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Online Tracking Training - Module 1




Own Pace

About the Course

Course details

I will guide you through the GAK9 trailing imprinting by means of online instruction and video reviews. Each step will be covered thoroughly with opportunities for questions to be asked along the way. Each track/trail will have an accompanying video review, with feedback given, to facilitate tailored mentoring for you and your dog.  


Training areas

This module is focussed on soft surface environments: bushland, grass, creek lines and fields.


Reward selection

I will assist you in identifying the most valuable reward for your dog to have at the end of the track. Testing will be done to check motivation levels for various rewards. A highly motivating reward is key to starting your trailing journey.

Instructions for the trail layer

I will give clear instructions for the trail layer to follow. The trail layer is key to teaching the dog to scent discriminate and I will also teach you how to train the dog to take scent at the start of a track.

Instructions on training locations

Location is everything! If the wrong training locations are chosen, the result will be poor training outcomes for the dog. I will study your location via satellite imagery and train you how to select appropriate locations in your area for training.

Training intervals, repetition, and distance

I will tailor training to match your dog’s abilities, carefully managing distance and track complexity to ensure your dog is learning at a pace to which it is suited. Every dog learns at different rates and training in this module will suit each dog.


These form the basis of the entire training program. Fire trails are fun and are the founded on the principle of learning through self-discovery. I will walk you through each step of the way and review videos of your progress. I will coach you through the best ways to add distance, turns, and age to the track. Once your pup is up to the prescribed distance and age, I will begin the next phase of the imprinting process in this module.

First blind trails

Once the foundation fire trails are complete, it will be time to move on to tracks where the trail layer is not seen by the dog and has been aged a small amount. I will study your progress and provide in-depth video reviews and instruction for each track to be conducted. This will solidify your progress towards being ready to conduct the Field-Handler certification.

Your own Dropbox folder

I will set you up with your own Dropbox folder that will give us both simultaneous access to all of your training videos and map overlays. A link will be sent to you upon payment for the module. I will maintain this folder for you until course completion when you will have the opportunity to download everything you have completed.


Personal coaching

I will commence the course with a virtual classroom lesson over Zoom (or other suitable application). This session will provide an overview of GAK9 tracking training, the course itself, and detailed instruction on the first steps of the course.

Daily email Q&A session

You are able to send an email per training day that contains up to ten questions to which I will respond. A training day is a day in which you conduct trails with your dog and upload those videos to the Dropbox folder.


End of the module

Once your dog can achieve the standard for a Field-Handler certification this module is complete. You’ll then have the option to commence Module 2, and/or organise a certification track with me assessing. This can be done by travelling to Canberra or discussing options for me to travel to you.

The module includes the following:

-        Zoom, Facebook Messenger, or Facetime discussion of each training step.

-        Video review of your training with feedback and training tips for each step.

-        Guidance and mentoring of your potential training sites via Google Earth.

-        Managing and maintaining your tracking map overlays. I will teach you how to produce map overlays of your practice tracks with available applications and software.


Information covered in this module

-        Fire trails

-        Scent articles

-        Leash handling

-        Equipment selection

-        Double blind training and testing

-        Proximity alert

-        Scent theory

-        Interpreting canine body language during the track

What you need:

1.      Internet access on a desktop or on a mobile device.

2.      At least one training day per week where you can practice with your dog and record the action.

3.      Trail layers or persons laying your track for the dog for each training session.

4.      Video recording device. I recommend a GoPro or video-recording glasses that are worn on the head. This is important as I need to see what you see, as you see it. Quality is important! GoPro seems to be the easiest device out there and the most reliable.

Note: All video recordings must be from the handler’s perspective of the dog and not from behind the handler, unless directed. I may use some video of the handler as well to address handling issues, however, what is most important is to see what the dog looks like when it is working.

Your Instructor

Jeremy Wikner

Jeremy Wikner

Jeremy is the first and only Australian to complete the GAK9 Trailing Trainer Course taught by Jeff Schettler in South Carolina, US. He has sold dogs to the Australian Army, police, and wildlife conservation organisations. Jeremy is passionate about training dogs to find people in an effective, natural, and non-compulsive way that is accessible for every person and their dog.

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