Tracking Dog TD and TDX Test 2014


Peninsula Australian Shepherd Association put on its ninth annual ASCA sanctioned TD and TDX tests over Presidents' Weekend at Fort Ord Public Lands, an enormous parkland developed from a decommissioned military base, just inland from Monterey, California.

Nine TD tests and one TDX test were plotted on Friday and run on Saturday.  Three more TD and Four more TDX tracks were plotted on Sunday and run on Monday.   Judy Storm from Whitehall, Montana and Donna Highstreet of San Jose, CA were the Saturday judges. Sue Rush of Monterey and Anne Hershey of Hillsborough, CA  were Sunday's judges.  Anne, Donna and Sue are all PASA members. 

The Fort Ord site is hilly but gorgeous.   PASA has obtained special permission from the BLM to use a portion of the park that is closed to motor vehicles, so the space is quiet and pristine.  Though this year there were a few herds of goats.  In spite of the massive drought we are having in California there was quite a bit of cover remaining from the previous season with some short green stuff underneath.  Fort Ord has quite a bit of wildlife.  One of our trackers reported seeing a bobcat, coyote, deer and a flock of wild turkeys.

The big news of the weekend was that Lora Cox's Australian Shepherd dog, ranger, passed his second and third ASCA TD  Saturday and Sunday which earned Ranger an ASCA Master Tracking Dog Title (2 TDXs and 3 TDs).  He is the second dog in ASCA history to earn this title.  Both Master Tracking dogs are owned by PASA members.  

Judge Donna Highstreet wrote up Saturday's Results

 I had the pleasure of judging the Saturday test with Judy Strom from Whitehall, Montana.  Judy has judged for PASA many times, and is quite familiar with the site.  Sue Rush was Chief Tracklayer.   On Saturday, we offered 10 TDs and 1 TDX.  Test day was overcast with very little wind, and damp conditions.  Just perfect for tracking!  The cover was very nice, with taller dead grass from last year, and short green grass below.  2 entrants had to withdraw due to illness, so we ended up with 9 TDs.  We had 7 TD passes!  A quick summary of the tracks follows:

TD 1.  An Australian Shepherd dog started out well on the first leg.  He overshot the first corner and continued down a slope before showing loss of scent.  He searched for a long time without getting back uphill to the track, and finally headed off to the left.  Michelle, the tracklayer, said that after being directed back to the track, he was perfect.

TD 2.  Lora Cox and  Australian Shepherd dog, Lorac's Texas Ranger "Ranger". True to form, Ranger powered right through this 5 turn track in 5 minutes with no trouble at all.  This was Rangers second ASCA TD, and he had already passed 2 ASCA TDXs.

Judges Judy Strom and Donna Highstreet with TD-2 Ranger & Lora Cox        Judges with Rose, Linda Stamper. Tracklayer Laurie McCammon

TD 4.  Linda Stamper and Australian Shepherd bitch, Dalton Gang's Sweetest Herb "Rose".  It took 16 minutes this time, but Rose finished her 2nd ASCA TD.  With Rose circling often, Linda showed lots of patience.  Rose had to search a fair amount on the last of 4 corners until heading confidently downhill to the glove.

TD 3.  An American Cocker Spaniel tracked down the long first leg of this track.  About 20 yards before the first corner, he broke off and searched back and forth for several minutes, also backtracking for a ways.  Finally, he headed to the right and was whistled off.

TD 5.  Miles Whitney and American Pit Bull Terrier bitch, Blueprint's Life of the Party,"Red".  Red got off to a good start and penciled her 5 turn track in 8 minutes, and Miles did a great job of handling her at his very first tracking test.

                                          Judges Judge Strom & Donna Highstreet with                                                Judges with TD-2 Pix and Debi Best
                                     Red, Miles Whitney & Tracklayer, Michelle Pressel

TD 6.  Debi Best and Golden Retriever bitch, DDs Northwood Watersprite "Pix".  Pix finished her 4 corner track in 8 minutes.  She searched each corner just to be sure, giving Debi and us some time to catch up.  This was Pix's 2nd ASCA TD.

TD 7.  Anne Hershey and Australian Shepherd dog Legends Star'n Desert Kestrel"Kestrel".  Kestrel had one little circle on the first leg of his 4 turn track. He never ventured away again, moving very steadily along the 5 turn track, and finding the glove in 6 minutes. This was Kestrels 2nd ASCA TD.

                                       Judges Judy Strom & Donna Highstreet with Kestral,                       Judges with Cody, Denise Gormish & Tracklayer, Linda Lang
                                            Anne Hershey & tracklayer, Jenny Hutchinson

TD 8.  Denise Gormish and English Cocker Spaniel dog, Radiance Grand Prix "Cody". Cody's only difficulty was on the first leg just before the corner, where 2 small animal trails crossed the track.  He worked it out though, finishing the rest of his 5 turn track in 8 minutes, his tail wagging enthusiastically the whole way!

TD 9.  Megan Hundley and Golden Retriever bitch DD's Paws Before You Leap "Beckett". Beckett got off to a strong start.  She searched a bit at the first 2 corners, was perfect at the 3rd corner and tracked right along the 175 yd 4th leg.  At the 4th corner she searched a bit before making sure the final open leg headed to the left.  This track was finished in 8 minutes.

