Finally found a good class for my dog! - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 11:19 PM
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Thanks Gypsyghost. I looked her up, zinndogtraining.com Unfortunately her facility is pretty far from me, but there are 2 certified instructors close by...I contacted both and am awaiting their responses now.

That being said, I might consider doing a drop in session or 2 to get some pointers, but nosework seems pretty straightforward. I watched the videos on the NACSW website, which shows trials at all levels (which is what prompted me to try Nyx out on multiple hides too soon) but I probably wouldn't have the patience to do their classes... Truthfully I can't imagine what they'd do in a class like that for all that time...it probably centers on teaching people how to read their dogs signals and cautions about alerting too quickly, would be my guess...

Do you do NW with your dogs?
It seems easy and straightforward until it isn’t, lol.

Yes, I do nosework with all of my dogs. I’m currently laying a foundation on the 4th dog I’ve started in the sport. I’ve been taking advanced classes for about 4 years. I learn something new literally every week, because I have an amazing instructor and classmates who are just as competitive with their dogs as I am with mine. It takes a while to become proficient at handling, where your leash work is effortless and you aren’t potentially blocking odor or talking your dog into alerting where no odor is present. It also takes a while to figure out the best way to support your dog. This is outside of getting your dog proficient on odor and developing strong odor obedience. Then of course there is learning how odor behaves in different environments and different weather conditions. These things I’ve mentioned are all just the basics. There are so many other more nuanced facets to the sport. It really does help to have a good instructor in your corner. I don’t know anyone who trials (in my area) that doesn’t eventually seek out classes. Having someone who understands hide placement set hides for you so both you and your dog can run searches blind is also invaluable as you progress.
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Last edited by GypsyGhost; 11-21-2018 at 11:32 PM.
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post #22 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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It seems easy and straightforward until it isn’t, lol.

Yes, I do nosework with all of my dogs. I’m currently laying a foundation on the 4th dog I’ve started in the sport. I’ve been taking advanced classes for about 4 years. I learn something new literally every week, because I have an amazing instructor and classmates who are just as competitive with their dogs as I am with mine. It takes a while to become proficient at handling, where your leash work is effortless and you aren’t potentially blocking odor or talking your dog into alerting where no odor is present. It also takes a while to figure out the best way to support your dog. This is outside of getting your dog proficient on odor and developing strong odor obedience. Then of course there is learning how odor behaves in different environments and different weather conditions. These things I’ve mentioned are all just the basics. There are so many other more nuanced facets to the sport. It really does help to have a good instructor in your corner. I don’t know anyone who trials (in my area) that doesn’t eventually seek out classes. Having someone who understands hide placement set hides for you so both you and your dog can run searches blind is also invaluable as you progress.
I get that it gets much more complicated at higher levels. I was really impressed with the handlers and their dogs in the videos. When I said it was "pretty straightforward" I was definitely talking about just the first steps! ORT and NW1 tests. I can't see paying for classes for those. After only a week I'm pretty sure Nyx would easily pass the ORT, and I'm pretty confident that within a few more weeks she'll be ready for the NW1 trial. That being said, I have no clue how to teach some of the higher level skills, so classes for those would make good sense! And I'm looking forward to it! It is a lot of fun, and Nyx seems to really love it. I'm also pretty sure it's much easier to be cocky about it when there's no timer running LOL! I appreciate the info too, thanks!

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #23 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 12:11 AM
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I get that it gets much more complicated at higher levels. I was really impressed with the handlers and their dogs in the videos. When I said it was "pretty straightforward" I was definitely talking about just the first steps! ORT and NW1 tests. I can't see paying for classes for those. After only a week I'm pretty sure Nyx would easily pass the ORT, and I'm pretty confident that within a few more weeks she'll be ready for the NW1 trial. That being said, I have no clue how to teach some of the higher level skills, so classes for those would make good sense! And I'm looking forward to it! It is a lot of fun, and Nyx seems to really love it. I'm also pretty sure it's much easier to be cocky about it when there's no timer running LOL! I appreciate the info too, thanks!
I mean no disrespect with this, but it would be incredibly difficult to be ready for either an ORT or an NW1 in just a few weeks. Not even with the help of an instructor. My girl is actually quite skilled at nosework, and I’m not a novice handler, and she wasn’t ready to trial for her NW1 until she’d been doing this close to six months. Of course, I wanted (and got) placements for her, so perhaps she could have trialed a bit sooner. But still, this is not something you can expect to have down pat in a week or two. Good luck to you.
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post #24 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tim_s_adams View Post
I get that it gets much more complicated at higher levels. I was really impressed with the handlers and their dogs in the videos. When I said it was "pretty straightforward" I was definitely talking about just the first steps! ORT and NW1 tests. I can't see paying for classes for those. After only a week I'm pretty sure Nyx would easily pass the ORT, and I'm pretty confident that within a few more weeks she'll be ready for the NW1 trial. That being said, I have no clue how to teach some of the higher level skills, so classes for those would make good sense! And I'm looking forward to it! It is a lot of fun, and Nyx seems to really love it. I'm also pretty sure it's much easier to be cocky about it when there's no timer running LOL! I appreciate the info too, thanks!
I just put my second NW title on my first dog. She’s not as fast as a lot of the GSDs I’ve seen but she’s good.

