Utility tracking

UMES

In utility tracking the dog again has to follow a trail, although this time the only thing that matters is the dog’s ability to follow the trail. The course setter will take up a position similar to one a missing person could be found in.
There are competitions in which the dog has to find an object by following a trail on its own and competitions in which it is on a lead with its handler. Here, the dog has to find objects placed on the course by the course setter and find this person at the end of the course. National championships are held in most countries, and there is an annual world championship too.
These are sporting disciplines, of course. In most countries specially trained police or emergency service dogs will be used to search for real missing persons.

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Tracking trial programmesExamples

Class 1 tracking trial

© Diffomédia/Royal Canin

Trail duration: 2 hours.

Trail length: around 2 km.

Time allotted for finding the course setter: around 60 minutes.

Pace of course setter: walking.

Objects on the trail: first personal object ten paces from the start; five objects at intervals of 500 paces.

Difficulties: dirt track and grassy area, electric livestock fence, barbed wire, following and crossing a low-traffic road, ditches.

Position of the course setter: lying or concealed in ditch, under shelter, behind a fence or wall.

Class 2 tracking trial

© Diffomédia/Royal Canin

Trail duration: 3 hours.

Trail length: around 2 km.

Time allotted for finding the course setter: around 90 minutes.

Pace of course setter: walking.

Objects on the trail: a reference object is given to the dog and handler prior to the start; first personal object 150 paces from the start, followed by a further five objects, at intervals of 500 paces, one of which may be hung above the ground.

Difficulties: the scent of a stranger will be deposited in the start area around 90 minutes before the course setter arrives, dirt track and grassy area, electric livestock fences, barbed wire, following and crossing a low-traffic road (50 paces), ditches, dense hedges, woods with copses, 1.50-metre passable obstacle, passing by an isolated house.

Position of the course setter: lying or concealed in ditch, under shelter, behind a fence or wall, in a parked vehicle or by a road.

Handler/dog utility tracking certificate

© Diffomédia/Royal Canin

Trail duration: 6 hours.

Trail length: around 3 km.

Time allotted for finding the course setter: around 120 minutes.

Pace of course setter:walking with occasional running or one or two 3-minute stops.

Objects on the trail: first personal object 150 paces from the start, five further objects at intervals of 625 paces, one of which may be hung 1.50 metres above the ground.

Position of the course setter: lying or concealed in ditch, under shelter, in a parked vehicle or by a road, in a room, up a tree, in a farmyard, in a group of people, behind a hedge or wall.

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Utility tracking
    Utility tracking

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