First Nose Work Trial!

Ravenbird

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Went to our first AKC Scent Work trial this weekend so just now getting back and catching up here. Short story, Asha had 4 runs each day, 8 total and Q'd in 7 of them. The NQ was totally my bad, so lesson learned there. There are 4 "elements": containers, buried, exteriors and interiors. Novice is Burch odor only. There were from 15 - 19 dogs in Novice A runs, and Asha managed to get a 1st and two 3rds out of her 7 Q's (Placements by time to find the hide). Yippie! I was really proud of her. Pictures later, no photographer at the trial, I'll get some with her ribbons now that we're home and post them later. Trial was held high on Mt. Lemmon north of Tucson - Holy Cow, what beautiful country that is! I had no idea that place was there. It was 105 degrees in Tucson and about 80 where the trial was.

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jazzies mum

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Sounds like a wonderful weekend, with great results to add to the fun! Can't wait to see the pics and that is some spectacular country. I bet Asha was nice and tired after all that nosework!
 

Rits

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Yay I am so glad you guys were able to attend your first trial!! And it sounds like it was successful too even more awesome! What fun!

There was a nose work class thats only taking seven dogs is about an hour away that popped up and I quickly jumped on that even though I'm not ready to focus on another sport 😅 It's so rare to see Nosework around here that I had to hop on it. I know you can train yourself at home but I really wanted to do this right because I've always been interested and it's good for her to do these things away from home when we can since we already do rally at home.

What was the NQ if you don't mind me asking, for learning purposes of course!
 

Ravenbird

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What was the NQ if you don't mind me asking, for learning purposes of course!
Kinda a long story, but Asha had started a "thing" with containers - lines of like boxes, only one containing a hide - started alerting to wrong ones, "this one? this one? this one?" but never in any other scene, just look alike boxes. Which is ALWAYS in novice. So before I trusted her on every single alert now I began to question her telling me the truth. So I worked on her reinforcing her decision on her alert by saying in body language keep looking. She would usually go back to the real source and alert again and get the reward. So on Saturday in Interiors she quickly alerted on a wheel castor of a shelf and I ignored it, thinking it was too quick and drew her to keep looking which she did and then she went back but instead of the wheel castor she alerted about 20" away under the shelf where there was a box. I wanted her to go back to the wheel but she stuck on the box so I called alert on it. I was wrong, the source was on the wheel. The odor had pooled under the box, where at the source by the wheel there was nothing solid (it was a wire shelf so the odor could rise & dissipate). Pooled odor gets stuck & gets stronger but source (the actual hide) is always stronger & that is the only thing they should alert on. Anyway, if I had called alert on Ashas first indication, not only would it have been correct (a Q), it would have been very quick, possibly a placement ribbon. But I questioned her and when she went back I'm guessing she knew the wheel castor wasn't right (I ignored her alert) so she went to the next best, which was the odor pooling under the box on that bottom shelf. Keep in mind, all dogs are different and you have to learn your own dogs behavior! I should never have invited her to keep looking when I knew her only guessing games were in look alike boxes, not an open room.

I LOVE nose work and so does Asha. I'm still working on IGP and will continue to, but we'll keep doing this as well.

Got our times since posting this - That first place ribbon? It was in containers - look alike boxes in a row, on Sunday, she swept through them, stopped at one and looked at me and I called alert. Less than 5 seconds. Trust Your Dog!

This is something that is easy to do with online training and continue on your own, especially if your dog is naturally good with it & food/toy motivated. There is some science involved - the way odor travels, swirls & pools or dissipates, so that learning is advantageous, especially as you move up. I've only had a few in-person lessons. Asha was the only Doberman there of 40 - 50 dogs. It may be in her particular genes, not all Dobes, but I do know her family as several SAR and HRD and FH2 tracking dogs, but I'm betting more Dobes have this talent than their owners even imagine. Go for it @Rits! I'm no expert, but I'm sure open to conversation with interested parties.
 

Rits

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Wow! I appreciate the detailed response. So interesting!! I look forward to following y'all's journey. Hopefully there will be more trials "within distance" of you!

Right now, I figure if anything with us is we are always working on a little bit of everything. As long as it keeps their minds working who cares if you put temporary pause on one thing while you take advantage or focus on another for a moment. Plenty of time to have fun and enjoy it all!
 

