Tracking Dog TD and TDX Test 2009

Peninsula Australian Shepherd Association put on its fifth annual ASCA sanctioned TD and TDX tests back to back over Presidents' Weekend at Fort Ord, an enormous parkland developed from a decommissioned military base, just inland from Monterey, California. The TD test was plotted on Friday and run on Saturday. There were five entries, and all five dogs passed!  The TDX tracks were plotted on Sunday and run on Monday. Five dogs were entered. There were no passes, but my co-judge Carol Pernicka and I saw some excellent TDX work. 

The Fort Ord site is hilly but gorgeous, and this year the cover was lush and ankle deep. 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. Later in the season the slopes will be grazed by flocks of sheep.

The tracks were plotted and run during a heavy winter storm that provided plenty of much needed rain over the course of the weekend. Rainfall was light and intermittent during the TD test. The TDX tracklayers got drenched, but the storm abated briefly while the TDX tracks were being run.

Passing TD dogs were:

Argent's White Wolf Wild Time, a two-year old Samoyed dog owned by Ann and Jan Schlobohm of Fresno, CA, and handled by Francis Keays. Shown with co-judges Carol Pernicka & Anne Hershey and apprentice judge, Rita Crawford

Timberland Northwood Twilight, a ten-year-old Golden Retriever dog  & Northwood Merry Moonsprite, a five-year-old Golden Retriever bitch both owned and handled by Deborah Best of San Leandro, CA.  Pictured are judge Carol Pernicka, Deborah, tracklayers  Linda Lang & Michelle Pressel, apprentice judge Rita Crawford and Judge Anne Hershey

Nightwind's Piece of the Action, an eight-year-old Rottweiler dog owned and handled by Francis Keays of Half Moon Bay, CA.  Pictured with judges Carol & Anne, tracklayer Liza Buckner & apprentice judge Rita.

Tower of Power, a two-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback dog owned and handled by Joan Carpenter (on the right) of Pacific Grove, CA.  also shown are Judge Carol Pernicka, tracklayer Linda Lang and apprentice judge Rita Crawford and judge Anne Hershey

Entered in the TDX Test were two Australian Shepherd dogs, a Japanese Kai Ken bitch, a Shiba Inu dog, and a Rottweiler dog.


Donna Highstreet served as Test Secretary and as Chief Tracklayer for both tests. She and her husband Ken Highstreet parked their motor home at the staging area, and invited the workers into it for shelter from the storm.  We could not have put on the test in that weather without the motor home. Corn chowder, chicken tortilla casserole, hot drinks, apple cake, carrot cake, vegetable soup with sausage--- just a few highlights of the weekend hospitality provided by Donna and Ken, Mona Nichols, Warene Waters, Marcia Hodes and others.

Many thanks to our outstanding TD and TDX tracklayers: Sue Rush, Liza Buckner, Michelle Pressel, Linda Lang, Doug Nichols, Susan Roberts, Joan Carpenter, and Linda Knowles. Thanks also to our intrepid drivers Janet Massolo and Mona Nichols--- those wet dirt roads were pretty slick!

As always, it was a pleasure to work with my co-judge Carol Pernicka--- and to share the judging experience with apprentice tracking judge Rita Crawford.

My only regret is that there were not more dogs entered in the TD and TDX tests. This site is enormous. The wide open slopes could accommodate twelve TD tracks easily, and there is plenty of more challenging terrain available to plot a full six TDX test later in the weekend. ASCA tracking tests provide titling opportunities for rare breed and mixed breed tracking dogs, and wonderful opportunities for handlers of all breeds to continue to train and exhibit their tracking dogs in new and interesting environments.

Think about it for Presidents' Weekend, 2010!

Anne Hershey

Clicking on a small picture will display a bigger version.

Lunch Break

A view of the tacking site