Level Three - Expert Tracking Dog
1. Length; Continuous single track of between 800m - 1000m.
2. Age; 3 hours minimum, 4 hours maximum.
3. Terrain; Grassland, heathland, crop or stubble. Where possible, should not have been used for tracking / walked on in the previous 24 hours.
4. Number of Articles; 3. Size and material to be appropriate to the terrain. None should be placed within 30m of a corner or the start of track. The third article will mark the end of the track. The dog must indicate the presence of the article.
5. Turns / Corners; At least 1 both right and left. Turns should include 45° and 90° angles.
6. Number of legs; 10 - 20.
7. Pole; One to indicate the start of the track. Another pole (or other type of marker) may be used to indicate the direction that the track-layer walked in towards the start pole.
8. Level 3 has four different challenges/variations of track, these are as follows:-
- 8.1 Standard track - this is a Level 3 track with no cross-tracks or any of the below variations.
- 8.2 Cross Track; One cross track laid by a different tracklayer, 2 hours after the original track was laid. The cross track should be at least 30m away from any article or corner and at least 50m away from the start of the track. The cross track should not be followed by the Tracking Team.
- 8.3 Crossover Track; This is a track that crosses over itself and is laid by the same tracklayer e.g. by laying a letter ‘P’ within the track (see example pattern). No more than one Crossover, to be laid, per track. Although the dog may cast or check the crossover, it should not change direction when it continues along the track.
- 8.4 Dead-leg Track; The tracklayer walks down the leg, backs up 5-10 paces, then makes a 90° turn, either left or right. Only one dead-leg to be laid per track. The dog/handler team will need to work out where to pick up the turn. It is acceptable for the dog to take the correct turn, it does not have to take the dead-leg (see example track).
All track variations are to incorporate paragraphs 1-7 above. To gain a Level 3 the dog must successfully complete one of the tests outlined in 8.1 – 8.4.
To a gain the title of UKTDA Expert Tracking Dog the dog must complete at least 3 of the tracks outlined in 8.1 – 8.4. The Standard track (8.1) can only be used once in this qualification, the other variations (8.2 – 8.4) can be used once or twice.
The handler and assessor will make prior agreement as to which of the variations is to be used in the test and the track-type must be indicated on the Assessment Form. In all circumstances, the handler must know which of these tests he is attempting with his dog.
9. Time; No time limit. This will be left to the discretion of the Assessor.
To qualify, two out of three articles must be located by the dog and each leg of the track must be accurately negotiated without undue interference / guidance by the handler.
There is no requirement for the dog to adopt any particular tracking style.