As seen in the Oklahoma Newspaper ~ August 27, 2007
Article from the Southwestern Division Regional Pacesetter Newsletter ~ October 2007 Vol. 2, No. 11
dog days of summer ...
Fort Worth teammate makes progress with tracking dogs
As the dog days of summer come to an end, Deb Davis, Sam
Rayburn Lake, and her "boys," Yaqui and Forest, are still
"When we moved, we brought my favorite show gelding
with us," she said. "However, the heat and humidity were more
While most dogs and their owners wait until the dog is
two to three years of age before they start tracking, Davis and her
dog Yaqui began tracking when he was just eight weeks old. "Yaqui
came home and we started tracking, running huge fi ve-yard tracks,"
she said. "For an eight-week-old puppy, a fi ve-yard track is huge
and requires a lot of concentration and work on its part." One
thing led to another and soon Yaqui was tracking 500 yards with ease.
A little less than a year later, Forest joined the family and began
"Yaqui successfully passed his Tracking Dog test at the Terv Nationals at nine months old," said Davis. "I look for Forest to pass when he is about the same age." The next test that Yaqui and Davis are preparing for is the Tracking Dog Excellence test. The track will age longer, will include more turns and more articles for the dog to retrieve.
"This one is more difficult because it also has the
challenge of additional human cross tracks," said Davis.
"That means that people other than the track layer will walk in and around the track to create fresh scents to try to throw the dog off the trail. If the dog leaves the original track and follows a cross track, it is disqualified."
"This one is more difficult because it also has the challenge of additional human cross tracks," said Davis. "That means that people other than the track layer will walk in and around the track to create fresh scents to try to throw the dog off the trail. If the dog leaves the original track and follows a cross track, it is disqualified."
"The Variable Surface Tracking test is a real world
test," said Davis. "In the real world, dogs track through
urban settings, as well as through wilderness. The dog has to demonstrate
its ability to follow a three- to five-hour-old track that may lead
down a street, through a building or other areas devoid of vegetation."
After earning the Tracking Dog title, the Tracking Dog Excellence title,
and the Variable Surface title, dogs may compete for the Champion Tracker
title. "This is my ultimate goal," said Davis. "I
Many tracking dogs are used to fi nd people who are lost,
or locate bombs, drugs and many other things that humans cannot smell.
The realization that Davis was training her dogs to perform this skill
became an immediate reality when a neighbor frantically ran to her front
door asking for help. "We were told that one of our neighbors had
a three-year-old grandson who had wandered off into the Angelina National
Forest," said Davis. "They wanted to use our tracking dog
to help fi nd him."
Thankfully, the child wandered back out of the forest into a neighbor's yard and they phoned it into to the sheriff's offi ce. "It's a life-changing thought to know that Yaqui could have found this little boy," she said. "If the need arises again, I know our neighbors will knock on our door and we'll be ready to respond."