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Two Dobermanns

Tracking

Trevor and I knew absolutely nothing about tracking at the beginning of 2007. But under the guidance and instruction of Angela Brindley, I started training in January and February. We entered Bear and Angel in the Tracking Qualifying Test in March 2007 at KCC Park. Thanks to Angela as handler, they both passed their TQT.

Because Angel was in season, only Bear was entered in the Knox trial held at Haddon shooting range on 12 May. Bear had a beautiful start; picked up the scent and he was off - after kangaroos! After an exhausting downhill run, we were called back on track and Bear then went to work to find Trevor. Needless to say, he did not pass his Track 1.

Bear at tracking

At the Hastings Club trial held at Flinders on 4 June, both Angel and Bear were judged by Lynn Klecka who wanted to belt me over the head on numerous occasions for not 'listening' to Angel. After a standoff with the cattle, and a chew on a dead carcass, Angel successfully located Trevor. Bear decided to play tough for the day and though he tracked nicely most of the time, he wanted to attack water troughs, bales of hay, and eventually - Trevor! Both dogs passed their Track 1 on that day.

Hastings Track

Our next trial was the German Shepherd Dog Club at Haddon on 10 June with Denise Chrystal as our judge. This was Trevor's first experience at handling Bear in a trial and of course, he was in charge. Bear did a few large circles covering a few kilometres - before he even started! He eventually found the tracklayer but had a few adventures along the way. But Angel was the surprise for the day. She had never seen a sheep in her life and we had been advised that all livestock had been removed from the paddocks. Not so!! Angel started her track well but soon had a standoff with a herd of over 100 sheep. They stampeded across her path on several occasions but she rarely moved from the track, negotiated her turns beautifully and found the tracklayer quite easily. Angel was successful with her Track 2 and achieved her TD title.

Angel at tracking

On 16 June at the Bendigo trial, Kim Houlden was the poor judge who had to endure Bear's passion for a fly-blown lamb carcass. Bear insisted on carrying his lamb for a few hundred metres yet he rarely left the track. However, Angel had to track in a very rocky paddock late in the afternoon and she was not impressed. At her last turn (north),  Trevor decided to prepare some beautiful hot soup for me (south.). Angel and I, and the judge, caught this odour and Angel preferred the soup to the tracklayer. Bear was successful with his Track 2 and gained his TD title.

Angel & Trevor

The Tracking Club of Victoria trial at Broadford on 7 July was not a good day for Bear but proved doubly successful for Angel. Her Track 3 was judged by Kim Houlden, and though she passed, it seemed to be a half-hearted attempt. But she went to a track-on with Dawn Howard as judge. After an eternal standoff with a flock of sheep on the first turn, she confidently continued her track. I was less confident when she took me through a large stretch of water at least 6" deep - such a relief to find the tiny peg in the ground on the other side! Angel achieved both Track 3 and Track 4.

Our next trial was at Morwell on 16 July was a double success for Bear but Angel, judged by Lynn Klecka, spotted her first rabbit and was determined she would have it - lost all interest in tracking. Bear's Track 3 was judged by Lynn Klecka who was (again!) frustrated by Trevor's insistence that he knows best!! But Bear persisted, passed the test and scored a track-on with Kim Houlden as judge. He passed both his Track 3 & 4.

On 11 August, the German Shepherd Dog Club trial was held at Haddon and judged by Tiki Friezer from NSW. Angel decided to have a "poo party day" - a bit of an embarrassment as the steward had said to the judge "you should see this little girl track - she's amazing!" However, Bear was at his best - and fastest. The judge was not impressed with the Bear's boisterous attitude and Trevor's sense of humour but she could not have failed him. Bear passed his Track 5 and achieved his TDX title.

Bear

Our final success for the year was the Tracking Club of Victoria trial held at Inverleigh - a great weekend. Bear had a brave attempt for his Track 6 but did not make it. However, Angel was at her best and powered through her track on a relatively warm day. I still did not trust her but she was confident and insisted on a certain route. When I laid the track the following day, I was amazed at how accurately she had tracked. Angel passed her Track 5 and achieved her TDX title.

Angel

Both Angel and Bear attempted their Track 6 at the VCA State Tracking Trial on 10 September at Haddon. But the strong swirly wind and warm weather made tracking quite difficult for quite a few dogs. To their credit, they both had excellent starts for their Track 6. Angel and Bear will be ready for the 2008 tracking season and eager to achieve their final titles, Tracking Champion.

 

Tracking 2008

Our first tracking trial for this season was the Hastings Obedience Dog Club Trial held at Flinders 31st May to 2nd June. Angel was not the slightest bit interested in tracking following another ‘phantom’ several days earlier. But our Bear blasted up and down the hills, having a ball as usual, and passed his Test 6 to achieve his Tracking Champion title. Sadly, this means the end of Bear’s tracking career.

Bear

At the Tracking Club of Victoria tracking trial held at Broadford on 12th July, Angel had finally recovered from her "phantom" and performed at her best level yet. In freezing winds, she tracked from the vehicle to the start, attacked the start article and took off enthusiastically on her track.

Apart from some minor distractions with the cattle in the next paddock, and the occasional poo snack, she zoomed around the track quite rapidly, finding all three articles and flicked them through the air. To her dismay, the tracklayer did not have her reward but we very quickly made up a ball in a sock for her. She was graded Very Good and achieved her Tracking Champion title.

This was a special weekend for Angel because her mother Casey (Ch Coppertop Catcha a Glance CDX TDX ET) also completed her Track 6 with a Very Good grading and achieved her Tracking Champion title. Mother and daughter both became Dual Champions on the same weekend.

Another Casey daughter, Kendra (Coppertop Just Glanzatme CCD), commenced her tracking career at the same time qualifying for her TQT. Bear's father, Ebonytan Bobby TD, also completed his Test 5 to gain his Tracking Dog Excellent title at the same time.

Angel

 

Acknowledgements

Trevor and I would like to express our appreciation to Kim Houlden who spent considerable time and energy teaching us how to track - and especially how to 'read' our dogs.  Her patience and understanding is remarkable given that our boisterous and hyper Dobes are such a contrast to her Golden Retreievers.

We would also like to thank the whole 'crew' at the Tracking Club of Victoria and the wonderful people we met throughout 2007. They were always very helpful and patient with new members, and always ready to offer training tips and assistance.

Lynn

Thanks also to Judy Thompson, Showdogs, who wrote:

"I am very proud to congratulate you on winning the Dogtrial's Victorian Tracking Dog  2007 with Ch Kaiela Hot Venture TDX.
 
You had a great year, and you must be truly proud of this wonderful dog. We understand how much hard work and effort has gone into training and competing to earn this position in the Dogtrial's competition during 2007. It says so much about your beautiful and loving companion, and also about you both as a team
"

 

At the Dobermann Club AGM on 18th April 2008, Bear was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award for 2007 and Angel received a sash for Highest Scoring Dobermann at the Inverleigh Trial in 2007.