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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Well trained German teckels - perfect field obedience

Today will be a busy day so we are just going to post a short video of well trained German teckels. This is an example of perfect field obedience, and, yes, dachshunds can be trained.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Future blood trackers are getting ready for the NYSDEC exam

Wednesday, July 27 was a busy day with two future trackers coming to Berne with their dogs. We ran  8-hour-old evaluation blood lines, and then settled down for a preparation session for the NYSDEC Leashed Tracking Dog Exam which is coming up on August 19.

Eli Clement lives in Albany with his family and a young mini longhair dachshund, Shyla. Eli plans to track with her in the Albany Pine Bush and surrounding, bowhunting-only areas of the Capital District. Shyla demonstrated that she has profited from Eli’s early training with her. She is a calm dog with the desire and line sense to become a very capable tracking dog. She will be finding deer this fall. Anther plus is that her “cute” small size will win the hearts of the suburbanites when Eli asks permission to track across their back yards.

Eli Clement with Shyla

Eli’s friend Ben Barth lives in Cold Brook, northeast of Utica in the Adirondack State Park. This is far, far away from the Albany suburbs in bear and beaver country. Fortunately Ben’s  dog Arrow is a big strong dachshund ready for the challenges of rough country. At Berne Arrow was calm and focused on his blood trail. With ease he figured out a hairpin turn and some other difficult checks and found the deer skin. Ben and Arrow will be tracking wounded deer most of the time, but bear calls will certainly come. To be prepared Ben took home several containers of frozen bear  blood.

Ben and Arrow are approaching a deer hide at the end of the track.

Genti and Beth Shero drove up from Poughkeepsie to see Arrow and his work. They are the breeders of Arrow (Billy von Moosbach-Zuzelek x Mariel von Munterkeit). They were pleased to see what North Country living can do for a dachshund. Does deep snow make a dachshunds legs grow longer?

John Jeanneney, Ben Barth, Eli Clement with Shyla, Genti Shero and Beth Shero with Dea.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An evening walk ends with great pictures of the sky

It was a busy day, which was focused on blood tracking, but more about that tomorrow. This evening I went out with Asko, and while he was running rabbits I marveled over the beauty of the sky. Click on images to see enlargements.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Visiting Genti and Beth and their puppies

Yesterday we went to Poughkepsie, NY, to see Genti and Beth's wirehaired dachshund puppies. The pups were sired by our Tommy so we were very curious to see what he has produced. We were very impressed with pups, who now are six and a half weeks old.

Muriel is the pups' aunt and she loves to play with them. This experience is invaluable for the pups. She is gentle with them and does not push them too far.

Bernie is a really nice looking pup with excellent dark wild boar coat.

Bella is an only girl in the litter of three. She can stand up to the boys and assert herself.

As usually we had a great time with the Sheros, but the most adorable member of their pack is their daughter Dea, who is the best behaved baby I have ever seen.

Dea - a future Tracking Goddess

Beth and Dea. Can you see the glow on Beth's face? I think that the motherhood really agrees with her.

Beth and Genti have been working very hard to develop their Tracking Dog Supply business and they need your support. It is great to see young people seriously interested in all aspects of blood tracking dogs, so the next time you need to a tracking collar or leash, consider getting them from Genti and Beth's store.

Genti with Bernie. Bernie says - where is your beard dude?

Great conversation, great food and puppies were main ingredients of the most enjoyable visit.

Muriel and Bart played vigorously.

Puppies at this age are incredibly cute!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Whoa Post for Blood Tracking

by Andy Bensing 

I am taking a different approach in training my young dog, Atlee, than I did with my older dog, Eibe.  With Eibe it was important to me to get her to a high level of performance as quickly as possible.  I was not totally satisfied with the dog I was tracking with when I bought Eibe, and I hoped for Eibe to be the one to replace him.  Now that I am wonderfully satisfied with her and have found a great new tracking home for my old dog, I have the luxury of taking a much slower approach with my young dog Atlee.  Atlee shows me terrific natural tracking ability and comes from a pedigree loaded with dogs that turned out as terrific tracking dogs with minimal training so I am not overly concerned with doing my normally large amount of artificial line training.  He's 10 months old and even counting short puppy drags starting at 11 weeks of age I have only had him on 14 artificial blood lines so far. 

