Tracking Training

Recommended Books on Tracking


The following is a list of recommended training books for teaching tracking to your dogs.  All these books were recommended by persons who have personally used them and have put tracking titles on their dogs as well as by ones who are tracking instructors.  Many were recommended by multiple persons:

Tracking Dog: Theory and Methods by Glen R. Johnson

This book was originally published in 1975 and is still considered one of the best books on tracking. Folks in isolated locations with no one to help them teach their dogs to track have used this book to get the job done. The 179 pages deal with both TD and TDX training and contain a chapter devoted to problem solving. Although most dogs cannot hold up to the rigorous schedule Johnson sets up for his own dogs, almost any dog can be successful with a modified schedule.

 Another person wrote:  “If you can only have one book on tracking, this is the one to buy.”

(I personally used this book, lived where there was usually no one to lay my tracks and was able to get tracking titles on various dogs.  What I did do was modify the schedule Glen Johnson advocates.  In addition, I attended a Tracking Seminar given by Mr. Johnson (who is now deceased) which was excellent.)

Go Find! Training Your Dog to Track by L. Wilson Davis

This is another oldie originally published in 1974. It contains a chapter on teaching the dog basic control exercises like sit, down, and heel. The obedience methods would likely not appeal to today’s trainers, but the tracking information is sound. This book focuses on TD work and only makes a few comments about advanced tracking.

Tracking From the Ground Up by Sandy Ganz and Susan Boyd

This is a very easy book, published in 1990, for almost anyone to use. A week by week lesson plan takes you through eight weeks of TD training. Food is used extensively. TDX training is also nicely discussed in this book. The diagrams and illustrations are very good. 

Tracking Dog Excellent: a Handbook by Sandy Ganz and Susan Boyd

This book contains much of the material in the above book, but focuses solely on TDX work. Many diagrams and illustrations are the same ones used in the above book.

Try Tracking! The Puppy Tracking Primer by Carolyn A. Krause

Although suitable for adult dogs also, this book is geared toward puppies and, to no surprise, uses food extensively on the tracks. It is well written and easy to follow.

Enthusiastic Tracking-A Step by Step Training Handbook by William (Sil) Sanders

Literally, this is a step by step handbook published in 1998 (second edition) that prepares you to enter both the TD and the TDX test. The author also sells a set of index cards with all the field maps in the book printed out to carry into the field.  This is very unusual and useful.

Practical Tracking for Practically Anyone by Julie Hogan and Donna Thompson

Published in 1995, this book is easy to read and covers both TD and TDX training.

Mastering Variable Surface Tracking by Ed Presnall

Published in 2004, this is a comprehensive look at the components needed in VST training. It is accompanied by a workbook containing many detailed training tracks. 

Making Scents of the Urban Jungle by Steve Ripley

A new expanded second edition of this book was just published in 2011. Like the Ed Presnall book, this one deals exclusively with training for the VST test. There are lots of good photographs used in the book and aerial views of tracks from Google Earth that make the tracks easy to understand.

Component Training for Variable Surface Tracking by Ed Presnall & Christy Bergeon, PawMark Press.

Advanced Tracking – T.D.X Field Guide by the Tracking Club of Massachusetts.This has been around for a long time although it may now be hard to acquire.  If you get one, hang on to it.

How to Hold a Tracking Test by the Tracking Club of Central Florida

Guidelines for Tracklayers  by the Palo Alto Foothills Tracking Association.  The price is $2.00 payable to “PAFTA”; c/o Miriam Hillier, 4 Emerald Court, San Mateo, CA.  94403

AKC Tracking Regulations – Single copies of the AKC Tracking Regulations are available at no charge from The American Kennel Club, 5580 Centerview Drive, Raleigh, NC  27606, or check the AKC website


Internet sites with valuable information 

Craig Green has tracking articles on the Basset Hound site:

Rosemary Janoch has tracking articles on the Buckeye Tracking Club site:


I have found that the best way to get many of these books is to go to  Sometimes you can find them in the book areas at dog shows.  In addition, you can Google them and see if you can find them through that.  Many of the dog magazines also include a “books available section” and that is another good source.