Kaiser von Duff RN TD

by Cris Courduff


To anyone who thinks that just because their dog can indicate turtles and deer poop with little effort will be a natural tracking dog, should walk in my shoes.

We started out right by attending Lenape’s TED in April 2004 and the first follow-up day on article indication but then missed the next two due to conflicts. Besides, this was going to be a breeze, the dog is a natural. Well, we were off and running and I mean running! At the end of the track, I was out of breath. Someone said with this dog, just close your eyes and hang on, so I did. When he overshot the turns, he would circle until he found the track.

On August , 2004, Lenape’s certification workshop, we blew by the first turn and kept on going. What a disappointment! I then followed along with the judge and other members and learned a lot by watching and asking questions. After the other trackers were completed and land and time still available, the judge offered a second track. I agreed and we certified.

We entered Lenape’s 2004 TD Test on October 31 and got in. It was an unbelievably gusty, windy day. We drew the first track, which was on the top of a hill in an open field. Off we went running, circled and made the first turn, circled and made the second turn and kept on going … whistle!

We entered Burlington County Kennel Club’s Test on December 4th and got in. I left my house at 4:30 a.m. and knew that Kaiser hadn’t done his morning constitution, so I tried to encourage him to go when we arrived at the tracking site. No luck. All he wanted to do was track. I drew Track #6. Each time we drove to the next track, I got Kaiser out and tried to get him to go. When it was time for us to run our track, you can guess. All he wanted to do was go. He was then more interested in looking around the finding critter holes ... whistle.

I gave us a break and concentrated on Rally and finished his Rally Novice title in shows with scores of 95, 99 and 99. I then met Sue Ammerman and boy did she wise me up. Don’t run, hold back at the turns, read your dog and don’t get him out until the track is ready. I worked hard at teaching this natural tracking dog and started seeing results. Since our original certification had run out, we had to re-certify and did so with Sue Ammerman. We entered Lenape’s 2005 TD test on November 6 and got in. I cannot explain what happened. It was a nice day except for the fog in the morning. We again drew the first track and I choked. It was a different field but across from the 2004 field. This time we didn’t run, we walked right past the first turn and up to the hedgerow and paralleled the second leg …. whistle. Only one dog and handler qualified out of eight entries. I was really bummed out.

The next day I laid a track and asked my husband to follow us for the insecurity and distraction factor. Kaiser nailed each turn and found the glove without hesitation. Then I wondered if we were working tracks too close to home. Sue laid a track for us in Wind Gap and the same thing happened.

I entered Dauphin’s TD test on November 13 and got in. Again, it was a nice day and this time WE DID IT!! Four hundred forth-five yards with no less than six critter hole investigations, Kaiser nailed the turns and found the glove in seven minutes.

Thanks to all the club members for the knowledge and support (I should never have missed the follow-up days). Thanks also to Peter and Mollie Heide for their incredible hospitality and to Sue Ammerman for damage control.

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