All posts by Donna Brinkworth

Flashback to the old Spiritdance Dogs Blog Posts 2005 – 2013

The internet is amazing! I started to blog in the 1990s and sadly my first blog posts are long gone. I actually remember some of my students in the mid-90s being very skeptical and asking me “what is a blog?”

Here is the list of the first few blog posts on my second blog, in August 2005. I kept this blog for years, starting when I recovered from cancer, through my divorce and move to Alberta, until 2012! I am excited to see what I wrote too! IN 2011 I started a new blog called Your Tracking Coach which I kept for another 3 years. After graduating from Coaching I started a new chapter, and these blogs were retired. I will pick topics every week or so to share, with updates and new ideas.

In 2005, I had recovered from cancer (diagnosed in 2003) sufficiently to take an interest in tracking again. I thought I would give it up, but I think we all know that could never happen. I began to instruct, with a new interest in this new ‘urban’ thing and organized a seminar in Thunder Bay to start our urban journeys.

Today I decided to look up the old blog, and as usual the universe aligned, which to me means God whispered in my ear and I listened. As I worked on finding the old posts I wondered, which would I resurrect as my first flashback? And today, a former student now in BC asked about track re-runs. Another student from Red Deer answered her about how she does re-runs, and there it is, my post in 2005 explaining my re-run idea, to save time and motivate dogs.

August 30, 2005 Flashback – Adding Distance and Tracking with Two Dogs

Yup, I worked on this idea, introduced it to my instruction at lessons and seminars, then brought the idea to my wonderful circle of students in Alberta! It makes me so proud to see other people sharing this idea as an actual method.

Re-runs have always been a bit controversial and I’ve believed that at the very least they are motivational and dogs, being curious and loving to use their nose, will naturally track to follow an intriguing scent of another dog – their pal or a stranger.

Of course, since then, and even in recent years, I have continued to learn about scent science and how scent can ripple out like waves in water. When I used to do re-runs in seminars, you could see the dogs that went later were not as precise. I usually tried to put dogs in order of more advanced to more of a beginner, and thought the added scent would help the beginner dogs. So I believed they were less precise because they were not experienced. With new knowledge, I now now that the most advanced dog may have quartered more, as the ‘channel’ is wider!

Studying everything I can find, I learned a few years ago that the more people and dogs who walk or run a track, the wider the path created as scent moves out. Dogs use ‘scent edges’ to keep on the path. When we walk, we create a zone of ‘less scent’ called ‘intermittent scent’ and the edges hold the scent our dogs are following. When they circle at corners, they are finding edges of scent turbulence, and if we let them circle too much or too wide, they need to move out of that zone to find the edge and find their way out of that circle of scent confusion. Casting – a good idea, but not over and over without moving your dog out of it!

Sooooo, when I had the original idea of re-runs, it was solid. But now I might run a max of 3 dogs on it. Ideally two. If a dog is observed on the first track to disturb an area, remember that, or watch dog #2, and help them out of that specific spot. Always help your dog when they are searching and struggling by moving your position, adjusting your line (keep it short to lesson turbulence) and sidestep! Especially when they demonstrate they are seeking the new direction, and scent edges will be a helpful clue to them.

Want to learn more? Look up ‘The Science of Scent’ series on PBS. There is one explaining intermittent scent, and another showing how this works as a police dog self-initiates a cast and finds his way out of turbulence. This was a big AHA moment for me! It helped me understand what I was seeing! Then, I read Jeff Schettler’s ‘K9 Trailing – The Straightest Path’ where he explains his theory of turbulence. At corners, where scent ripples collide with ripples coming from another ‘leg’ of the track, this creates turbulence.

On an aged track, especially in urban settings, those ripples can move. Schettler talks about the ‘proximity alert.’ Dogs pick that turbulence up before they get to a corner. Teach yourself to read that! Something is coming up. Pay attention. I have developed some methods in my most current training to set up turbulence and reinforce proximity alerts. They are as good or better than reading a negative when the dog has overshot a turn! Both have their place.

