Track Requirements. The following are the restrictions and minimum requirements for a TD and TDE
Tracking Dog- TD Test
Start. The start will have a flag at the beginning and a second flag 30 yards from the first flag indicating the direction of the first leg.
The tracklayer will begin at least ten (10) yards from the starting flag, lining up with the starting flag and the second flag. The tracklayer will proceed
along this line ensuring there is no turn at the starting flag. While walking this line,the tracklayer will pause momentarily at the first flag, drop the start
article, then continue walking the track . The start article must be made of cloth and must be the approximate size of a glove or
wallet. The handler may pick up the article at the starting flag and use it to givescent to the dog while on the track. The second article shall be
dropped by the tracklayer by the second 90 degree turn.
The test begins when the dog leaves the first flag. The initial 30 yards between the flags is part of the track; all requirements for the track apply. In
this portion of the track, the handler may restrain the dog, but any leading or guiding of the dog constitutes grounds for calling the handler off the
track and failing the dog. Provided the dog has not passed the second flag, the handler may request
permission from the judges for a restart. If approved by the judges, the handler
may restart the dog, either from their present location or after returning to the
starting flag. Only one restart is permitted
1. The track must be at least 440 yards and not more than 500 yards in length.
2. The length of each of the legs of the track must be at least 50 yards.
3. The scent on the track must be not less than thirty (30) minutes or more than two (2) hours old.
4. A total of three (3) to five (5) turns must be used. Both left and right
90-degree angle turns must be used. No acute angle turns are to be used.
The first turn must be at least thirty (30) yards from the second flag.
5. At least two (2) of the turns must be 90-degree turns, and there should be
more than two (2) such turns.
6. At least two (2) of the 90-degree turns will be well out in the open
7. No part of the track may be within 50 yards of any other part of the same track.
8. Consecutive parallel tracks may not be used.
9. No part of any track may be laid within 50 yards of another track.
10. A track will not cross a body of water or a paved road. Tracks may be plotted that cross sidewalks and bike and jogging paths. These paths
should not be more than approximately six (6) feet in width. No TD track should have changes of cover that would be suitable for a TDE obstacle. No
conflicting cross-tracks will be used.
11. Tracks may be plotted to allow passage from one field to another through an opening in a hedgerow. There will not be a turn less than thirty (30)
yards before or after passing through the hedgerow opening.
Tracking Dog Expert - TDE Test
Start. The start and the first twenty (20) yards of the track will be in an area of vegetation and will have one flag at the beginning that permits the
track to go in one of several possible directions within a 180-degree arc whenever possible. The tracklayer will begin at a point about 30 yards from
the starting flag, lining up with the flag in the direction of the first leg. The tracklayer will then
proceed along this line assuring there is no turn at the starting flag. While walking this line, the tracklayer will pause momentarily at the starting
flag, drop the article, and continue walking the track as specified At about thirty (30) yards from the starting flag, the judges will instruct the
handler as to the location of the starting flag. The judges will direct the handler to the starting flag but will not indicate the direction of the track. The
angle between the handler’s direction of approach and the tracklayer’s direction of approach will be less than 90 degrees.
At the start of the track, the dog will be given ample time to take the scent and to begin tracking. The handler may use any method provided no force,
guidance, or roughness is used to start the dog at the starting flag. Since there is no second flag,
the handler must wait for the dog to commit itself before leaving the starting flag. Once the dog has left the starting flag, the test has begun; no restart
is permitted. The handler may pick up the article at the starting flag and use it, as well as subsequent articles, to give scent to the dog while on the
track. The handler will work no closer than 10 feet from the dog.
Track Requirements. The following are the restrictions and minimum requirements for a varied surface track:
1. The track will be at least 600 yards and not more than 800 yards in length.
2. The track will have a minimum of three (3) different surfaces, which will include vegetation and two (2) areas devoid of vegetation, such as concrete,
asphalt, gravel, sand, hard pan, or mulch. The areas devoid of vegetation will comprise at least one-third (1/3) but not more than two-thirds (2/3) of
the total length of the track.
3. The length of each of the legs of the track will be at least thirty (30) yards. Parallel legs will not be within fifty (50) yards of each other unless
a contiguous building or structure physically blocks access between the parallel legs. (Note: No part of the track may be within thirty (30) yards of 20
any other part of the same track.)
4. The track will be plotted using different surfaces and scenting conditions as afforded by the terrain. There will be no physical obstacles or
obstructions such as those used on a TDX track. The level of physical difficulty should be such that it will permit all breeds and handlers of any age
to participate. Ordinary stair steps are not considered to be an obstacle, but a wall or fence that must be climbed or scaled is an obstruction that must
5. The scent on the track will be not less than three (3) hours or more than five (5) hours old.
6. Turns will be on various surfaces as dictated by the terrain. There will be at least four (4) and not more than eight (8) turns on a track. Deviations in
a confined stairway or corridor will not count as one of the required turns.Both right and left 90-degree turns will be used. At least three (3) of the
turns must be 90-degree turns, and there should be more than three (3) such turns. At least one (1) moment of truth 90-degree turn will be in an
area devoid of vegetation and will be plotted to allow at least thirty (30) yards before crossing or returning to a vegetated surface. Acute angle
turns should be avoided. Articles will not be placed less than thirty (30) yards before or after this turn. Articles placed after this turn should not be
clearly visible from the turn. Tracks may be laid along the sides of buildings and fences, through buildings with two or more openings or open-sided
structures, such as breezeways, shelters, or roofed parking garages. However, tracks may not enter a building with closed doors and sides.
