TR210: Tracking Challenges and Distractions

Instructor: Lucy Newton

Course Details

This class will focus solely on an important and critical aspect of tracking: STARTS! A dog can be a fantastic tracker, but if he fails to get off the start, then all that skill is pointless.  In this class, we will work short tracks and concentrate on shaping correct starts. In addition to working on smooth starts we will take the opportunity to work through challenges and distractions. We will put these close to the beginning of the short tracks we do for the class but they will include many of the distractions or challenges that you may find on a track. We work these challenges and distractions by challenging the dog - but only in increments that he can handle. The goal is to create conditions that are challenging (and some occur quite often in trialing), set the dog up for success, and then jackpot him with the reward for completing the short track successfully. This class requires that the students be creative and enthusuastic in seeking out the correct conditions. We want to control the distractions and setup EXACTLY what the dog needs in order to be successful.


Next session starts: June 1, 2017
Registration starts: May 22, 2017
Registration ends: June 15, 2017

Registration starts at 12:00noon PDT

Enrollment limits: Gold: 15 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited. If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.

For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.


Review shaping correct start routine without challenges.

Review starts from different directions.

Setting up tracking challanges - how not to overface the dog and what to do when things go wrong.

Each week we will introduce a series of challenges, handlers can pick and choose which ones they want to try depending on the areas and resources they have available as well as the dog's skill level.

Challenges will include (but are not limited to) tall grass, standing water, people standing nearby, dog contamination nearby, other animal waste, trash nearby, road kill/dead animals, edge of roadway, edge of water, weird start articles, very short grass, through ditch, people playing sports nearby, animals nearby (geese etc), along, up, down steep hills.

Prerequisites and Equipment

The intention of this class is to shape a dog that confidently negotiates through a variety of challenges at the start of the track. Dogs enrolled in the gold level for this class should be confidently tracking an approximately 100 foot (~30 meters) track without any guidance or restraint from the handler. It is suggested that the dog possess a TD or have been through the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy foundation tracking courses. No prerequisites for silver or bronze levels. Contact the instructor if you are not sure if this class is suitable for your dog and would like additional information.

Course Testimonials

New Course June 2016

Please refer to the instructor bio pages for sample testimonials from other courses they have taught.