My end goal for Atlee is to have a dog that while tracking never goes more than 30 or 40 feet in front of me so that the majority of the time I can just let the tracking line drag on the ground at my feet and not have to worry about him kicking into high gear and running off down the track, even if we jump the deer.  I track a lot in thick cover and sometimes swampy areas and having the ability to drop the line and let my dog work his way through nasty obstacles while I walk comfortably around them appeals to me.  In thinking my plan over I decided to use the whoa command to accomplish this.  The whoa command is basically a stand stay from a distance and is more commonly used with bird dogs to stop them in their tracks especially when there is some extremely large temptation nearby but I thought it would be a good fit for my use in blood tracking.  In researching the different methods of teaching the whoa command (of which there are many) I decided on using the "whoa post" method as taught by Rick Smith .

The 2 links below give a detailed explanation of how the method is done.  I will basically replace distractions in general for the normal bird work done at the end and described in the articles.

My plan is to teach the whoa command completely away and separately from blood tracking.  When my dog will easily stop in his tracks on a verbal command in a relaxed manner from 50 yards away while he is chasing a squirrel or some other big distraction I will bring the command to the blood line.  I also will not introduce the whoa command on the blood line until Atlee's on leash tracking is at a very proficient level.  At that point I will start dropping the leash and letting it drag and if Atlee gets farther than 30 feet in front of me, I will whoa him until I catch up.  In training I will build up until he will track nicely in front of me completely off the leash so that when we track for real with the leash on and dragging, it should be a piece of cake.  My thoughts are that he will quickly figure out that I will let him do what he wants as long as he does not get too far in front, in which case I will stop him.  Below is a video showing where I am with Atlee's whoa training at this time.  We are starting to work on distractions.  I am very happy that I finally found a good use for my wife's new kittens!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ontario Blood Tracking Workshop

by John Jeanneney

The Canadian Province of Ontario lies just west of the Province of Quebec. The terrain and the big game in the two provinces are quite similar: moose, whitetail deer, black bear and caribou are the principle big game animals hunted. There the similarities end. Quebec has an active program of using tracking dogs to find wounded animals. Ontario has nothing of the kind.

In Quebec the principle language is French, and outfitters had access to tracking ideas and inspiration that came from France. Their tracking dogs, in this case wirehaired dachshunds, came from France and Belgium. A tracking dog handler’s association ACCSQ was founded in 2008 and today it has 240 members. The hunting regulations for big game have been officially “reinterpreted” by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR)  and in 2009 ACCSQ handlers found 71 moose, 88 deer and 4 bears. An impressive beginning.

Meanwhile nothing much has been happening in Ontario where leashed tracking dogs have been deemed illegal by most provincial conservation officers. A couple of  tracking workshops for NAVHDA in the 90s, presented  by Hans Klein and myself, did not produce enduring interest. What Ontario seemed to lack was a “Point Man”, someone who could rally the Hunter Lobby (OFAH), hunting clubs and individual hunters to encourage the MNR to change regulations on the use of dogs, in this case leashed tracking dogs. Drawing on the American experience, we have learned that state Fish and Game Departments seldom make a move unless there is evidence of  strong sportsmen support.

Laurel Whistance-Smith of Pontypool, Ontario, was fully aware of these problems when she organized the recent tracking workshop  that took place there. Laurel is a retired biologist of the Ontario MNR, and she is also a long-time breeder of the European type of wirehaired dachshunds. She has not tracked herself, but she has bred a number of fine tracking dogs that are working in the United States. The workshop was to be a small, rather informal gathering of people who have bought dogs from Laurel in the last couple of years. These dogs were sired by our stud dogs, Billy, Joeri and Tommy.

