UKTDA – L1 (Novice) and ‘Beginners’ Tests.

UKTDA – L1 (Novice) and ‘Beginners’ Tests.
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Last week I ran a tracking test for my tracking newbies, ably assisted by our assessor Chris Gregory who travelled all the way down from Warwick. Thank you Chris.

We had 5 people and 6 dogs taking the test. Four teams did the ‘Beginners’ tracking test and two others did the UKTDA -L1 (Novice) test. The ‘Beginners’ tracking test comprised of a ‘box’ consisting of 4 legs of between 30-40 paces and ending on one article whilst the UKTDA pattern consisted of 6-8 legs of 50 – 150 paces.

002The day started with Tracey & Sugsy doing one of the ‘Beginner’ tracks and all we could see was Sugsy’s tail wagging above the long grass. Tracey’s handling was up to her usual standard knowing when to let the line out and when to pull it back in with this team passing with ease. Next up was Jennie with one of her Cairns ‘Tinker’. Tinker in the past has put in some good work but had a spell going backwards after a nail bed infection which stopped all training for a while so I was so pleased to see this little chap back on form once again.

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Anne & Lottie about to do their track

Then we were ready to do the 2 UKTDA L1 tests and after a toss of a coin Marie and ‘Checkoff’ won and decided to go first. ‘Checkoff’ didn’t seem to let the crowd and other dogs put him off and did a nice track finding both articles. Next to track were Ann & Lottie. Lottie hasn’t been the easiest of dogs, being a rescue that was allowed to do her own thing and go off hunting. Unfortunately the first leg of track was a straight 150 yard leg and Lottie lost a bit of concentration just at the vital point on the first corner. Fortunately Ann’s very good handling and patience enabled Lottie to get back on track and from then on Lottie flew round completing the track showing us how all of Ann’s hard work had paid off.

Next up was Marianne & Merri who has really come on with her tracking training lately. Merri doesn’t like thistles though, as we discovered recently, and tends to jump like a kangaroo when she finds one to avoid them!. So the brave little Merlie girl decided that today’s thistles weren’t quite so bad and bravely tracked through them to complete the track. Last up was Jennie with her second Cairn ‘Mischief’ who likes his tracking as long as there are treats to find. Unfortunately as this was a test there weren’t any and this coupled with him standing on a thistle before he started was enough to put the poor little chap off. Better luck next time.

All in all, a most enjoyable afternoon and such a relief that the predicted storm didn’t materialise.

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