Tracking Committee News

Tracking Committee
Liaison: Jan Wesen
Chair: Maia Halvorsen (2017)
Region 1: Lisa Klein (2017)
Region 2: *Anne Hershey (2018), Nita Gandara (2018)
Region 3: 
Region 4: Beth MacLehose (2018), Joyce Charron (2018)
Region 5:
Region 6: Leah Swatko (2018)
Region 7: Marja Teegelbeckers (2017)

The tracking committee has set up a yahoo group so that interested members can give input to the tracking committee, and be posted current motions and topics under discussion in the committee.

To join the group contact:

The ASCA Tracking Program provides opportunities for ASCA registered Australian Shepherds and dogs with ASCA official tracking number to obtain the Tracking Dog (TD); Tracking Dog Urban (TDU), and a Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) titles. ASCA is committed to offering Tracking at its National Specialty Shows, and points obtained from Tracking may be used in ASCA Versatility competition. ASCA Affiliate Clubs are encouraged to offer Tracking Test in their own regions.

A) General Commentary
The purpose of the Tracking Dog Urban (TDU) Test is to demonstrate the dog’s ability to follow a track laid by a person under a variety of conditions in a more urban or suburban-like environment than has been traditionally used by the Tracking Dog (TD) and Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) Tests. The goal is to have the TDU and the TD be as equal as possible in relative difficulty while allowing for the greater differences in scenting conditions between the different sites.

Dogs already holding a TD or TDX title will need additional training or experience in the new setting in order to pass this test because of differing scenting conditions. The TDU allows for the plotting of tracks using some non-vegetated areas, but limits such total use to less than 20% of the entire track length.(Although the sites for the new test are in more urban or suburban environments, this test is not to be confused with variable surface tracking.)

Affiliates have the option of giving one or any combination of tracking tests (TD, TDU and TDX) on the same day. This third test also adds value to the Versatility Program.

The TDU in brief:
Eligibility: (same as TD)
Certification: (same as TD) A previously earned TD from ASCA or any other currently recognized organization may serve as a certification for this test.

Title: Permit the use of the letters TDU after the dog’s name. A dog may earn both a Tracking Dog
(TD) and a Tracking Dog Urban title, and either would qualify the dog to enter a TDX (TrackingDog Excellent)

Track requirements for the TDU:

1) 350 to 400 yards (the TD is 440 to 500)
2) Each leg a minimum of 50* yards (same as TD) *Exceptions must be explained in the Judge’s Book.
3) 30 minutes to 2 hours old (same as TD)
4) Article(s) (same as TD)
5) Start (same as TD)
6) 3 to 4 turns. (current TD has 3-5)
7) At least two of the turns are 90°, and these 90° turns should be well out in the open. (the current TD requires three)
8) It is recommended that all turns should be on vegetation consistent with the primary terrain or cover. (same as TD)
9) No conflicting (cross) tracks shall be used. (Same as TD) However, normal traffic of humans, animals, or vehicles at any TDU site do not constitute a re-test.
10) No part of the track shall be within 50* yards of any other part of the track (same as TD) *Exceptions must be explained in the Judge’s Book.
11) Consecutive parallel tracks may not be used (same as TD)
12) No part of a track shall be within 75* yards of another track (same as TD) *Exceptions must be explained in the Judge’s Book.
13) A track shall not cross a body of water, however a track may cross a non-vegetated area as often as necessary (depending on the site) to fulfill the track requirements. For the safety of dog and handler only lightly trafficked areas should be used, and any single crossing of a non-vegetated area is limited to the width of a secondary road.
14) The total non-vegetation crossing(s) shall account for less than 20% of the entire track. Nonvegetated areas may include (but are not limited to): sidewalks, mulch, paths, secondary roads, small ditches, flower beds, gardens, low shrubbery, open stands of trees, parking areas (such as pavement, concrete, gravel or dirt) or other areas easily negotiated by a dog and handler.
15) Track may pass closely by or under trees tall enough to allow a handler to stand/walk easily, pass through an opening in a hedgerow, pass through open areas (such as but not limited to): open or low shrubbery, flower beds and other easily negotiated landscaping, and along roadways and sidewalks, etc.
16) There shall be no physical obstacles, barriers or obstructions for the handler or dog to negotiate. (Note: stairs would constitute an obstruction although a curb would not.) Crossing easily negotiated areas are not considered as obstacles.
17) There is no alternate track required. Additional recommendations:Tracks must NOT be run on areas where there is knowledge or concern of recent treatment with any chemicals which could cause harm to dog or handler. A site partially or completely covered in snow should be treated the same as a standard TD in the same situation, however caution must be exercised if there is a possibility that some of the track may be salted or chemically treated to encourage melting. Also, the integrity of the track must be taken into consideration if there are any areas which have had the snow removed by plow or shovel.

Judges Book: As in the current TD regulations, all yardage, sight points and important areas of topography should be indicated on the chart. Judges should also include any major man made structures that may affect scent. Judges need not keep an exact yardage count of non-vegetated areas although it must be estimated to total less than twenty percent of the entire length of the track. This should be easy to evaluate by reviewing the Judge’s chart/map.

Currently, the Tracking committee is working on a task requested by the Board. Have the Tracking regs stand alone. The Tracking regs now are a subset of the Show regs, and some of the pertinent material necessary to conduct a Tracking test is found in the Show regs.

The regulation pertaining to the number of committee members is our current topic on deck. The Tracking regs require a five person committee, while, the show regs state that . Show Committee consist of the Show Secretary and clubs officers present at the show unless otherwise stated in the flyer or premium list.

Concurrently, there is a reg under official committee comment. This would add the word, Full to the Membership status needed by the Tracking Test Secretary who can also be the Tracking Test coordinator.

We have available slots on the Tracking committee. If you are interested, please contact: Executive Secretary .

Thanks for your time.

Celeste Kelly

Tracking Chair