With some doubts in my mind about a long term impact of the workshop I agreed to conduct it on July 17 and 18. Darren Doran, the “Point Man” for New Jersey’s experimental program accompanied me and was tremendously valuable for both his dog and  political experience. On Friday afternoon, the 16th, we laid out five training/evaluation  lines of about 400 meters for the people we expected to come with partially trained dogs. These lines were to be worked the next morning. Weather predictions were for a very hot Saturday for where we would be working, 20 miles north of Lake Ontario. We wanted to begin the dog work as early as possible, and then use the hottest part of the day for PowerPoint presentations.

On Saturday morning only three dogs and handlers showed up and were available to work the five lines that we had laid out. This was disappointing! However,  I was impressed with the dogs that were present. Scott Leindecker worked his 10-month-old bitch Arwen first. She showed excellent tracking desire and line control. We liked the way she worked her checks with focused intent. She showed that she was ready to find wounded deer as soon as the Ontario MNR gives her the go ahead.

Scott Leindecker and Arwen find the deer skin at the end of the track.
The next dog, Yoda was handled by his owner Ernie Schroeder.  Yoda worked more slowly with somewhat closer check work than Arwen. This is a style that I have grown to appreciate more and more as I get older and older! At 2 ½  Yoda is ready for real work!

Ernie Schroeder and Yoda
Cesar owned by Tom Bunge showed that he was a good dog that had been corrupted by disrespectful grey squirrels. At home frisking squirrels in his back yard had teased him to a frenzy. Once he scented squirrels on his evaluation blood line, it was all over. He could focus on nothing else. There are good ways to de-squirrel a tracking dog, and these were discussed when we finally got to the deer skin at the end of the line.

Tom Bunge and Cesar
Later in the morning Tom worked Cesar on a second, unused line and things went better. It was siesta time for the squirrels and they were no longer laying seductive trails for Caesar. He focused better on the most important thing in the world: blood tracking.

After lunch we moved into Laurel’s spacious garage and examined  the structure and growth of tracking legislation in the United States and Canada. At this point Kerry Coleman joined our group. Kenny is a recently retired biologist from the Ontario MNR who is now on the Governing Board of OFAH. Kerry was enthusiastic about the leashed tracking dog idea and had many concrete ideas about how it could be implemented in Ontario. He believes that more promotion and the foundation of an Ontario tracking organization will be essential. I made it clear that UBT could be very helpful in a future Ontario campaign, and I pointed out what we had done in the United States. The importance of the field experience in neighboring Quebec was recognized, but the provincial  legal structure in Quebec is quite different from that of Ontario. Ontario will not be able to follow the Quebec plan the way Vermont followed the New York plan in 1996.

At this point the workshop really became a meeting, and I could see that the long-awaited point men  for Ontario were emerging. Scott Leindecker, who lives in Sault Ste. Marie, far to the west  near Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is an Ontario Provincial Police  officer, who clearly has the drive to hunt, track and promote. He reminded me a bit of Chuck Collier, the Michigan State Police Officer who lives not too far away from him. They both have gifted tracking  dogs, and as we all know,  that helps to keep the fires burning.

Nancy and Scott Leindecker from Sault Ste Marie
Ernie Schroeder was equally impressive. He is a chiropractor who can arrange his schedule to accommodate the things that are important to him ….like hunting and tracking. He has a strong background in hunting dogs  and now he has a very good wirehaired dachshund. He lives close to the political action sites of Toronto and Peterborough, and he is motivated to help the cause.

Tom Bunge has some work to do with his squirrel dog, but he has the great advantage of hunting experience as a forester in his native Germany. Currently he is an engineer with all the electronic media skills to organize hunters in the digital age.

Laurel Whistance-Smith, hostess of the workshop, does not track herself, but she is an excellent organizer and has maintained excellent contacts in the MNR where she worked for twenty years. Clearly Ontario now has what it takes to get a tracking program going.