It is vitally important to remain current with scent knowledge and science. As an instructor and judge I feel responsible to know more, especially as I have begun to help SAR people too, as this knowledge can be crucial to efficient work in trying conditions. As a hobby tracker you may not need to know more than basics with some good instruction. But trust me, if you build up your own understanding it will enhance your enjoyment of this activity.

Re-runs will always controversial and it is a good idea to incorporate them for motivation of a fun break day, or to end a session that may have been demanding with something fun. It’s a nice easy way to introduce ideas to dogs, and is a wonderful way for a beginner to feel what ‘flow’ is as their dog will track and move forward better on a re-run when it is new to the activity.

However, a dog will do best on its own track once it understands, and clarity is important, so do make sure to follow a good training program teaching them to stick to the primary scent and find areas that are not really contaminated to start, though I now will start in urban areas. Just be choosy for a beginner about the cover, and don’t pick a heavy traffic area. A re-run is great for a heavier more motivating track when dog are ready for more complexity too! I have never used the re-run exclusively as a method. It is a tool! And it works well for faster learning in clinics too.

Have fun, and – you will know your own dogs. Trust your instincts, don’t let people get you down with a million opinions. Find a good trainer, in person or online. Just get out and enjoy tracking!

I hope you enjoyed this first flashback. Let me know. If you have specific topics of interest, I can also take some requests! Happy tracking everyone!

Caden TDX practice 2015

TCH Caden von der KleinenWiese in training

I found this video of Caden’s TDX practice summer 2015. It was a very windy day and a new place so I laid an 800 m track on varying cover with 8 turns and three gloves and aged it two hours.

Caden is the dog I did some IGP with then we trained for almost three years with John Blondin RCMP head trainer (retired). This was a year after lessons with John had ended. I let Caden go and followed to watch him recover to the track here as the test was coming up (he passed that September!) I needed to see what he would do when I followed him “blind.”

Since I didn’t know these grounds (closed psychiatric facility) I put kibble at key places to mark my track and know I was on. It was a bit of a blind track for me !! And spooky there but the grounds were fantasic. We did urban there too that summer. Map showing the grounds is below.

Caden was a very good tracker. I loved following him. You can see his negatives are very clear and when he was in the article scent cone. It is still hard to accept and believe he died of cancer a year later.

He was a great dog. My first working lines GSD and a great grandson of 2X Worlds IGP winner Orry von Haus Antwerpa of Belgium. A great friend, loyal – great partner, solid, and great teacher.

The grounds… abandoned!

The videos (in the days before Go Pro!)

Part one to article one

Part two to article two

Part three to end

Beginner’s Tracking Clinic April 22-23 FULL

Updated registration form and new date!

A new registration form is ready for this clinic! The dates were changed for better weather (we hope!). Working Team limit of 6 dogs for maximum work and attention. Deadline to register is March 3, 2023.

Click here to learn more, and hope to see you there! Tracking is FUN! Full description here.

Register now! If you’re interested in auditing please contact me. Auditing is $250 for the two day clinic.

Winter tracking at its best!

Micah’s winter track

December 2018 I laid a track for 1.5 year old (baby!) Micah at a schoolyard filled with children’s footprints in the snow. I aged it for 45 minutes. Here is the middle where it was most challenging!
Posted in Facebook:
Here is a clip of my favourite parts of the track today! – two nice turns following my footsteps and then figuring out a little scent puzzle! What a good girl! I went around the base of the hill after starting up and realizing it was slippery. Then I went up on grass to put a mitten down near the staircase. I love how she pencils the scent cone and then runs up into it!

What’s Your Why?

Thanks everyone for all of the messages about 2023! I love hearing from you. Mandatory reading for all Coaches is Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why. I planned to start blogging again (I was an original blogger in the day!) next weekend but wanted to talk a bit about 2023 tracking and why I organize it as I do.

Registration Forms for 2023 are now online

Kendra and Rosie


Over the years I’ve changed a focus from CKC and sport tracking to just “good tracking.” Yes you need to know rules for sport but if you have a passion for tracking you’ll want more than the title and ribbon.

I started out in the 80s with mentors in law enforcement, conservation officers and SAR. That turned into CKC tracking for many years and great experiences. Moving to Alberta I’ve been drawn back to my roots in SAR – not as an active participant but to help others.

