by a stranger to the dog. This track has a minimum of two turns and one glove laid at the end of the track. The track is no less than one half hour old and no older than two hours.

The CKC Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) is often compared to the "quantum leap" from Novice to Utility in obedience.


Laura Norie and CH Colony's Sailor's Delight TD CD "Sharkie" working a track


The TDX test is over a 900-1000 metre track which is at least three hours old, has a minimum of five turns and three articles. To make things even more difficult the track is crossed in two places by a second person. The dog is not to take these "cross-tracks." In case you were wondering, neither dog or handler is allowed to watch the track being about "flying blind!"

If you're at a loss as to what to do with your retired show dog, take a look at tracking - he'll love you for it. Your puppy will gain confidence daily as you progress in your training and even if you never compete, the teamwork you develop through tracking with your dog will last you a lifetime!

January 8, 2005