TDX January 27, 2013

January 27, 2013 Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) Test Results!

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Pre-dawn on Test day

Well, conditions couldn’t have been more crystal clear in the tracking field this morning under a gorgeous Full Moon. We were treated to an equally stellar sunrise as our day got under way.  The tracks all went down at their appointed times.  The cross track layers added their interference tracks 90 minutes later, and 90 minutes after that, the testing began.



The first dog to run was the German Shepherd from Napa, CA.  She managed to find and work her first leg,  found her way around her first corner, successfully ruled out the first set of cross tracks she came to, but then she failed to recognize her 2nd corner . . . she ultimately traveled beyond that corner, and when she eventually acknowledged that she was out of scent, she turned and headed in an incorrect direction.  Bummer!

Next up was a Belgian Malinois from Camarillo, CA.  This dog worked VERY meticulously and navigated very closely along the actual foot falls of the track layer.  She seemed not to appreciate the need to work her way through a creek, but, having done her due diligence to rule out that her track might go anywhere but through that cold(!) water, she did what she knew she needed to do and plunged in!  Corners and cross tracks were no problem for this dog.  Near the end of her track was a sizable swatch of dead, fallen over grass.  Once again, this girl tried her darnedest to hold out hope that her track did not actually go through that stuff, as it was large enough that she could not find a way around it.  After exhausting all other options, she accepted her reality and bounded across the large patch of odd vegetation, touching it as few times as possible.  An article was waiting for her just a short distance further, so she was well rewarded for her prudent decision!  Then, 70 yards later on this 295 yard leg (a length that would cause many handlers to think they missed a turn somewhere and perhaps lose faith in their dog) she had one more corner to conquer, and then a 50 yard home stretch to the final article. SUCCESS!  This handler’s trust in her dog had paid off.  Congratulations to Marla Vogeley and her lovely Malinois, Dottie Von Vogeley MX MXJ VCD2 TDX CDX!


Judges observing Leg 2 (dog not in view)

One Fail, One Pass, two still to go.

Track 3 was run by a young Portuguese Water Dog from St. Helena, CA who liked to give a very playful ‘bounce & whirl’ leap for joy any time she reconnected with her track if her nose had somehow lead her slightly astray (waaaay cute!).  She had some deviations from her first leg but did manage to find her way to her first corner, found leg 2 and managed to work her way across the stream.  This smart cutie did not let the cross tracks fool her, but she struggled to resolve corner 2 and a good portion of leg 3 of her track – but she did it.  She resolved corner 3 and did a very nice job on her way to corner 4, but corner 4 was an open turn (a wider than 90 degree angle) and she failed to recognize it.  The judges had no choice but to blow the whistle when it became clear that this dog was no longer tracking the track layer.  Phooey!

Two Fail, One Pass, one more to go.


Team just passing Start Flag

A Border Collie from Concord, CA stepped up to the start flag on Track 4.  This dog worked the first two legs of her track just fine, but, she overshot that 2nd corner a bit.  She did resolve which direction leg 3 of her track went, but that over shoot left her working too far to the right of the actual track, which set her up to question herself when she encountered her first set of cross tracks and suddenly had actual track (although incorrect track) right under her nose.  She explored that cross track quite a bit, but ultimately rejected it and resumed her parallel path to the actual track, which did eventually allow her to intersect the next leg of her track.  Those pesky cross tracks appeared again a very short distance later, and this time she decided to take them.  Shoot!


Left to right: Judges Tannis Witherspoon & Jim Hallet, Handler Marla Vogeley & “Dottie”, and Track layer Cathy Beam

Three Fail, One Pass – Final Score.

Yes, we offered a 5 Track Test, but when two of our six total entrants passed their Tests last weekend, they elected to withdraw from our Test, leaving us with only 4 dogs.  That’s just the way it sometimes goes.

Many thanks to the many(!) people who made this Test possible – Yes, it really does take ALL of these people to appropriately staff a TDX Test for only FOUR dogs (wow)!

  • Judges – Jim Hallett and Tannis Witherspoon (both imported from WA)
  • Judges’ Hospitality – Sue Larson, Penny Larson
  • Chief Track layer – Royana Palmer
  • Track layers – Meg Azevedo, Cathy Beam, Sharon Prassa, Don Just
  • Cross Track layers – Sue Larson, Mary Roseberry, Laurie Rossi, Christine Johnson
  • Drivers for Track layers & Judges – Lisa Kretner, Linda Kelly
  • Photographer – Sue Larson
  • Hospitality – Cathy Beam

Well done, everyone – THANK YOU!

Becky Hardenbergh, TDX Test Secretary