I've not been on this list for some time, but interested to see the enthusiasm for the sport of tracking, whether in the U.S. or Canada.
I am the proud owner of three Carmspack dogs, that Carmen has mentioned, and am also a CKC Tracking Rep. for Northern Ontario, Canada.
There were a couple of posts made that I would like to make corrections to, no offense to anyone; but I think it's important that rules are stated correctly regarding earning titles.
In Canada, we have four levels of tracking tests/titles; TD, TDX, UTD, UTDX. When a dog earns a title in all of the four levels, the dog becomes a Canadian Tracking Champion, and the registered name is prefixed with TCh.
Urban Tracking Dog (UTD)
300 to 400 METRES
1 TO 2 hours aged
2 articles, one dropped on non-veg. surface: first articel may be plastic, wood or cloth, final article is leather. Articles approx. 4" x 6".
2/3 track on vegetated surface, 1/3 on non-veg. surface, such as: gravel, dirt, sand, mulch, brick, concrete or asphalt
3-5 turns, left and right, one turn on non-veg. surface
No "obstacles" are permitted
Urban Tracking Dog Excellent (UTDX)
600 to 750 METRES
3 to 5 hrs. aged
3 articles, at least one is left on non-veg. surface: may be plastic, wood, cloth or metal with final article being leather. Articles approx. 4" x 6"
1/3 to 1/2 of track on non-veg. surface (surfaces as in UTD) and the rest of track on veg.
5 to 7 turns and at least
one turn on non-veg. surface
Obstacles are permitted, but no closed building
Urban tracking location examples would be office parks, industrial parks, campuses, schools, recreation parks; with short/cut grass. Rural locations are not acceptable for Urban tests.
I have condensed the information, but think (hope) it is clear enough for everyone to understand.
After some recent fall tests, I believe the total Tracking Champion dogs titled in Canada is in the high 20's now.
We often see, and welcome, some U.S. tracking folk in Urban Tests, striving to earn the CKC TCh designation. It is a very special and hard-earned title to obtain.
Many visitors to our urban tests have stated the UTDX is more difficult to pass than the U.S. VST. Others think they are similar. I personally think, the locations and weather are what makes the top level of either test "more difficult" and that you cannot compare at the highest level. I've been in, or attended tests, where a track, after 3 hr. aging ended up going through a soccer practice, a walk-a-thon, or in 3 hr. of pouring rain/wind washing away scent on hard surface. Since tracking, whether AKC or CKC is not a competition, but a pass or fail, I hope we all just enjoy the sport and enjoy our journey of training with our dogs. What could be better?!!
"Our" Urban Tracking tests have only been "in operation" for about seven years, by the way. Previously, TDX was the final destination. I imagine we'll hit 30 Tracking Champions before the fall test season is over.
I hope this has helped clarify CKC titles for those interested.