We wound down on late Saturday afternoon with a mini-course on the grooming of wirehaired dachshunds. Vicki Thomas showed us how to strip down a wire coat so that a sometimes shaggy dog becomes a sleek, well-protected worker, which can slip through the briars and burrs. Vicki Thomas is a well-known show judge and professional groomer. Her practical advice was useful for working dachshund owners even if they never go to a dog show.
Vicki Thomas grooms Arwen

Arwen - before grooming
Arwen - after grooming. Arwen was bred by Laurel Whistance-Smith and she is out of Hexel is a daughter of our Tommy vom Linteler-Forst
Yoda was also bred by Laurel and he is out of Lily and our Joeri vom Nonnenschlag
The Sunday workshop program began at 7AM as we all munched breakfast and I went over  the slides of a practical PowerPoint program on the tricks, trials and tribulations of finding wounded game in the woods with a tracking dog. We concluded at noon. It was an excellent  workshop with little lecture and lots of discussion.

Many thanks to Darren Doran  for all his help including some of the photos above.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stalking a goldenrod crab spider in our backyard

We have a couple of really nice articles waiting for posting, John's report on the blood tracking workshop in Ontario and Andy's article on teaching "whoa", but today the readers will have to endure some shots from our backyard.

The other day when I was watering our plants (we grow mainly vegetables for our own consumption and very few flowers), I noticed an odd looking spot on one the rudbeckias. When I looked closer, I realized that it looked like a yellow spider. It was camouflaged perfectly as it had yellow body with a pair of red stripes, exactly the color of the flower. Of course, I had to investigate.

Click on the image to see better how well the goldenrod crab spider is camouflaged - it has the same body color (yellow) and red stripes as the rudbeckia petals have.
As it turned out this is Misumena vatia, also called the goldenrod crab spider, and it is the largest flower spider. According to one of the nature sites: "Crab spiders don't build webs to catch their prey. Instead, they rely on camouflage and ambush. These colourful spiders blend into their surroundings amongst leaves and flowers, where they lie in wait for unsuspecting flies and bees. Some species can even change colour to match the flower they are on."

I watched the spider for the next few days, and snapped two different pictures of the prey it caught.

First the spider caught a small fly.
The next day I saw it ingesting a large fly, which was actually as large as the spider itself.
The spider sat on the same flower for at least three days, and then moved to the next one. Today it was gone. In a strange way I am going to miss it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Teddy Moritz's narrow-chested minis for rabbit hawking

by Teddy Moritz
Because I breed small miniature longhairs for rabbit hawking, I need leggy but narrow dogs. I have seen and admire other miniature longhairs with this build which are bred in Germany. Some people comment the dogs look weedy and too thin. Well, in my experience, a rabbit being a three pound animal, a rabbit dachshund also needs to be small and narrow in order to consistently get to the rabbit when it harbors in a tight spot. Also, when I sell a pup to a falconer or gun hunter, I tell them pointedly that a miniature with the right build can get out of a three inch gap in a fence. Most people don't believe me until their dachshund is found on the outside of their fenced yard.
We reconfigured our chain link kennels today and used a door panel that had a rather large gap between the door and its support pipe. I knew the opening would allow some of the dachshunds to get out so I used this door panel for the lurcher. On a whim, I let all the dachshunds out to explore the new kennel set up. It took Tar less than two minutes to find the gap in the door panel and to get out. I decided to take a photo of her escaping to show how she did it. I put her back in the kennel and waited with the camera. She obliged me by getting out again. Tar is a three year old female, has had one litter and weighs 7 pounds, so her body is mature. The tape measure proves the gap is three inches wide. And yes, it will be blocked off so Tar doesn't get into the lurcher's run and escape. (And to prove she's feeling better, Fitz tried to get into the kennel through the same gap to be with her kennel mates. She is smaller than Tar so I know she'd easily slip into or out of this gap).

Tape measure showing the width of the gap, three inches which is 7.62 cm)

Tar with her head and neck through the opening.

Narrow shoulders allow Tar to get her front legs out.

