Tracklayer Instructions

One of the most important resources at a tracking test are the volunteer tracklayers. It is essential that judges give good instructions to every tracklayer. Making sure that the tracklayers are trained to do a good job will help everyone relax, have a pleasurable experience and continue to be willing to track lay tracks at future tests.

Here is an example of good communication on plotting day:
• Take the approved articles home with you tonight and put them in your boot overnight so that they are well scented.
• Today, draw your own map while we are plotting your track. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to ask. You can use your own step count or convert to yardage. You may rewalk your track today.
• Tomorrow, your track is to be laid at __:__. Please arrive at the test site ½ hour before your track is to go in and check in with the head tracklayer. The tracklaying times may need to be adjusted.
• On test day, before laying your track, be sure that you have your articles and your map. Please take a cell phone and call me at (___/___-_____) if you have questions while you are on the track.
• Approach your start flag as we are doing on plotting day… you must walk in straight in at least (10 yards for TD/TDU or 30 yards for TDX/VST) yards before the start flag.
• Pause at the start flag, note the exact time and drop your start article. Please bring a duplicate start article. We will ask you for it if the original goes missing so keep it in your pocket “just in case”.
• Leave the start flag (and the second, directional flag for TD/TDU). Pick up all of the rest of the flags (except the cross-track flags for TDX).
• Drop the glove (or final article for VST) and pick up the last flag. You must continue to walk in the same line at least 30 yards after the final article drop.
• If you observe anything unusual or if you make an error of any kind in laying your track, dropping articles or leaving flags, please report it to the judges right away. Do not discuss this with anyone else.
• Meet us at the start of your track when the time comes for the dog to run. Please stay more than 50 yards away from your start, bring your map and the second start article.
• You will be walking along while the team is being judged. Please stay on the track and behind the judges so that you can easily orient yourself and help the team to complete the track should they be failed by the judges.

Judges can boost tracklayer confidence by using “double siting” on near and far objects during plotting. Judges should also take a quick look at the tracklayer’s map after the track is plotted to make sure that the turns and article placements are correct and well documented.

Happy Tracking!