7. No part of the track will be within fifty (50) yards of any other track. No partof the track may be within thirty (30) yards of any other part of the same
8. All tracks will be laid utilizing buildings and the diverse scenting conditions created by being in close proximity to such buildings. Tracks will also
utilize any and/all other structures such as fences, breezeways, ramps, stairs, bridges, shelters, roofed parking garages, courtyards, and buildings
with two or more openings and/or open buildings. Tracks may not enter a building with closed doors and sides.
The TDE test articles will consist of
four (4) dissimilar, common, everyday items that can be easily carried by the tracklayer and safely picked up by the dog. Each article will not be
smaller than2” x 4” or larger than 5” x 5” and will weigh no more than 8 ounces and may be weighted in place when wind conditions warrant. There will
be one leather, one plastic (rigid or semi-rigid), one metal, and one fabric article, which will be handled by the tracklayer and will be dropped on the
track by the tracklayer at the points indicated on the judges’ charts.The first article will be fabric or leather. The last article will be clearly and
temporarily marked with the number “4.”The first article will be dropped at the starting flag and will be clearly visible to the handler. The next two (2)
articles will be dropped at wide intervals directly on the track at the places designated by the judges and so marked on the chart. One
article must be dropped in one of the areas devoid of vegetation. The fourth article will be dropped at the end of the track.The articles must be
approved by the judges prior to the laying of the track. The second, third, and fourth articles must be presented to the judges by the handler
following the completion of the track.No article will be dropped less than twenty (20) yards from a turn. cause injury to the dog.
When determining placement of articles on the track, judges should keep in mind
the possibility that under certain wind conditions and circumstances an article placed on a minimum-length leg (30 yards) connecting two parallel legs
might be easily bypassed by the dog, causing the dog to fail. Judges are discouraged from placing articles in such fashion as to fail dogs. Judges
should also use caution when placing articles in or near buildings and structures when there is a strong possibility that the
dog might cut off that portion of the leg that the article is on.
The judges will mark a dog “Passed” if an article is not found and cannot be located by the judges or the tracklayer, provided that the dog worked
continuously and intently along the actual track. Should a dog find additional articles along the track, the dog will not be failed and will be permitted to
The judges may post a person or persons at a suitable distance from the track to observe the tracklayer and/or handler and warn them of potential
problems,such as moving vehicles, cyclists, etc. The handler, judges, or assigned person(s) may stop the dog at any time for safety purposes. The
handler and dog will resume tracking when the danger has passed. For the safety of the dog and handler, judges must be aware of surface
temperature in hot weather, especially on asphalt and concrete. Tracks must not be run on surfaces where the judges and/or Event Committee
have knowledge of recent treatment with chemicals that could cause injury to the dog or handler.
It is not necessary that the judges’ charts be drawn to scale. However, every effort should be made to indicate the location of buildings, structures,
etc., in relation to the general area in order to provide a complete picture of the track in question. Judges
are not expected to be artists when indicating buildings and/or structures in the
preparation of their charts.
Position of Judges During Test. While it is possible to see an entire track from a single vantage point, it is virtually impossible to evaluate a
marginal or failing performance from this same single or stationary point. It is also unfair to dogs and their handlers. Distance can distort the precise
location of turns. Anyone can pass a dog that unhesitatingly executes every turn and, nose down, tracks perfectly and finds the article(s). Judges are
needed for the evaluation of the imperfect performances.To ensure that the dog and handler are on the track, it is essential that the judges follow the
dog and handler at a discreet distance. A recommended position for evaluating the performance is on the leg of the track just completed. In the case
of a very long leg, a position about 40 to 50 yards behind the handler works well. If the handler and dog cannot be observed, due to terrain or dense
vegetation, the judges may move closer to observe the handler and dog.The judges should confine their positions to a completed portion of the track
when possible without indicating the track ahead.
Length of Stride.
All tracking judges should determine the length of their strides when walking normally. A judge should be able to easily convert each step into yards
or parts of a yard. Judges should check the length of their strides as part of the preparation for plotting tracks. Judges should be aware that there
could be a difference in depth perception in plotting TDX vs.TD because of the differences between developed and natural areas.
Club Responsibilities. It is the responsibility of each test-giving club
to furnish the following:
1. Transportation for the judges to and from the tracking area.
2. A more than adequate supply of tracking flags of sufficient height so as to be visible to tracklayers in the existing ground cover. There should be
different colored flags for the successive numbered tracks and cross-tracks to eliminate any possibility of error. More than one mallet should be
available to drive the flags firmly into the ground. This provision will not be applicable to Variable Surface Tracking, since only a starting flag is to be
3. Adequate manpower to assist the judges.
4. A tracking area that can easily accommodate the number of entries in the test. The area must also meet the requirements of these Regulations as
to terrain; keep in mind the requirement for non-vegetated surfaces in Variable Surface Tracking.
5. Judges’ books.
6. A map of the tracking area.
If there is any question concerning the sufficiency of land to handle the entry or of suitability of the terrain, the judges should conduct an overall
survey of the tracking area before plotting.
Tracking judges must be familiar with the various conditions that exist when a dog is required to work a scent trail. Scent conditions, weather, terrain,
ground cover, wind direction, and age of scent must be considered. A thorough knowledge of these factors is necessary. In addition, the TD judge
must be experienced in advance tracking and familiar with how types of obstacles and cross-tracks affect a dog’s work.
A TDE judge should be familiar with scenting conditions in an area consisting of more than just vegetation. Buildings, other structures, and a variety
of surfaces can affect the scent
AMERICAN DOG FEDERATION