Narrow shoulders allow Tar to get her front legs out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Proofing Search Patterns - seeing into my dog's mind's eye

By Andy Bensing

After our last training line 2 weeks ago I had a good feeling that Eibe had developed a clear picture in her head of how to recognize dead spots and efficiently work them out.  As mentioned in previous articles, I also believe that for some time now she actually recognizes back tracks as soon as she smells that the line has doubled over itself.   I set today's training line up as a proofing exercise to see if my assumptions were correct.  Since we had been focusing lately on dead spots and had not done any backtracks for quite a while my plan was to lay out a dead spot on the line to assure that she was thinking about dead spots. and then 150m later go right into a backtrack. This way I could see if she would recognize the back track and work it in her usual backtrack efficient way or would she initially think it was another dead spot and work it that way.  I also threw in a couple of sharp 90 degree turns to compare her style on them as well.  Overall, the line was 1050 meters long laid with tracking shoes and a squirt of blood on the ground every 50 steps or so and I aged it overnight (15 hours). 

Click on the image
I am trying a new technology (for me) with this article so check out the videos below.  The videos show how Eibe ultimately worked through the above exercise but also show some of the great value in using your GPS and associated desktop software while blood tracking both on training and natural lines.  The videos are not of my dog but rather they are taken from my computer screen and show how you can evaluate you and your dog's actions when you get back home after tracking.

A tracking team in the making

Thank you Justin for this adorable picture of your baby and Remi.
What kind of shoes is Remi wearing??? He looks very comfortable.

I'd say this is a great tracking team in the making!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Contest for the best caption... and a winner is

It took us a while to go over all the captions. We REALLY appreciate all the submissions and the time you guys put into the contest. I hope that you had as much fun as we did.

In the end we both agreed on the number #1 caption, which was submitted by Claire Mancha. We both loved it.

Don't cry Keena! All the prettiest girls have mustaches.

Congratulations Claire. I'll be contacting you by e-mail.

Don't cry Keena! All the prettiest girls have mustaches.

Quenotte's first recovery

It was a hard decision but a right one. Quenotte turned out not to be a breeding prospect (we'll have a separate post on this in a few days) so with a very heavy heart we decided to let her go to a new home. Often buyers of our puppies wonder how difficult it must be to let puppies go to new homes. When pups leave us at 10-12 weeks, it is not difficult. From the beginning we know that they will not be staying here. However, when you keep a pup for over a year, you get really attached. To place youngsters like Quenotte in a new home is very difficult on the emotional level.

Luckily we could not ask for a better home for Quenotte. Now she lives with Kevin and Dawn Wilson and their teenage daughter Baylee in Virginia. She is their only dog so she gets plenty of attention and love. Kevin is a year-round bowhunter and District leader for Suburban Whitetail Management of Norther Virginia. In certain northern Virginia suburbs there is year-round controlled bowhunting of nuisance deer on special depredation permits. The excessive numbers of deer carry Lyme disease, cause accidents on highways and destroy shrubbery in peoples yards.  Quenotte will have year-round opportunities to track wounded deer. Is there anything more that you could ask for?

On Saturday I received e-mail from Kevin saying: "Quenotte recovered her first deer this morning. The deer went about 300 yards on a single lung and gut/belly shot. I will send details later but she did a great job. More to follow including video. Kevin"

I got a little teary-eyed as we miss Quenotte, but we know that she is doing now what she was bred for. Thank you Kevin!

Kevin with Quenotte and the deer she recovered

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Getting closer to Karl. A wirehaired dachshund's portrait.

While John and Darren are in Ontario giving a blood tracking workshop, Karl is staying here. I could not help myself and had to take some pictures of him. As it turned out he is a very cooperative dog, and we both had fun. Even though I love black and white photography I have not done it in years. I tried to work with one of Karl's portraits and thought that I actually like the b&w version better than the color one. What do you think? Click on the images to see a larger version.

Teddy's lurcher injures a mini dachshund by mistake

I have to admit that I needed two attempts to finish reading Teddy Moritz's e-mail, which describes how her mini longhair Fitz was injured. Accidents happen. Teddy has had lurchers since 1984 and has never had one grab a dog before. Anyway...proceed with caution.

