Training puts dogs on the right track

‘lost person’
‘lost person’

In fading light and with only one item of clothing, Caddie led a ‘search and rescue’ team through the streets of Tapping to where Mrs Roberts had wandered and become ‘lost’ four hours earlier.

Securing the missing person in under 15 minutes made the six-year-old pedigree WA’s first track and search dog grand champion.

Trainer and owner Valeta Pethrick said Caddie had been training for the possible scenario since she was 12 weeks old.

‘She’s a natural tracker,’ Ms Pethrick said.

‘What this simulates is say, someone who has dementia and has gone from a walk and then hopped on a bus, got off and continued on.’

Ms Penthrick has been training dogs with TrackWest for about 20 years and had trained dogs who now serve the State Emergency Service but said tracking is for everyone regardless of age or skill.

‘It allows people to get fit, spend time with their dogs.

‘We take all breeds, we’ve had a couple of bichon frise right through to great danes and bloodhounds,’ she said.

‘The pleasure that the dogs get from this is incredible, they just love it.’

Mrs Roberts, who is a TrackWest Patron, congratulated the pair.

‘Tracking requires perseverance and extensive training,’ Mrs Roberts said.

‘I’m thrilled a Wanneroo dog will be the first dog in WA to secure this prestigious title.’