I’ve been fortunate to learn RCMP tracking methods from the head trainer and to have good dogs to apply the training to! I’m following police and security dog trainer Dick Staal and former military tracking and trailing master Jeff Schettler (GAK9). K9 Manhunters is a popular Fb group following these standards too.

My Goal as a Coach and Instructor

I want the same for everyone I work with. I want you to succeed at and love tracking. Not for a ribbon or title but as an activity that is natural for our dogs and bonding plus good for your own growth, soul and spirit. Goals are important and great but let’s remember to aim for excellence.

So how does this relate to 2023?

Location Location Location

Location is in your best interests (I drive there too!) It’s 1.5 hours one way for me and part of the ritual as far as I’m concerned. Of course this crazy climate change is wreaking havoc on the shoulder seasons but we track in all seasons and it’s worth the drive.

I stick with Olds and Red Deer as I’ve taught tracking in those areas since shortly after moving to Alberta. It’s central!

On top of that, Olds is one of the best places I’ve tracked and I want the best for you. And I’ve tracked and judged across Canada.

On top of the varied and beautiful venues, these areas are less busy than Calgary, more dog friendly for tracking in small groups, easy to drive around, relaxed and they are where tests are (for sport people).

There’s enough room for us to all have working space galore on a full day of lessons and enjoy a variety of exercises. If you’re a SAR tracker or have other goals, the area also offers great open space, fields and green space and friendly neighbourhoods and back lanes.

*you may see fees are higher this year. It’s because of gas and insurance prices and it’s not going to my pocket 😩


We move around a bit for experience of course. But a hub that we know well makes for more consistent training lessons. I’m grateful to everyone who has converged there for going on 13 years now! I swear I see ghosts of dogs (my own and others) every time I’m there.

Foundations Followed by Independence and Discipline

I always offer beginners foundations. People need to start somewhere and to understand what tracking is.

The beauty of tracking is that you can train on your own. In fact the simplicity of tracking and that time alone is one is the reasons most of us love it. Yes you need foundations. But to progress you must get out and work on them. Tracking is a discipline.

As a professional coach I aim for habits and autonomous skills. Until you put in the time repeating straight lines, L-tracks, transitions, starts, article indications – you won’t develop the line handling, footwork and multi-tasking you need. Plus you won’t develop the intuition and second sense required for good tracking.

We don’t do this in lessons. I count on you to do it alone or with a Buddy and to show up prepared. Lessons are not for practice.

Teaching, Mentoring and Coaching

You know that there’s a difference between coaching and instruction right? I try to find the balance with everyone. In the beginning it’s a lot more about teaching which is different from coaching aside from setting some goals and motivating people.

Instruction and teaching start to combine with coaching as people advance. Eventually people get to know their own dogs, the line they like, how they reward and what kind of practice best suits them. I love this and step back to keep them going and “light there a spark” in the words of outdoor educator Freeman Tilden.

Finally there is mentoring combined with coaching. Sharing, caring and preparing. Coaching through the mental hurdles that come with reality and testing. Keeping those goals and that confidence alive.

Lessons Focus

In lessons I can help tweak, observe, suggest and help. But unless you present progress you’re essentially floating down the river and my job is to help you cross it. I’m not in this to have students that coast along and not put in the work – that’s just not rewarding!

My joy and job is to push you to grow as a team. Your job is to push yourself and be accountable to yourself and fair to your dog.

Time and Miles – and Passion!

In tracking we say it’s about “time and miles.” It’s a reason so few go beyond beginners titles. It’s also a reason there is a deep passion in our small world. That grit and determination to do better. Not for ribbons and tests. But to be a good tracker.

It’s no different than my other passion of sheep herding and stockdogs. I’m fortunate to work with people who want good dogs that can work sheep first, not dogs trained to pass courses in trials.

Why Small Groups?

After graduating from Coaching (out of Erickson College’s Int’l Coach Federation sanctioned program) I tried lessons online. I have discovered that coaching always works for accountability, habits, confidence, goal setting and lasting change.

As far as the other piece – teaching – goes, I found that beyond webinars for specific topics or concepts, in person is still the best for me. I need to see you work to help you the most.

