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The need for a tracking organization in the San Francisco peninsula area was discussed in February 1983, by a group of tracking enthusiasts after celebrating a series of successful tracking tests. Subsequently, on August 24, 1983, a group of seven met at Palo Alto’s Foothill Park to decide if their dream could become a reality. After discussing finances, places to hold tracking tests, and objectives of the organization, it was determined that a formation meeting should be called for September 16, 1983, at the home of one active participant. An informal announcement was sent to individuals who had exhibited an interest in tracking at previous informal meetings and/or tracking events.


At the formation meeting, September 16, 1983, the question was asked, “Why form a club?” The initial response by those present provided the foundation for the formal by-laws, which would be provided to the AKC at a later date. The following were the recommended club objectives submitted at the meeting:

  1. Put on tracking matches and tests.

  2. Meet others interested in tracking, exchange ideas and exchange physical help needed for tracking.

  3. Offer tracking workshops.

  4. Find tracking areas. Being a group rather than an individual would be beneficial.

  5. Educate others. Many do not know what tracking is.

  6. Coordinate use of tracking areas and events with Schutzhund and Search and Rescue Groups, share ideas. No formal relationship.

  7. Have social events.

Club’s objectives as stated in the by-laws approved by the AKC

The objectives of the Association shall be to promote the training of purebred dogs; dissemination of knowledge regarding tracking; to encourage the training of judges; to encourage groups with similar purposes; to hold and support tracking tests, exhibitions and matches under the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club; to promote cooperation and good sportsmanship among its members in the training and exhibition of dogs. The Association shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of any profits or remainder or residue from dues or donations to the Association shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual.

How did the club get it’s name?

At the October 21, 1983, club meeting with 20 members present, two names were suggested:

  1. Palo Alto Foothills Tracking Association (PAFTA), and

  2. Stanford Foothills Tracking Association (SFTA).

  3. The membership voted for PAFTA.

Club Activities

As stated in the club’s Objectives, PAFTA holds a TD test in March, a TDX test in February and usually two VST tests – one in April and one in November. The club attempts to have one or two other dog/tracking activities each year such as seminars or workshops on AKC tracking, scent, tracklaying and rattlesnake avoidance.

Quarterly Meetings

Meetings are held quarterly, on the third Friday in the months of February, May, August, and November.

If you would like more information, please contact the Club Secretary in the form below.

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