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Leerburg Articles Dog Sports - Schutzhund Tracking Dog -- Examination || IPO-FH

Tracking Dog -- Examination || IPO-FH

Tracking Dog -- Examination || IPO-FH

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Two tracks, laid by a stranger, each consisting of 1800 paces, 8 legs, 7 corners, 7 articles, about 180 minutes old, cross-track, 45 minutes to work out each track. Distribution of points:

  1st day 2nd day Total
Staying on the track 80 80 160
Articles 6x4 + 1x2 20 20 40
TOTAL 100 100 200

General Regulations

The judge or the person in charge of tracking determines the pattern of the track, whereas the layout of the tracking field must be taken into consideration. The tracks must be laid on two separate days. Varying patterns must be used for the tracks. It is for example not permitted that the articles and corners on each track are placed at the same distance from each other. The start is to be marked clearly with a signpost. The marker is to be placed in the ground directly to the left of the scent pad.

Two tracks for each participant must be laid on two different days in a trial, in two separate locations and by different track layers.

The judge will draw once more for starting positions after the tracks are laid.

The tracklayer must show the tracking articles to the judge or the person in charge of tracking, prior to laying the track. Only well-scented articles (at least 30 minutes old) may be used. The tracklayer remains for a brief moment on the scent pad and then proceeds at a normal pace in the direction prescribed. The legs and corners are likewise to be made at a normal pace. The first article is placed on the track after a minimum of 100 paces on the first or second leg. The following articles are placed as desired, also two articles can be placed on the same leg, and the seventh article is to be placed at the end of the track. The legs of the track must accommodate the layout of the tracking field. One of the legs must prescribe a half-circle, with a radius of at least three tracking-lines (about 30 m). The half-circle begins and ends with a right corner. At least two corners must be acute angles, ranging between 30 and 60 degrees. The various articles (materials: Leather, fabric, wood) may be distributed unevenly on the track. The last article must be placed at the end of the last leg. The articles are to be placed on the track while the tracklayer is in motion. After placing the last article at the end of the last leg, the tracklayer must proceed to walk straight ahead for a few more paces. The size of the articles may not exceed 10 cm in length, 2-3 cm in width and 0.5-1 cm in thickness. Their color may not stand out considerably from that of the terrain. All articles are to be marked with numbers. The numbers on the articles must coincide with the number of the track. Handler and dog must remain out of sight while the track is laid. 30 minutes prior to the start, a second tracklayer is to lay a cross-track, which must go across two of the track’s legs, in an angle no lesser than 60 degrees. The cross-track may not cross the first or last leg, or cross the same leg twice. While the dog is working out the track, the judge, tracklayers and any accompanying persons are not permitted in the area of the track where the team (dog and handler) has the right to track.

  1. Verbal command: “such/seek”
    The verbal command “such/seek” is permitted at the start and after each article. A certain amount of praise as well as a certain number of additional verbal commands to “such/seek” are permitted. Additional commands are not permitted while working out corners or while approaching the articles.


  2. Description of the exercise: The handler is preparing the dog for tracking. The dog may track free, off lead, or on a 10 m tracking line. While tracking, the 10 m tracking line may be placed across the back, on the side or between the front and/or hindquarters of the dog. The tracking line may be attached directly to the collar, dead ring, or to the ring on the tracking harness (The following types of tracking harness are permitted: Breast-harness or Böttgerharness without any additional straps). When called, the handler will report to the judge with the dog in a basic position. The handler will advise the judge whether the dog will pick up or indicate the articles. Any forceful influence is to be avoided prior to tracking, at the start and during tracking. On a signal from the judge the dog is taken slowly and calmly to the starting point and is set onto the track. The dog is to take the scent at the start calmly and intensely, with a deep nose. The dog must then proceed to track intensely with a deep nose, maintaining a steady pace. The dog must work out corners confidently. The handler follows his/her dog at the end of the 10 m tracking line. When tracking off lead, the handler must also maintain a distance of 10 m between the handler and the dog. A certain amount of slack in the line is permissible, as long as the handler keeps the tracking line in his/her hand. After working out a corner, the dog must continue to track at his regular pace. As soon as the dog reaches an article it must immediately pick up or indicate the article in a convincing manner, without help from the handler. The dog is permitted to stand, sit or return to the handler when picking up an article. Moving forward with the article or picking up the article while lying down is faulty. Indication of the article can be done standing, sitting or lying down (it is permissible to alternate). As soon as the dog has indicated/picked up an article, the handler has to lay down the tracking line and go to his/her dog. By raising the arm with the article in his/her hand, the handler shows that the dog has found the article. Then the handler picks up the tracking line and continues to work out the track with his/her dog. Upon completion of the track, the handler must show the articles that were found to the judge. It is not permitted to dispense food while tracking. The handler is allowed, upon consulting the judge, to interrupt the tracking work briefly, if he/she believes that he/she or the dog is in need of a brief break, on grounds of physical conditions or weather conditions (i.e. extreme heat). The time taken for such a break is deducted from the total time that is available to work out the track. The handler is allowed to clean the dog’s head, eyes and nose during a break or at an article. For this purpose, the handler is allowed to carry a moist cloth or sponge with him/her. These items must be shown to the judge prior to the start of the tracking work. Any additional aid is not permitted.


  3. Evaluation: To obtain a passing score, at least 70 points must be earned on each track. The speed with which the track is worked out is not a factor in the scoring, as long as the track is worked out intensely, evenly and convincingly and the dog shows a positive tracking attitude. A dog’s checking to convince himself of the layout of the track is not faulty, as long as the dog does not leave the track. Re-starting, aimless wandering, a high nose, urination/defecation, circling at the corners, continuous encouragement, leash or verbal help on the track or at the articles, missing pick up/indication of the article and indicating a false object are faulty and will cause point deductions. The tracking work is to be terminated if the handler leaves the track by more than one line-length. If the dog goes to leave the track and the handler restrains him from doing so, the judge will instruct the handler to follow the dog. The tracking work is to be terminated if the handler fails to follow the judge’s instruction. If the dog has not reached the end of the track within 45 minutes after the start, the judge terminates the tracking work.

    An exception is made if the dog is working out the last leg of the track. In that case the judge cannot terminate the tracking work for exceeding the time limit. The performance shown before the tracking work was terminated will be evaluated.

    It is faulty if a dog shows both options, in other words, if the dog indicates and picks up the articles. A rating is only given for articles that are indicated in the manner that was announced to the judge when the handler reported in. Faulty indication/pick up of an article flows into the evaluation of the corresponding leg. Missed articles must not be shown to the handler. No points are given for articles that were not indicated or picked up.

    The distribution of points for maintaining the track, for each individual leg, has to reflect the length and the degree of difficulty. Each leg is evaluated in points and ratings. If the dog is not tracking (lingering in the same place and the dog is not tracking, the judge may terminate the tracking work even though the dog is still positioned on the track.
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