My smaller groups are to make sure you get quality time because tracking instruction takes a lot of space and time per team.

Showing Up

Guess what? YOU need to see others to grow too. While we train alone we do not test or search alone. We all work together and it’s a tradition to help others and work together. It’s a part of tracking. So we show up.

We show up ready. We show up willing to put in the time and miles not just for ourselves but for the greater good whether that be SAR or tests or simply to support and encourage each other and make the slogging fun.

The Circle

Last August at the tracking camp over dinner I asked people to prepare a few words about what they would say to new trackers. I was overwhelmed by one theme.

It was about the group. The people. The togetherness. The support. The lack of competitiveness. The tradition of helping that we enjoy and maybe take for granted in tracking. I heard voices crack with emotion on this topic.

I try to set up my training to lay the groundwork for this too. I want this for you. I don’t just want good tracking. I want an excellent life experience all the way around for all of my students and friends.

Back to My Why

I may not judge for a year but can’t imagine giving up coaching tracking. It is an inspiration to me to see others and be around like-minded people and keeps me motivated to work my own dogs. Plus despite the independent training we do need that small village as we advance.

I am always thrilled for everyone and every milestone and success. Tracking instruction brings me challenges, it makes me exhausted. And it is my joy.

We all need this motivation. We all need to be around others to grow. We also need to be with a group to learn to work together and help each other. This is actually an essential skill in tracking. It’s why I prefer a small group at first, before 1:1 lessons. I save the 1:1 for advanced trackers who I KNOW “get it.”

If you can’t make it I understand. I know I’m not the only person who teaches tracking. However I highly recommend Dick Staal’s online training if you can’t make it to lessons this time. You’ll find the link on his Fb page.

Thank you

I’m so grateful for the people who keep coming to experience the same togetherness and to help each other. Thank you to the people I’ve tracked with and learned from since 1985! The professionals and the CKC people. For me, seeing the sheer joy on the handler side of of the line never grows old, and I’ve been instructing for 28 years now!

I’m damn proud of my resume and accomplishments in tracking. I’ve worked hard and enjoyed every minute. I’ve learned from the rough experiences too and try to share this to help others. I’m a continual learner, still working with my own dogs.

I love the contacts and friends I’ve made across Canada and in the States. I love the dogs! But most of all it’s the people in this circle that make me the most happy. Thank you for trusting me to be part of your journey.

What’s Your Why?

I hope this inspires you to think about why you are doing this as it will help you with goals and to choose the training path that is best for you.

See you in 2023! (Or, this weekend and next as the 2022 season comes to a close)

Olds College September 2021

Tracking Alert! 4Winds Tracking 2023!

Updated November 26 – see below Beginners Workshops, Lessons, Fun Days and Tracking Camp – November 26 Updates to dates noted below.

Tracking Alert! 2023 is shaping up now with a blend of new and regular training. Here’s a look at what you can register for! Details about each session follow below.

Registrations are now available for each session along with deadlines. If you are keen, please contact me to let me know so I have an idea of numbers and expectations.

Update – Note that the March beginners workshop has been moved to April due to fears about weather. The registration form will be updated. Deadline to register is March 10.

See below for lesson updates

  • Tracking 101 Blog Series will begin November 19 – watch for the blogs on a variety of topics for the beginner and seasoned tracker.
  • Beginners Workshop Weekends in April and August – Intro to Tracking and Tracking Foundations
  • Lessons February – May are full.
  • 1:1 Lessons from June through September by arrangement
  • Trailing – monthly trailing group fun days – aiming at int’l GAK9 standards – you must have tracking knowledge and basics to take part
  • Tracking Camp is moved to September!

Registration Forms are now online

Two Beginners Workshop Weekends March date changed to April!