Judges Judy Strom & Donna Highstreet with Beckett. Megan Hundley
and tracklayer, Laurie McCammon

TDX 1.  An Australian Shepherd bitch started out well on this track.  On the 190 yard second leg, she made the turn, and eventually got to the cross tracks.  She investigated them to the right, then came back to the track.  She made her way to the large patch of thick sedges and followed the track through them, but then came back.  She searched quite a ways to the right again, which headed slightly down into a ravine.  She worked her way back and searched to the left, eventually going far enough left and back that she reached the cross tracks and was whistled off.   When she went back to the track, she made it through the obstacle sedges again and went 40 yards up the hill and found her first article.  She continued up the hill to the second corner and then disappeared from our view behind the hill.

Huge thanks to our awesome track layers!!!  It's so great to have experienced, reliable friends helping us!!!  Joan Carpenter, Michelle Pressel, Linda Lang, Jenny Hutchinson, Lori McCammon.

Warene Waters provided delicious chicken tortilla casserole for lunch, and Jean Danver brought a salad and yummy persimmon bars.  Thanks ladies!!!  Mr hospitality, Ken Highstreet held down the fort back at the staging area and had the food ready at the right time.

Especially, many thanks to Marcia Hodes for being test secretary and doing all that paperwork!

It was a wonderful, fun filled day with old friends, new friends, great site, awesome track layers, yummy food, and lots of fun!!!  I was so glad to have been a part of it!!

Happy Tracking to all!
  Donna Highstreet

Judge Anne Hershey did the Monday writeup.
It was a  pleasure to co-judge these tests with ASCA Tracking Judge Sue Rush of Pacific Grove, California.  A huge "thank you" to Test Secretary Linda Stamper, for keeping everyone organized and out of trouble.

We all did double during the long weekend:  Linda Stamper's  Australian Shepherd bitch "Rose" passed her second TD test track on Saturday, as did my Australian Shepherd dog "Kestrel."  My co-judge  Sue Rush served as Chief Tracklayer on Saturday, and Saturday's Judge Donna Highstreet served as Chief Tracklayer on Monday. Tracking Judge Judy Strom, who had judged Saturday's test, laid 2 TDX tracks on Monday. Tracklayers did double duty as well.  Tracklayers Jenny Hutchinson and Lori McCammon laid TD tracks on Saturday and all of the cross-tracks on Monday.  Joan Carpenter laid the TDX track on Saturday and volunteered to lay one of Monday's TDX tracks.  Many thanks to TDX tracklayer Doug Nichols and TD tracklayers Janet Massolo, P.J. Bay, and Claudia Holaday. These tests couldn't happen without you.  And, of course, thank you to Mona Nichols for the delicious lunch hospitality Those baked potatoes with all the fixings really hit the spot!-- and to Ken Highstreet who graciously worked behind the scenes during the entire weekend to keep the food and amenities flowing and his motor home available for paper work and relaxation. 

The tracks:

TD #1:  Lora Cox's Australian Shepherd dog "Ranger" searched his first turn but passed in 8 minutes to earn his 3rd ASCA TD and Master Tracker Title.

    Tracklayer Doug Nichols, Judge Sue Rush, Lora Cox and MTD Ranger and Judge Anne Hershey

TD #2:  The America Cocker dog searched his first turn and eventually picked up the second leg, nailed his second turn, but overshot his third turn and went off track to failure.

TD#3:   Megan Hundley's Golden Retriever bitch, Beckett, penciled her 5-turn track and earned her title in 7 minutes.

The first three TDX tracks were plotted on hilly terrain through open woodlands:

TDX#1: The Australian Shepherd dog started well and initially made the second turn correctly, but deviated from the second leg onto a parallel game trail and missed the article placed on the second leg of the track.

TDX #2:  The Golden Retriever bitch started well, completed two turns and indicated her first intermediate article. She negotiated a 65 yard obstacle: a combination of bare earth surface on a steep up-hill slope and a thick stand of coyote bush on the steep down-hill slope. But she had trouble making the turn in a shaded valley at the base of the downhill slope. She indicated the direction of the next leg several times but did not commit to following the leg out of the shaded area. Eventually she went off track in the wrong direction.
TDX #3:  The Australian Shepherd started well and made the first two turns into and within the woods, easily and correctly. He overshot his third turn on an open slope in ankle length dry grass cover, and he could
not recover the track.

TDX #4: The track was plotted in a wide open valley with covered with various dry and fresh grasses  and thick stands of coyote bush and sedges. The Golden Retriever bitch started accurately, nailed her first two turns and indicated her first intermediate article. She overshot her third turn and searched long and hard to recover the fourth leg.  She nailed her fourth turn but was sucked into the first set of cross-tracks and hauled  her handler downhill to failure.

All of these TDX dogs showed some excellent work, both before and after failing their tracks.  We welcome their entries into PASA's test and wish them success in future tracking test adventures.

      Anne Hershey,
     ASCA and AKC Tracking Judge

Saturday's TD/TDX Catalog
Monday's TD/TDX Catalog

Pictures taken by Jean Danver