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Tracking events are the competition form of canine search and rescue. They provide training for dogs and their handlers to meet some human needs for tracking and finding lost humans or other animals, as well as, demonstrating the extremely high level of scent capability that dogs possess.
A dogs' keen sense of smell – which is 100,000 times stronger than humans – makes him naturally “nosey.” In AKC Tracking your '"nosey" dog can sniff and smell to his heart’s content and demonstrate his natural ability to recognize and follow a scent. And it will get both you and your dog out in the fresh air for some sniffing good time together.
Handlers must "trust their dog" in a tracking test, following the dog on a long line along an invisible (to the human eye, but not the dogs' nose!) "track" laid down (walked) previously by the judges and track layers. The track is approx (xxx yards) in the beginning level TD test, XXX in a TDX with several turns. The dog will scent an article, such as a sock, that has been held by the track layer, and then follow the path that the track layer took. If successfully completed, the dog will find a glove left by the track layer at the end of the track.
ICCKC holds 2 tracking events each year, one in April and the other in November. TD and TDX runs are typically offered. These tests are held at beautiful Eagle Island State Park in Eagle, Idaho, with the track laying happening on Saturday and the actual test on Sunday. Both handlers and judges have remarked on the perfect setting, great food, helpful and friendly volunteers, and a well-run test.