Anybody competing in Nosework? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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post #11 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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I've seen the food approach today. It's very different from what I've seen with Cadaver dogs. Instead of food I learned to use the Scent Ball to imprint the dog with the scent. But the food approach is very interesting as well.

I checked our Area. There is one lady whose been at the workshops but isn't an instructor yet, any other instructor is as far as five to six hours... like I said before, I live in the middle of a frickin wasteland when it comes up to dog stuff.

IT'S FRUSTRATING!
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post #12 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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How do you make the transition from the food to the scent? That's what I'm interested in. And how do you reward the dog after you transfer to the scent? Food or Toy?
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post #13 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:52 PM
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I am far from experienced in the matter, just a student. My instructor says it is Classical Conditioning technique. Now he searches unpaired (the odor without food) but we reward at site when he alerts. The great thing is that in the beginning we would throw food into the boxes so they eventually learn to stick with the scent waiting for the reward which makes it easier to call an alert. Some other students use toys ie tugs, balls, as reinforcement.

I've never heard of a scent ball. I'm sure there are many techniques and processes. I find it all interesting.

"Jake" - GSD Male 2 yrs old
"McKoi"- Golden Ret Male 2 yrs old
"Daisy" - Border Collie Mix Female 1 yr old
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post #14 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:56 PM
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The transition from food to odor was smoother than I expected. You start "pairing." The odor is in a tin with a bit of food under it. Every dog takes a different amount of getting it, but they start making the association that food/toy comes when they smell the odor and alert.

Did that answer your question? I am a little slow at responding.

"Jake" - GSD Male 2 yrs old
"McKoi"- Golden Ret Male 2 yrs old
"Daisy" - Border Collie Mix Female 1 yr old
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post #15 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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So technically, you can use food in the beginning, once you've got the foundation you transition to the odor, go away from the food and reward with the toy, once the dog is actually searching for the odor instead of the food.
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post #16 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 12:15 AM
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You can reward with food or toy in the beginning or once you start pairing.

We have a two piece tin that our trainer uses, which is also magnetic for car hides. It has two round tins on a metal base, that unscrew in half. Food goes in one (or part of a tennis ball w/scent) and scent in the other. They find the scent/food but don't get that food anymore, they get rewarded at the site with food or a toy. I mix up using a ball and food with Frag.

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post #17 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 12:20 AM
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I think some trainers train that way, but mine just has us stick with the same type of reward. Some students had their dogs search for the toys at the beginning because they weren't food driven, and the others that were food driven always reward with food. When we moved to odor, if they were using the toy, they would only put a small piece of the toy with the odor. When they alerted they would reward with a short play session. With the food driven dog we just reward with food, and would throw/place food in the box and at the tin so the dog would keep his eye on the odor instead of us as the source. Thus, the odor is the generator of the reward, not the handler.

This sport is great for reactive dogs since each dog works alone - in training sessions and at the trials.

"Jake" - GSD Male 2 yrs old
"McKoi"- Golden Ret Male 2 yrs old
"Daisy" - Border Collie Mix Female 1 yr old
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post #18 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, the ball approach is how'd I do it too, simply because the hunt drive is very powerful. The scent on the toy, is what I've been calling the scent ball
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post #19 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 12:25 AM
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Someone in our class has the two tins that you speak of. My instructor was just talking about it, but not all instructors have the same opinion: if the food or toy is concealed and not accessible to the dog it may create a problem. She said it is important that they can self reward at the site - via a small morsel of food until you can get there to "secretly" deliver more (not sure how it works with a toy). If they can't self reward at the site, unless you are super quick, they may look to you for the reward instead of sticking to the odor.

"Jake" - GSD Male 2 yrs old
"McKoi"- Golden Ret Male 2 yrs old
"Daisy" - Border Collie Mix Female 1 yr old
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post #20 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 12:27 AM
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When I moved on to Odor, the students that were working with the ball/toy moved to a different class, so I can't see how that works.

"Jake" - GSD Male 2 yrs old
"McKoi"- Golden Ret Male 2 yrs old
"Daisy" - Border Collie Mix Female 1 yr old
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