Ravenbird

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we are always working on a little bit of everything. As long as it keeps their minds working who cares if you put temporary pause on one thing while you take advantage or focus on another for a moment. Plenty of time to have fun and enjoy it all!
Yes, sometimes I feel like I'm trying to do too many things, but really it's just working each day on this or that. It's amazing how they learn, and I've become a true believer in equipment change. Her lightweight nylon harness means nose work for essential oils and for footstep tracking I use the fursaver currently paired with a flat collar. I want to teach Handler Discrimination (AKC scent work) and will use a heavy flat collar for that so she doesn't think we're looking for essential oils ( it starts off in rows of boxes so it would look the same visually). Then when I do Rally or AKC Obedience I use a skinny choke chain. She totally gets it. LOL, her favorite thing to see coming is the heavy leather harness for bite sports. Fast Cat is fun to go to because you don't really have to train for it. I don't think it's hard for them to do a lot. I wish I'd spent time on conformation, but maybe one day...
 

Ravenbird

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A little late, but here's photos:

Arrived Friday in Tucson before check-in time at the motel, so went to PetCo and TJ Maxx. Asha officially hates shopping. The PetCo is like Hell on Steroids to her. TJ Maxx, was quiet and didn't have 10,000 animal smells in the mix. We did a long down by the basket and front door while my friend & Reckless continued shopping. The sign on the front door said Service Dogs Welcome, but we just walked in with our flat, prong & e-collar on and got nothing but smiles or ignores. Since it was 105 degrees outside - literally! - I suppose they know we can't leave them in the car.

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Our little "camp" at the Boy Scout camp where the Scent Work trial was held. Asha is in the big blue crate, surrounded by friends.
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Reckless loves a camp chair. Jumped in it right after coming back from one of her trials, didn't even get the harness off.
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Back home with the ribbons: One 1st, two 3rds and 7 Q's. Proud of my girl!!!
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Kaiser2016

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That is great! Wow you're going to need a ribbon board too!

The pic with the shopping cart, my imagination went all out - tie Kaiser up to a cart like that and I imagined a bucking bronco crashing that cart through the store knocking over the clothing stands :rofl:
 

Ravenbird

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The pic with the shopping cart, my imagination went all out - tie Kaiser up to a cart like that and I imagined a bucking bronco crashing that cart through the store knocking over the clothing stands :rofl:
LOL, nope, not tied. Just flopped the end of the leash over. But yeah, it would definitely make a good movie scene...
 
R

Rosa

I shall definitely have to look into Nose Work someday as I believe Shylah would truly love it. She is forever poking her nose into everything and when she catches a scent she particularly finds interesting, she stays there forever. Nose Work has never been my fascination, but from observing Shylah, I think she would enjoy it. Thank you for your informative discussions!!
 

Ravenbird

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Ahhhh, well done!!!! Not sure how I missed this!

You guys make such a good team!
aww, thanks. You & all your activities always amazes me. ( I may have a Fast Cat in the works for end of the month! )

from observing Shylah, I think she would enjoy it.
The great thing about nose work is that almost every dog loves it! It's a mental challenge that comes natural to them & to get rewarded for that, well, they just love it. It's great for independent thinking dogs because they do it all on their own, you aren't there to help them, just reward when they are right. I find it's a great release from the train-train-train in obedience. I do reward obedience with play/ball/tug but it get's Asha so worked up & intense, I find the NW is like recess to her. Do what she loves at her own pace with no demands of how to get it done.
 
R

Rosa

aww, thanks. You & all your activities always amazes me. ( I may have a Fast Cat in the works for end of the month! )


The great thing about nose work is that almost every dog loves it! It's a mental challenge that comes natural to them & to get rewarded for that, well, they just love it. It's great for independent thinking dogs because they do it all on their own, you aren't there to help them, just reward when they are right. I find it's a great release from the train-train-train in obedience. I do reward obedience with play/ball/tug but it get's Asha so worked up & intense, I find the NW is like recess to her. Do what she loves at her own pace with no demands of how to get it done.
Yes, it is one of my intentions to look into NW more, but I have been concentrating on figuring out what to do about Shylah's health problems first...we are waiting for results from her blood tests yesterday. Other than her being too thin, the vet saw nothing wrong with her, but we all know something is not right. We shall see, but by the time we get past all this, it may be too late to really do protection training, although I think she will get some if I get the chance. So, nosework is first thing on my list for her training once training can really be done again. I think she might enjoy that enough for her not to feel like it is "training."
 

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