  • April 22-23
  • August 12 – 13

These workshops will combine indoor learning and presentations with outdoor exercises. They are designed for beginners. If you have never tracked or are not sure how to work on foundations, mark these dates on your calendar! By the end of day two you should be ready to work on your own or with a tracking buddy on foundations such as

  • How to get your dog’s nose down to follow a scent
  • How to encourage forward, independent motion along the track
  • Article importance, type, and indications
  • Start routines
  • Working on different surfaces
  • Motivating your dog (it doesn’t take much!) to be a happy tracker
  • Progressing from short straight lines to curves and turns
  • Aging the track
  • How to lay good practice tracks

There will also be information about what you’re aiming for. What is tracking? What can you do with it? Should you aim for kennel club tests or Search and Rescue or both? These foundations will be suitable to all tracking venues, preparing you for whichever path you choose.

Location: Olds / Red Deer, Alberta

Fee: $400 / working team; limited to 6 working teams
Auditors are welcomed – $250 to audit all weekend
Lesson participants taking monthly lessons may audit for $50 (what a bonus!) if you’d like reminders about foundations.


1:1 Lessons

From February 1 to September. Your dog must be able to track and have foundations in place for a lesson. Lessons are 1.5 hours. Fee is $125. Due to gas prices I will limit travel and try to organize lessons accordingly. Locations may be in Calgary or Olds.

Trailing Days

I am working to establish a standard for trailing sport tests to come to Canada using the GAK9 standards (used in the US and Europe. Standards have various levels for beginners, specialist and master tracking in both urban and forest or field. GAK9 can be found online and on Facebook. K9 Manhunters, a popular social media channel, follow GAK9. Trailing is suitable for SAR and can be fun for sport trackers as long as you will continue to work on precision in your tracking and not allow the dog too much fringing. Tracks can be from 400 m to over a kilometer long.

Watch for Trailing Days to be announced. There will be criteria and standards for participants.

Annual Tracking Camp Is Moving to a New Date!

Mark September 9-10 tentatively on your calendars! We hope for cooler weather and to prep for Fall tests.

  • Smaller participant numbers
  • Less long tracks and more focus on skill and age
  • Some trailing “certifications” (pretend – practice for GAK9) will be offered
  • Urban Day followed by a field day
  • Group meals
  • Annual 4Winds Circle of Excellence presentation

Tracking Camp details will be announced soon. Maybe we will have a ‘surprise’ guest presenter or judge… stay tuned!

Fall is Tracking Season!

What’s happening this fall?

I don’t know about the rest of Canada but this summer in Alberta has been WET (at first), then HOT for a month. I mean, temps hovering around 30 C. Just too hot to track, even though we gave it a game try during the fun August tracking camp!

Today, the heat warning ended and thunderstorms are predicted. I couldn’t be more happy! Bring on the cool weather and rain! It’s the weather we trackers love best.

Of course, in response to this change in weather, I have pulled together the Fall 2022 schedule, knowing that all trackers are looking to the skies and dreaming about their muck boots and garters. As much as I love tracking, I really have a heart for teaching and sharing it with others. As always, expect up-to-date tracking methods based on the best information and new science, suitable for sport tracking, SAR and Trailing.

Visit Upcoming Events for links to register and for more details.

Below are things I am organizing, but first, this message,,,

What else is happening in 2023? Think – Trailing!

Stay tuned for some exciting news as I bring in some Trailing Clinicians, or maybe even THE training clinician. Dick Staal, do you think he would come to Canada again? I am on the case. As you know, I follow both Dick Staal and Jeff Schettler (GAK9). I figure if I put on some seminars, why not bring in my heroes?

Now, back to our scheduled messaging…

The Fall Beginners Clinics are one-day clinics held once monthly. In the day long clinic, you will receive enough information and homework to carry you to the next clinic! Clinics will occur in September, October and November. They kick off with a Zoom Intro to Tracking Class. If you missed out on the clinics, this class is an awesome alternative to figuring out how to start.

An even better idea is to take the Zoom Intro to Tracking Class along with the Winter Tracking Webinar. While you may not get the 1:1 hands on coaching, you should be well-armed to get out feeling confident to start your tracking journey. I might put on a spontaneous – ONLINE classes only day for some hands on as a Christmas treat, so watch this website and Facebook page closely.

I am judging a one day Urban Test in Red Deer on October 2, so we are being very careful not to train together within the ‘no training’ window, and will not be on any potential test sites as well. If you are entering the test, I will be giving you the 411 on this rule. Most Beginners should be thinking about spring tests! To that end, I am continuing the Beginners one-day Clinics in February, March and April.

