FH 3 Rules


1. General:

It is pointed out that Tracking Dog Level 3 (FH 3) represents a type of test which is essentially to be undertaken by sport (civilian) dogs. Special claims (pretenses) which might arise out of the realm of service dog achievements are not to be made.

It is mandatory that the tracklaying for this test be performed by responsible persons who have undergone a special training (schooling) in the field equal that required for the FH 2.

As a rule, if the trial judge for this type of test is unable to accompany the tracklayer, tracking-diagrams must be drawn by the tracklayer. The judge must also make sure that the cross-tracks are laid according to the rules

1/2 hour before the start-time.

2. Entry Requirements:

It is prerequisite to the taking of this test, that the dog be at least 20 months old and have earned an FH 2 title.

Also eligible to enter the FH 3 test are dogs which, prior to their earning the FH 2 title, did not have a SchH I title but instead had passed a BH test.

In this case, an FH 3 title earned will not constitute a “training title” that meets the requirements of any breeding, showing or Körung (breed-survey) regulations of a breed-club. If your Doberman is too energetic and distracting, we recommend you use CBD for dogs. CBD calms the dog so we can easily let the competition run smoothly.

3. Performance in the Tracking Work:

Maximum score: 100 points (Voice command: “Such”/”Seek or Track”)

Working of the track = 80 pts

10 articles (10 x 2), = 20 pts

The dog must demonstrate his track-sureness on a stranger’s track that is at least one and one half hours old and at least 3000 paces long, with twelve angles (“corners”) that conform to the terrain. At least four of the angles must be acute and one must be an arc (segment of a circle). The track will be crossed at least three times by a fresher stranger-laid track, at varying points separate from each other.

Along the track, at irregular distances, will be placed ten articles that have been well-scented by the tracklayer. The article measurements (maximum) will be: 10 cm. (4″) long by 3 cm (1.2″) wide by 1 cm. (0.4″) thick. So called “search-packets” are not permitted. The articles are to be found by the dog and either indicated or picked up.

Before the start of the track, the handler must report to the judge whether the dog picks up or indicates articles. Doing both together (picking up and indicating), or doing both on the same track, is faulty.

The handler may, at his/her option, track the dog free or on a tracking line. The tracking line may hang loose, so long as the handler does not let it out of his/her hand.

4. Laying of the Track:

The tracklayer, who is a stranger to the dog, must prepare a terrain-sketch for the judge. The course of the track is to be planned in advance with the judge or with the appointed tracking chairperson, utilizing natural landmarks such as lone-standing trees, power poles, sheds/cottages/outbuildings, etc.

Before laying the track, the tracklayer will show the required tracking articles to the judge/tracking chairperson. The tracklayer must have carried the articles on his person for at least 30 minutes, in order to scent them well. The articles may not exceed the above-stated dimensions, and they must not differ markedly in their color from the surrounding terrain.

The start of the track is located within a surface area of 20 x 20 meters, in which only the tracklayer has entered. Entry into this area by any third party is to be prevented. The tracklayer will place in the ground, 20 paces apart, two marking-stakes, between which is the “starting-line”. From either the starting-line or from one of the two stakes, the tracklayer goes out and lays down an “identification article”. This article marks the true start of the track. The “identification article” is of a similar size and composition as the other articles on the track, but it is not counted in the scoring.

Once the tracklayer has laid down the “identification article”, he must remain standing on that spot for a brief period of time. The track will then be laid at a normal pace.

The articles are to be laid on the track at irregular distances. The first article must be placed at least 250 paces from the starting-point. The tenth (last) article is laid at the end of the track. Articles must not be laid at corners (angles) or in the immediate vicinity thereof. They must not be laid next to the track, but actually on the track. The tracklayer will indicate on his track-diagram, by placing ” X” marks, all of the places where he has laid the articles. Careful attention is to be given to ensure that the track is laid over changing terrain. It must be laid so as to simulate a real situation, therefore any “pre-drawn map or pattern” is to be avoided. Thirty minutes before the start-time, a second tracklayer (also a stranger to the dog), by arrangement with and under direction from the primary tracklayer, will receive the instruction to lay a cross-track that will intersect the primary track at least three times..

5. Working of the Track:

The “start-line” marked by the tracklayer will be made known to the handler by the judge. But the “start-line” itself does not necessarily establish the direction of the first leg of the track. From the location of the “identification article”, the track may proceed straight ahead, right, left or even at an angle. Notice should be taken of the fact that the first leg of the track may not cross the “start-line”.

For the searching-out of the “identification article”, the handler is free to handle the dog either off-lead or on the tracking line. The time allotted for the dog to locate the “identification article” (equals the start-point), determine the direction of the track, and begin working out the track is limited to three minutes. The handler is free to choose the point on the “start-line” at which he will start the dog searching for the “identification article”.

