Tracking Dog Excellent Test 2006

On Sunday, February 6, 2006, Peninsula Australian Shepherd Association (PASA) put on its’ first Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) Test at Fort ORD, Salinas, CA.  The judges were Barbara Adcock and Ronald Simmons.  Test Secretary was Warene Waters, Chief Tracklayer was Donna Highstreet.  Tracklayers were Linda Lang, Terry and Steve Southard, Arlene and Charlie Lovett, Dee Hutton, Marcia Hodes and Mona Nichols.

Four TDX tracks were offered, and two dogs passed the test!  It was a beautiful day!  A great big Thank You to the handlers who entered these well trained dogs, and to the workers who gave their all to make this a successful test.

Entered dogs were:

         Track #1:  Vaguero's Udder Madness (Maddie) TD RS-E JS-E-OP GS-O, REG# E110403. 7/17/2000.  Breeder Ken Lyle.  By HOF WTCH Deharo's Shaman of Vaquero RTDc PATc DNA CP X WTCH Justus Jesica James of Vaquero PATDc. Australian Shepherd, bitch. Owned and handled by Sue Rush. 
         Track #2:  Daydream Magic Mittens (Mittens) TD. REG# E114493. 98.07/2000. Breeder Judy Boone. By WTCH CH Cabrielino's Charli Chaplin X Daycream Rockin The Night Away. Australian Shepherd, bitch. Owners: Will and Anne Hershey.  Handled by Anne Hershey

         Track #3: Cu-Ds Perpeual Motion TD OTDsd STDs Reg# E116828. 4/22/2001. Breeder Diana Curl by Moonlight's Bettin' The Odds X Cu-Ds All Fired Up. Australian Shepherd, bitch. Owned and handled by Lois Allen-Byrd. 

         Track #4: Vaguero's Pipers Picnic (Piper) TD RS-O JS-E GS-N, REG# E119906. 1/22/02.  Breeder Ken Lyle.  By HOF WTCH Deharo's Shaman of Vaquero RTDc PATc DNA CP X WTCH Justus Jesica James of Vaquero PATDc. Australian Shepherd, bitch. Owned and handled by Sue Rush.  Australian Shepherd, bitch.

         Alternate Track #5: Hyegold Midsummer Knights Dream (Finn) ASCA TD, AKC TDX, RN, CGC Reg #tsn92916507.  11/05/2--2. Breeder Barbara Martin. By CH Highmark Mirasol Once A Knight VCD 2 SDHF X CH Hyegold Arizona Tango Blues TD JH AX AXJ WC VCX.  Co-owners Christine Hsu and Barbara Martin.  Golden Retriever, dog.  Handled by Suzanne Bria

 The two passing dogs were Australian Shepherd bitches Maddie and Piper, both handled by Sue Rush. Congratulations, Sue, for this marvelous accomplishment!

Judge Barbara Adcock, Sue Rush, Piper and Maddie

Donna HighStreet, Chief Tracklayer, wrote a great description:. 
  The tracking test turned out really well.  We had a beautiful site at Fort Ord with good grass coverage.  We got special permission from Laguna Seca to camp and meet in the campground that was closed for the winter. (They even put up a special sign by the campground so our people wouldn't get lost.  It said "Australian Dog Training  LOL!)  All of the rangers were super nice and helpful.  We had 2 wonderful, very experienced judges.  We had a host of great volunteers to help.  All of the tracklayers weren't even PASA members.  All the crosstrack layers were PASA members.  I'm sorry if I almost killed a couple of them from exhaustion!  And we had 4 very well trained dog/handler teams entered, plus one non Aussie alternate.

  Friday when Warene, Marcia and I arrived, it was low fog, almost zero visibility!  The ranger took us up there.  We were the only ones camped in that campground.  It was so quiet!  He had to of course mention that occasionally there is a mountain lion sighting.  Well, that evening, with the aroma of our baked chicken in the air, it was kind of spooky when we took our dogs out to potty!  If there had been a mountain lion close by, we'd never be able to see it anyway!

  Saturday morning dawned cloudy and drizzly.  No low fog though.  The judges and tracklayers arrived to plot the tracks.  Since they haven't been there before, it took most of the day to get this done.  At lunchtime, there were 8 or 9 people gathered inside the motor home to eat and chat.  Very cozy!  After that was finished, the judges worked on their paperwork in the RV and we fixed a yummy dinner for them there.  Then they left to spend the night at Margaret Guthrie's and Nancy Resetar's houses.  Thanks very much ladies!!

  Sunday, test day, dawned cold and clear with a breeze!  The visibility was incredible!  The first track was laid at 6:50 AM.  and then every 40 minutes after that.  Also, 90 minutes after each track, crosstracks needed to be laid on each track.  That sure kept me busy as the chief tracklayer, trying to keep up with that schedule!  At 9:45 we had announcements and the draw, where the contestants drew their track numbers.  Warene organized this very nicely with some pretty heart necklaces in a bag with the track numbers.  Good job Warene (we had a Valentine theme).  The first track was run at 10 AM, and we finished around 1:30 I think.  Sue Rush's dogs Maddie (track 1), and Piper (track 4) passed with flying colors.  The other 2 dogs took the crosstracks (darn it !), so didn't pass.  The alternate got to run the alternate  track as a training track.  Then we all gathered by the RV and had awards, with the judges commenting on each of the 4 tracks, followed by a delicious lunch and lots of camaraderie!

  I'd like to thank all the people who volunteered to help from PASA.  Warene who helped organize the event, and made 2 delicious breakfasts, Marcia, who helped us set stuff up, and helped with the food, and was a crosstrack layer, Mona, who brought 2 salads, and helped with food, and was a crosstrack layer, Dee who helped with crosstracks, Maggie, who helped by hosting a judge and helped with driving people around, Nancy Resetar, who hosted a judge, Jean and Andy Danver, who came to take pictures.  Also Sue Rush, who got the permit from BLM, and Anne Hershey, who helped us with other details of organizing the test.

Tracking is a really fun sport, especially if you like to be outside in the hills.  It is fascinating to me to see our dogs doing something that we couldn't do even if we tried.  I could climb over an A frame or even herd sheep if I did it carefully, but NO WAY could I follow a scent.  It's a sport where the dog is definitely in control and you really have to trust and be able to read your dog.  It's an excellent activity to start with puppies. 


Standing: Judge Ron Simmons, Lois Allen-Byrd, Anne Hershey, Arlene Lovett, Mona Nichols, Marcia Hodes, Terry Southhard, Steve Southhard, Sue Rush, Jean Danver
Seated: Warene Waters, Donna Highstreet, Judge Barbara Adcock
If you click on the group picture it will take you to a website where you can order pictures and see all 100 that were taken.
Clicking on a small picture will display a bigger version.

Anne Hershey & Mittens waiting to go

Judge Ron Simmons

Tracklayers Terry and Steve Southhard and Mona Nichols

Donna Highstreet, Chief Tracklayer

Sue Rush Setting Up

Beautiful vista from our view point

Steve explains Sue Rush's track layout (after her test)

Beautiful Track Map


On the Track

Judges preparing for a test to start.

Judges in pursuit.

Suzanna Bria and Finn. Alternate team

Susanna Bria and Sue Lang watching.

Lois Allen-Byrd.   Dee Hutton sitting

Jackson & Chaps, friends and spectators.

Piper & Maddie, TDX dogs, posing with their articles.
Donna and Warene passing out workers gifts.

The fantastic awards.

Mona & Charlie Lovett pose with Judge Barbara Adcock, Sue Rush, Piper &  Maddie