Mittelwest German Shepherds – The Finest German Shepherds In The World!

Advanced Tracking Tests With Ike, AKA “Rudy”

October 16, 2011. WWCDTC VST Test at the Delavan Corporate Center, Delavan WI

Presenting: CT Ike von der Neuen Welt RE, aka RUDY!

40 minutes is a long time for me to concentrate on a Variable Surface Tracking test. The track was 762 yards long: Vegetated 373 yards, Non-Vegetated 389 yards. The rule is a VST track is comprised from 33.3% to 66.6% nonvegetated surface being concrete, blacktop, gravel, sand, etc. Our track was 51% non-vegetated surface. Rudy found all 4 articles and even found the track layers lost car keys! A real bonus for the track layer because she was looking for them all morning.

I was so proud of him I can’t hold it in as you can see from all the smiles in the picture below. We had our moments that he worked it out in light to moderate wind that swirled behind buildings and thus took us in various directions. We were the 1 tracking team to pass in 6 entries on the longest and some said trickiest track. For my guy, he seems to use process of elimination, he investigated and worked. Rudy is such a mellow fellow and he is a joker too. On the track he found some warm grass and rolled around upside down with feet in the air. The gallery was laughing and snickering. It took us 25 of 40 minutes to go the first 130 of 762 yards. (600 to 800 yards is range in the rules). Then he got up after a minute, took 3 steps, rolled around again, then jumped up with spring in his steps and just went tracking. In 15 minutes and 632 yards later we passed! The comments for the judges and gallery friends really elevated me. Good Handling & Patience! Great Team and Dog! Good Work, Congratulations!!!

The American Kennel Club (AKC) statistics are that 2 to 4 GDSs earn the VST and CT per year in the USA. There were only 2 teams in 2010 and 4 that I know of in 2011. Rudy is now 1 of the 2011 AKC Champion Trackers. On a track the goal is for the dog to follow the track layer’s track and find the 4 articles, which is what he did. Lincolnwood’s last CT was in 2000 and was our friend Donna Kircher and GSD Gentry. Prior to Donna, was her mother Bonnie Kircher with GSD Mikey in 1999 and GSD Andy in 1996 (one for the first CT’s in history). Rudy has truly followed the VST and CT Tracking Leaders, and for that we are proud and thankful. Rudy has proved it can be done for a young GSD and a new handler. All you need is the best instructors, tracking friends, and determination.

Advanced Tracking With Ike von der Neuen Welt RE, AKA "Rudy"

All smiles from Left to Right: Carol Rettig – Track Layer, Beth Walker – AKC Judge, Greg Hayward – Handler, Rudy GSD, and Pam German – AKC Judge. October 16, 2011. Western Waukesha County Dog Training Club – Variable Surface Tracking Test, Delavan WI.

Pass: CT Ike von der Neuen Welt RE; aka RUDY! By 2x VA Fabian vom Mittelwest SchH3, KKL1 (2005 Universal Sieger) X V Serra von der Neuen Welt SCHH1 KKL1.

I want to thank my tracking mentor and all the friends that supported me & Rudy by sharing their knowledge of Training and Tracking. Specifically, I want to thank Pam & Gene Kalvaitis (owners of Rudy’s father) for their encouragement; and Julie and Tessa Martinez of Mittelwest Kennels for helping to train me in fundamental obedience and handling skills that ultimately gave me the understanding and confidence I needed to handle Rudy in diverse situations. The outcome was that Rudy and I have become a very close working team, focused on the job at
hand, Tracking!

We started our tracking training after Christmas in 2008. Below is the timeline for earning our AKC tracking titles.

October 18. 2009- Tracking Dog Title (TD): German Shepherd Dog Training Club of Chicago, Burnidge Forest Preserve, Elgin, IL. The first GSD club in the USA. We drew track number 1 on test day.

February 6, 2011 – Tracking Dog Excellent Title (TDX): Gateway Tracking Club, SIU Edwardsville, IL The first AKC stand alone Tracking Club in the USA. We drew track number 2 on test day.

October 16, 2011 – Variable Surface Tracking Title (VST): Western Waukesha County Dog Training Club, Delavan Corporate Center, Delavan, WI. This was the first time we were drawn #1 at the track draw done days before the test. We drew track number 3 on test day.

October 16, 2011 – Champion Tracker Title (CT = TD + TDX + VST): Western Waukesha County Dog Training Club, Delavan Corporate Center, Delavan, WI

The AKC holds a national tracking invitational every two years. Maybe we will be lucky enough to attend in 2013!