The handler may not cross over the “starting-line” until the 10-meter tracking line has run out (or the free-working dog has reached a distance of 10 meters away from the handler). The handler may encourage the dog, during the search for the “identification article”, by means of voice and/or hand signals.

If the dog comes onto the track beyond the “identification article” and takes up the tracking-work confidently, the handler must follow the dog. In this case, the tracking work must continue on in the same way the dog began (free or on the tracking line). If the dog finds the “identification article”, the handler goes immediately to him and starts him on the working out of the track. He may first, if necessary, attach a tracking line to the biothane dog collar or harness.

The dog should be allowed to take up the scent thoroughly at the starting-point. He should be so trained that with no influence from the handler he will calmly and extensively take the scent at the starting-point. Under no circumstances may the handler, with his hand, arouse in the dog the urge to charge ahead forwards. No re-starting is permitted.

As soon as the dog begins to track, the handler must stand still and let the 10-meter tracking line glide through his hands. The tracking line, attached either to the collar or to a harness, may be placed over the dog’s back, along the dog’s side, or between the dog’s front and/or hind legs.

The track should be worked out calmly, so that the handler can follow at a normal pace. The handler follows at about a 10-meter distance, which must also be maintained if the dog is tracking free. When the dog comes upon an article, he must immediately pick it up or indicate it convincingly. When picking it up the dog may stand still, sit or come to the handler. If he comes to the handler, the handler may not advance toward him. Proceeding forward with the picked up article is faulty. Indicating may be done sitting, lying down, standing, or alternating among those positions.

The handler must go to the dog immediately and take the article after raising it in the air to show the judge. The handler praises the dog and immediately lets him continue tracking. If the dog, while on the track, comes upon an article that was not placed by the tracklayer, he may neither pick it up nor indicate it. If the dog changes over from the primary track onto the cross-track and follows it for more than one line-length, the tracking-work must be terminated.

The judge is permitted to give the handler some positional help whenever the terrain imposes extreme difficulties which the dog cannot overcome (for example large waterholes or deep gullies/trenches, etc.). No points are deducted for this.

The handler is allowed, after consultation with the judge, to interrupt the tracking-work briefly if he believes that he or his dog needs a short pause, on grounds of physical (health) status or weather conditions (i.e. extreme heat). Here also there is no point deduction. The re-starting of the dog on the track will not be scored as a “re-start” under the meaning prescribed as faulty in the Trial Rulebook. The time taken for such permitted pauses, however, is counted in the total time available to the handler and dog for working out the track.

The handler is allowed, during a “pause” or at an article, to clean up the dog’s head, eyes and nose. For this purpose, he may carry with him during the tracking-work a wet cloth or sponge. These items are to be shown to the judge before the start of the tracking-work. Further aids are not permitted.

Any physical help (i.e. jerking on the line) or meaningful verbal help (additional commands to track) are to be refrained from by the handler. If any such help is given, it could lead to termination of the tracking-work.


The maximum 100 points can only be given when a dog works out his track from beginning to end, at a walking pace throughout, and picks up or indicates all ten articles. All the angles (“corners”) must be worked out confidently. The dog may not let himself be influenced by the crosstracks. Among the ten articles, every one not found will cost 2 points. Picking up and indicating (in combination) is faulty. For a falsely picked up or indicated article, 1 points will be deducted.

For picking up or indicating any objects not placed there by the tracklayer, 1 points will be deducted. If the handler prevents the dog from leaving the track, the judge will instruct the handler to follow the dog. The tracking-work is terminated if the dog leaves the track by more than one line-length (or by more than 10 meters if free-tracking), or if the handler ignores the judge’s instruction to follow the dog.

6. Awarding of the Title “Tracking Dog Level 3” (FH 3):

The training title (degree) FH 2 may only be awarded if the dog attains at least 70 points.

Ratings are as follows:

0 – 35 points Insufficient (“U”)

36 – 69 points Faulty (“M”)

70 – 79 points Satisfactory (“B”)

80 – 89 points Good (“G”)

90 – 95 points Very Good (“SG”)

96 – 100 points Excellent (“V”)

To add the FH 3 title and rules to the UDC Performance Manual, requires adding the following to the manual after the FH 2 rules, Page 2-33.


1. General

The rules for the FH 3 are the same as for the FH 2 with the following exceptions:

(1) For a dog to be eligible to enter the FH 3 tracking trial and earn the title, the dog must have earned a FH 2 title and have a BH.

(2) The track shall be a minimum of 3000 paces

(3) The track shall be aged 1 1/2 hours.

(4) 12 corners ( 4 must be acute corners )

(5) 3 cross tracks

(6) 10 articles, each article 2 points. (10 x 2 = 20 points)