Introductory Tracking Course – incorporating Track and Search

Next Course – Commencing Sunday 24th March 2024 – Fully Booked.

The club has opened a reserve list in case of any cancellations.  If you would like to be on the reserve list, please email the club on or via the ‘Contact’ or ‘Register for Course’ on home page.

Places on this course fill very quickly.  You can contact the club by email anytime during the year if you would like to register interest for the next available course.   You will then be contacted when the next course is scheduled.

Only one Introductory Tracking Course is held each year in March/April to prepare for the start of the tracking trial season in late May. Because tracking takes place mainly in bush/paddock areas it is held in the colder months of the year when snakes are least active.

Class numbers are strictly limited to 8 dogs so you must register for this course. Prepayment is required to confirm your place on the course.

The classes are held on Sunday mornings from 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. and run for 5 weeks unless otherwise stated.

First week please arrive about 15 minutes early to complete enrolment.

Note: Dogs only compete at official TCA trials. To be eligible your dog must be registered with the TCA and the handler must be a member of the TCA, if you are not a member check the TCA (Dogs Tasmania) website for the cost of annual membership and dog registration.

When tracking the dog is in harness and on lead so any dog is able to participate in the introductory tracking course as the handler always has full control over the dog.

For safety reasons you must wear sturdy enclosed shoes with grip as you may work in areas that are slippery – no thongs/sandals will be allowed.

The main aims of the introductory tracking course:

1. To teach the dog to follow a selected trail which has been marked out by leaving scent on the trail

2. Progress towards your dog being able to follow a specific scent to the exclusion of distractions and to clearly indicate any articles or property found on or next to the track

3. Understand equipment and how to use appropriately

4. Understand how to plot and lay tracks

Things to bring

· Fixed collar or a car harness if you have one (no slip chains)

· Lead – at least 750mm long up to 2 metres long

· 10 to 20 small pieces of food (cook up some sausages and slice about 5mm thick or use Devon or similar)

· A reward for your dog (a favourite toy or small container of food)

· 3 or 4 socks or gloves – to be used as articles for the dog to find

· A tether or something similar so you can leave your dog when you are laying a track – or have someone to hold your dog

Introductory Tracking Course Outline

In the first class, each handler is given a Tracking Course Handbook that describes all the training and topics covered in the course and additional information you will find helpful when training at home and when entering tracking trials.

· Introduce the dog/handler to progressively more complicated tracks

o Week 1 Straight Line Double Laid Track

o Week 2 Straight Line Single Laid Track

o Week 3 Track with turn

o Week 4 Track with right-angled turn

· Introduce Track Laying

o Week 5 Laying a track and the responsibilities of the tracklayer

§ Articles

§ Flags

§ Turns

§ Time to wait for dog to find you

· Several topics for discussion:

o Tracking equipment

o Correct use of articles to help reinforce when the dog is on track

o Lead handling

o Further training after introductory course

o Competing in Tracking Trials

§ Entering a trial

§ What to take with you

§ Tracking day etiquette

§ Laying a track at a trial

General training throughout the course

· Emphasis on the skills needed to track

· Safety when tracking

· Correct use of praise and rewards when finding an article or the tracklayer

· Training at home