Early yesterday morning several of my dachshunds got into a big coon. The lurcher of course joined in the fracas. I don't like having five dachshunds on one bad quarry because the big dog can't get a good grip right away as he tries to avoid the little dogs, nor can he shake the coon and kill it quickly when the dachshunds are hanging off it. The lurcher weighs 65 pounds so when he shakes something he does some damage. Well, unfortunately this time when he grabbed the coon, it bit him on the nose and he dropped it then immediately bent down to grab it again. Instead he grabbed my smallest dachshund, Fitz, who weighs six pounds. The lurcher shook her once and dropped her, realizing his mistake. The coon made a break for the fence line, the other dachshunds after it. The lurcher caught up with them and this time finished off the coon.

When the lurcher had dropped Fitz I ran to her as she was squalling. I looked and saw her intestines were hanging out her side. Not a pretty sight. I grabbed her up, carefully as she tried to bite me in her distress. I got a towel around her to keep her insides from coming out any further and put her in a crate in the car. I grabbed the other dogs and put them in their kennels and drove to the veterinarian. This vet opens at 7:30 a.m., a blessing since the wreck happened at 7. The vet looked at the injury and told me what he had to do. I left Fitz there till 4 then picked her up, all bandaged and drugged. The vet said none of the inner organs had been punctured, which is very fortunate as infection is a real threat if the intestines are perforated. Fitz also had a broken rib.

I took Fitz home, crated her and sat with her for awhile. She groaned on and off during the night but seemed alright. Early this morning I took her out to pee. She sat in the sun a few minutes, then walked to the area where the initial coon fight had been. She sniffed all over the area, then tracked the scent line to the fence where the coon had expired. I had moved its carcase way out to a front field for the vultures, who were glad to have it. Fitz seemed to very much want to find the coon so I carried her to the carcase. She sniffed it then peed copiously on it, walked a few steps away, and defecated on some coon fur. I guess Fitz wanted to find that coon and give it a final insult. The lurcher had accompanied us but Fitz showed no fear of him. In the fracas she might have thought the coon was the assailant. I'm just glad the wreck wasn't any worse.

Teddy Moritz's Fitz with her fancy yellow bandage
Needless to say we wish Fitz a quick and full recovery!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A great afternoon with Suzanne Clothier and John Rice

Yesterday we had fun! We accompanied  Darren Doran from New Jersey (and wirehaired dachshund Karl) at his consultation session with  Suzanne Clothier and John Rice. Suzanne, a renowned dog writer and professional trainer, is my guru when it comes to dog assessment and psychology. I took several of her workshops, and currently I am enrolled in her CARAT program. I think that when it comes to understanding animals, Suzanne is a genius. John Rice, Suzanne's husband, is a retired forest ranger with an extensive background in K-9 Search & Rescue. For more info on his approach to tracking click here. Both Suzanne and John's training emphasizes the handler/owner's relationship with his dog.

Darren, upon my recommendation, asked Suzanne to help him with a specific issue that Karl has showed in his tracking. So the whole session was very educational for me, especially to be able to hear Suzanne's analysis of Karl. Four hours flew by. 

I took some pics and video with my digital camera, but I certainly missed my DSLR! The quality is just not the same.

Darren and Suzanne who communicates in a very clear and animated way.

John Jeanneney and John Rice, two tracking experts, had a lively discussion.

Karl made a very good impression as his behavior and manners were impeccable.
He also played very well with Mila, a nine-week-old German Shepard bred by Suzanne and John.

A big thank you to Darren for having us there, and to Suzanne and John!
Today John (my husband) and Darren are on their way to Ontario, Canada, to give a blood tracking workshop at Laurel Whistance-Smith's place. It will be a good opportunity for John to see dogs sired by our Joeri and Tommy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Charles Alsheimer's picture of Radar

Anybody who has been involved in deer hunting knows who Charles Alsheimer is. He is also a friend of Craig Dougherty of NorthCountry Whitetails, an owner of a 14-month-old wirehaired dachshund Radar (Quentin von Moosbach-Zuzelek). Charlie took a picture of  Radar and gave us permission to share it on this blog. Thank you Charlie and Craig! A beautiful picture of the good looking dog!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Upcoming UBT Blood Tracking Workshop in North Carolina

Date: August 6, 2011 at Guilford Bowhunters Clubhouse, McLeansville, NC; 9 am until 5 pm.