Check the CATS FB page for information about the Field and Urban tests on October 1-2.

Take heart, there may be openings for these, and I may also put on a standalone. Then, watch for a mock test and opportunities for urban pre-test certifications if you wish to enter a CKC Urban ‘beginner level’ test first (before a TD beginners test).

Find out details about all of these events here. Subscribe to the blog to receive timely posts and be sure to ‘like’ the 4Winds Facebook page for pictures and other fun stuff, including links to the latest events.

Thanks everyone for continuing to trust me and allow me to be part of your tracking journey. Your journey is my journey! Always keep learning.

Donna, and the crew, Ben, Micah, Finn and Quill

August Long Weekend Tracking Camp

July 29 – August 1 – filling fast!

I am excited to offer something new! Tracking Camps have been a long time dream of mine. This is a new format as I am always working to meet the needs of the amazing trackers I work with! In the future watch for week-long camps!

Spend time with a small, passionate group of trackers – suitable for SAR and Sport trackers as well as those wishing to learn more about Trailing.

There is a classroom presentation on Friday outlining tracking scent theory, plotting and handling.

Test yourself on field and urban blind / and blind – coached tracks with tips and critique on Saturday and Sunday. Working teams must be capable of completing a blind track.

Listen to inspiring presentations as participants share their tracking and other dog sport journeys. Enjoy meals together.

Certificates of achievement will be awarded at the Saturday dinner.

Private 1:1s by appointment Monday.

Limited to a small working group each day. Auditors and beginners to this wonderful sport are encouraged to learn by observing and assisting with track laying including being a “victim” for live finds. Classroom session on Friday is open to all and encouraged. Saturday evening dinner and presentations open to all.


  • Friday July 29 – Classroom session
  • July 30 – Field Day just north of Olds Alberta
  • Saturday evening dinner and presentation by trackers along with certificate presentations
  • July 31 – Urban Day – Olds Alberta
  • August 1 – Private lessons

Lots of options to tailor your outdoor experience!

  • 4 Working Teams / day
  • Beginners – help to lay tracks and re-run them later!
  • Be a victim to hide for a trailing track
  • Audit (observe only)

Learn more and Register!

News! All things tracking – upcoming events, lessons and workshops!

We are expanding! I’m very excited to offer more coaching and growth to clients as the dream (formally known as a business plan) unfolds to become reality!

Moments like this always remind me of why I love to teach and coach. Teaching tracking takes a lot of planning, time and space and I’ve found the small groups work best so everyone gets a lot of hands on work all day. This is Connie and Birdy last weekend!

Across Canada you won’t find a lot of tracking clinicians or instructors because of the effort it requires! I’m proud to be one of them and enjoy seeing people learn and grow in the sport I have loved for 33 years! Thanks for letting me part of your journey!

I love to coach and teach and have done both for years. Did you know these are different activities with different techniques and outcomes? Many people think they are the same but they are not. Read more!

Teaching is prescriptive and directive. It’s instruction focused on skills and learning foundations.

Coaching is focused on growth, mastery and independence once skills are in place. It challenges people to draw on their knowledge to solve problems, set goals and pursue excellence. Coaching does not have a mandatory regulatory body meaning anyone can say they are a coach. I’m proud to have spent 2 years formally studying Professional Coaching.

Zoom tracking building blocks, Mock tests, urban certifications, 1:1 lessons, Scent theory and skills one day workshop, tracking retreat and more!

Online building blocks

Coming soon! Online mini-workshops on all things related to tracking that you want to know more about! Watch for details and for polls to choose topics of interest!

These FUN, short, 1 hour long online sessions will be on weeknight evenings. They will provide a detailed, up close and personal review of things we want to know more about. Some are more easily shared with visuals and graphics or whiteboards – and we don’t always have time to cover them in depth in lessons and workshops! Read more!

They will include articles, maps, plotting, turns, equipment – lines, harnesses etc. Watch for polls to pick your favourite topics! There will be interactive discussion and sharing and loads of questions are welcomed!

