Volunteers needed to help train local tracking dogs

Whether you are a world class athlete or someone that loves to bake, the more you do it, the better you become. That's why a Piedmont dog trainer is looking for volunteers.

R.V. Wakefield is the owner of Tri-County Trackers. Wakefield, along with his two Doberman Pinschers, look for missing pets. Now he is adding Baron, a German Shepherd, to the team.

"So with my dogs, they are air scenters," Wakefield said. "Sometimes their noses are down on the ground. Sometimes it's up in the air and we just go."

To help the 20-month-old German Shepherd fine tune his tracking skills, volunteers must be ready to play a game of hide and seek. On this day, Wakefield and Baron are at Triad Park.

"It's nothing strenuous," Wakefield said. "If you are already going to be in the park, give us a call."

Volunteers will be given a cloth so they can wipe their face, neck and arms. The volunteer then hands the cloth back to Wakefield and walk into the nearby woods or sit on a bench several yards away. Baron gives the cloth a good sniff and he is off to find the volunteer. While Baron is becoming pretty good at finding people, Wakefield is not ready to officially add him to the search team.

"I kind of want to wait another three or four months before I send him on an actual track," Wakefield said.

Tri-County Trackers average four calls a week from people looking for their lost pets. Wakefield usually starts the search after 36 hours. According to Tri-County Trackers stats, 30 percent of the time, the pets are found. Thirty percent of pets are found dead. Forty percent of the time, the track is lost. Wakefield said a lost track means someone has picked up the pet and perhaps dropped it off at the local animal shelter. As a pet owner, Wakefield understands the importance of trying to find a lost pet.

"It's closure and the fact is the person done everything they can," Wakefield said.

Tri-County Trackers has a long history of working with local law enforcement and military. While Wakefield hopes no one will ever need the services of a tracking dog, he said to increase the chances of locating a missing pet or person, store a scent cloth in a storage bag and have it ready in case its needed.

If you would like to volunteer and help Baron or other tracking dogs improve their skills, contact Tri-County Trackers at tricountytrackers@triad.rr.com or (336) 407-5549.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.