Hosted by the North Carolina Bowhunters Association
Presented by United Blood Trackers

The North Carolina General Assembly recently passed a law that will allow hunters to retrieve dead and wounded big game animals using tracking dogs on a leash in North Carolina. This is something the NCBA has worked to get approved in our state for a long time. NCBA will host a training seminar conducted by Andy Bensing from the United Blood Trackers (UBT) on August 6, 2011.

This will be about a 7-8 hour seminar that will deal with training your dog to trail wounded big game animals, and it will include demonstrations with Andy's dog and a couple other tracking dogs belonging to NCBA members. Attendees will receive tips on “how-to” train your dog to trail and recover wounded game. Early registration fee is $15 per person to attend this training seminar and demonstration ($20 after July 31). This will go to cover the cost of bringing the UBT officer to N.C. to run the event, meal for Saturday and building rental. Enrollment will be limited to about 40 participants.

Contact NCBA Prog. Chmn., David Whitmire to enroll at 828-553-0083 or email:

The annual NCBA picnic is the next day, August 7th at this same location,beginning at 2 p.m. until. Make checks to: NCBA-UBT Seminar and mail to: NCBA UBT Seminar; 7796 NC Hwy 68 N; Stokesdale, NC 27357.

Andy will abe available to conduct 3 or 4 evaluation sessions on Sunday, August 7th. These are the UBT-I & UBT-II "one on one" courses with dog and owner that will be available on a limited, first-come basis. The cost is $50 for the UBT-I course and $75 for the UBT-II course. Let David Whitmire know if you are interested in this special course on Sunday also.

NOTE: DO NOT bring your dog to the seminar on Saturday, or to the NCBA picnic on Sunday unless you have made advance arrangements to do so with David Whitmire.

New Jersey Special Wildlife Permit Certifications

by Andy Bensing

On Sunday morning July 10, 2011 I had the pleasure of judging 2 NJ dog handlers, Joe Lowry and Don Kline, for their certification test so they could participate in the NJ experimental blood tracking program. As a requirement to be on the special permit, NJ requires permittees to pass the United Blood Trackers' UBT-I evaluation. Both handlers traveled 2 ½ hours from NJ to Hamburg PA for me to administer the certification. It was a long drive for a short UBT-I line but the bonus was that the location was in a state forest right across the street from Cabela's!

Click on the map to enlarge
Joe's dog Greta, a 2 year old Drahthaar, was the first dog up and basically drilled the line and easily passed the evaluation. You can see from the GPS map that she was directly on the line 95% of the time except for the first turn which she cut short by winding the second leg. Greta motored down the 500 meter line in 11 minutes never missing a beat. Although time is not a factor in the UBT-I evaluation, her speed and accuracy was quite impressive. Actually she would have been done in ½ the time but Joe downed her 4 or 5 times along the way to stop and look for blood and confirm the correct course.

Joe Lowry with Greta
 Don's dog Jager, a robust 2 year old wire haired dachshund, was the second dog up. Jager went directly down the first leg with perfect accuracy but ran off the first turn and was called back. After restarting, Jager carefully picked his way down the second leg and found the wound bed with no problem but drifted off the line right after the wound bed and was called back a second time. At the call back, Don reported that he knew his dog's head was up and he was off the line and not tracking before I called him back. This was as much a handling error as a dog error. Just as in natural tracking, when your dog is off the line and you know it, during a test you are allowed to take him back to a known correct spot on the line. Don should have picked up his dog when he saw his head was up and gone back to the wound bed that was close by. He could have easily restarted him at that known location on his own without having been called back by the judge. The rest of Jager's line was very good and Don and Jager passed the evaluation.

Don Klein with Jager
A special thank you has to go out to Darren Doran, the NJ permit coordinator. Darren organized the event and also served as an apprentice judge.

In the back row Darren Doran and Andy Bensing, in the front row Joe Lowry with Greta and Don Klein with Jager