Fee: $15 for one hour for current students. $25 for non-students.

Learn more about articles and other fun topics in tracking – fun discussion and presentation

Mock Tests and Urban Certifications

April 15-17 Tracking UTD and UTDX Mock Tests and urban certifications are being offered. I will travel in a circuit to meet people wishing to test themselves for upcoming tracking tests. These will be test level judged blind tracks with video and critique (by me, an actual Judge!) I am working on securing fields for TD or TDX. If I’m successful I’ll add to this post! Read more!

Be ready for your test whether it’s a CKC test or a SAR validation – know where your at and what to work on

Fee: $75 for a plotted and aged track, judging and video, critique and map. Afternoon group workshop and training tips for test success tailored to the teams taking part. There will be an additional $25 to attend the afternoon session.

Help and Observe – track lay to learn more! If you’ve never seen a tracking test this is an amazing opportunity to see how they work, lay a track with the judge and watch the teams. Fee to observe and be a tracklayer is $50 for the day. As we plot and lay tracks I’ll explain the rules and theory of judging. As we follow each team I’ll point out how we judge.

Registration will be posted shortly. Watch for it here!

Locations – 6 mock tests offered per day in these locations followed by the afternoon group sessions.

April 15 – Red Deer
April 16 – Olds
April 17 – Calgary

Watch for more information!

* Urban certifications for people wishing to enter UTD first are offered for no fee (as a CKC judge I am to support this initiative). A small travel fee as honorarium will be requested to cover gas (I mean yikes have you seen the gas prices lately?) 😮

1:1 Spring Coaching and Lessons begin April 1st

Coaching is for current students wishing to continue to fine tune skills, prepare for tests and reach for higher goals.

Lessons will be for new students who are beginners to tracking or who have never worked with me and wish to learn new techniques and skills. Read more!

Lessons will begin on Fridays and Saturdays. Wednesday evenings will be added as days warm up! Lessons are 1.5 hours and include video and tailored homework. I

t’s recommended that people aim for a lesson every two weeks, with the exception of advanced trackers who may like weekly sessions.

One 15 minute call / email/ video review requesting help for a problem can occur between sessions.

Fee: $85 per lesson or 5 lessons package for $375.

June 5 1-day Trackers only (no dogs!) Workshop

Scent theory and Tracking in-class Seminar. Location and details to be announced shortly.

Classroom presentation, booklets, outdoor work including mapping, scent demonstrations and other skills – urban, field and forest. ***NEW – If you wish to enrol for Summer or Fall 1:1 lessons this session will be mandatory. Another will be offered in August for new students in Fall lessons. Read more!

Become part of our amazing circle! This is the place to find new friends and discover your passion for tracking. We welcome you to join us! Read more!

You can be a presenter! Share your story, with help to develop a presentation. Read more here!

Tracking Retreat! July 1-3, 2022

This is for dedicated, hard core trackers who can’t get enough! A full weekend of presentations, tracking and sharing. Location and details to be announced soon!

FULL and underway! 3 Winter Workshops for Beginners, New to Urban and Advanced Skills

Thanks to everyone for signing up for these fun weekends. Watch for a post describing the workshops so far, or check out the 4Winds Facebook page, social links are below.

Looking for tracking lessons? To start Urban tracking? For advanced skills coaching? Read on! Starting February and ending in April – winter and spring are the best times to learn! Advanced teams – be ready for spring tests! Suitable for sport and SAR trackers seeking tracking skills for validations.

Sign up for 3 weekends of tracking coaching – one full day for beginners and new to urban and one full day for advanced skills each weekend.

Dates are Feb 26-27; March 12-13; April 9-10 2022. Each weekend will be in a new location in Central Alberta.

Maximum of 4 dog-handler teams per day for optimal and progressive learning with individual lesson plans provided tailored to you and your dog.

Course fee: 250/team/day. $200 per team/day if signing up for all three.

Deadline to register for all three is February 11, 2022. Deadline for February only is February 1, 2022.

Registration: For details and registration:

All workshops are COVID-19 compliant and participants will be required to sign a waiver to participate. In the event of inclement weather new dates will be determined in consultation with all participants.