We have been taking classes for over two years. I’m a first time handler in the sport, and it was really important to me to learn all I could about putting a foundation on my dog, build her fundamental skills, and ensure that she understands the game and has good odor obedience. More than placements, I care about solid skill and accurate work. And I want my dog to feel confident and have fun.

That’s before we even get into what the handler needs to learn. I’m nowhere close to as practiced as, say, GypsyGhost when it comes to handling skill and technique, and reading the dog I’m working. I had to learn my dog in a new way, and I had to practice reading her and practice trusting what she was telling me.

All of that requires practice. Many hours of practice. Even if Nyx is a Nosework prodigy, logging the pilot hours will only benefit you both. It will strengthen your bond and build both your skills and hers. It is very much in your best interest to step back, find the certified instructor, and go to class every week and take to heart what they have to say when they coach you.

This sport is so much fun, and I hope you and Nyx will be able to be successful!


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post #25 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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I mean no disrespect with this, but it would be incredibly difficult to be ready for either an ORT or an NW1 in just a few weeks. Not even with the help of an instructor. My girl is actually quite skilled at nosework, and I’m not a novice handler, and she wasn’t ready to trial for her NW1 until she’d been doing this close to six months. Of course, I wanted (and got) placements for her, so perhaps she could have trialed a bit sooner. But still, this is not something you can expect to have down pat in a week or two. Good luck to you.
Maybe I'm missing something (wouldn't be a first), but an ORT is simply finding the birch scent in a room with many boxes/containers right?

I did this with Nyx several times tonight. 5 containers, only 1 with birch scent, and she easily identified the correct container 100% of the time.

When she finds the scent she lays down with the item between her paws. For higher hides, she'll paw, or give me that look, and if that doesn't work she lays down while staring at the target.

Am I missing something important here? I think she'd nail it now...

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

Tim
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post #26 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 01:05 AM
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Maybe I'm missing something (wouldn't be a first), but an ORT is simply finding the birch scent in a room with many boxes/containers right?



I did this with Nyx several times tonight. 5 containers, only 1 with birch scent, and she easily identified the correct container 100% of the time.



When she finds the scent she lays down with the item between her paws. For higher hides, she'll paw, or give me that look, and if that doesn't work she lays down while staring at the target.



Am I missing something important here? I think she'd nail it now...
Your ORT will be 12 boxes. In a grid. On its face, yes, straightforward. It is also entirely possible that air flow and other environmental factors will change the odor picture and make the actual task less straightforward. Your dog may or may not be more amped up being in a new environment. What helps set you up for success is taking the time to learn and practice with your dog, get used to working her on different odor pictures in different locations and under differing circumstances that make the odor behave in a variety of ways.

Pilot hours.



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post #27 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Your ORT will be 12 boxes. In a grid. On its face, yes, straightforward. It is also entirely possible that air flow and other environmental factors will change the odor picture and make the actual task less straightforward. Your dog may or may not be more amped up being in a new environment. What helps set you up for success is taking the time to learn and practice with your dog, get used to working her on different odor pictures in different locations and under differing circumstances that make the odor behave in a variety of ways.

Pilot hours.



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Thanks, I'll definitely consider taking more time and working in various conditions. I do appreciate the info!

I am a rebel though...so I might just test her now to see...who knows. But I definitely get that differing conditions can effect a dog, so we'll keep working! It is a fun sport!

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

Tim
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post #28 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 02:11 AM
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A good foundation is the most important and that is from the very beginning. Instructor can tell you your mistakes on handling and not interfering. The dog is so aware of your presence it is very important. The class has all kind of intricate set ups and at different locations. Learning to ignore crazy distractions and keep on task. Working with a room filled with other dogs and dogs in heat. Hides in water. Often instructors will hold clinics which you do get a lot of information. Ort is a very quick test There have been high level experienced handlers not pass on Ort due to handler error -being to quick to call-alert/. Air currents in the room from heating vents etc. carrying scent from one box to the next. I had to drive 3 and a half hours for Ort so I decide to do all three Orts in one day and practiced with food and toy distractions. Trials are not easy to get in so that takes awhile in itself often a lottery. I have not taken class in awhile but if there is a trial local In future I would try it cold turkey and believe we would do well. It really is a fun sport and the dogs really are intense about it. I like to do scent activity’s for fun so I make sure I have a word reserved only for nosework.
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Last edited by Jenny720; 11-22-2018 at 02:18 AM.
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post #29 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 09:59 AM
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Like any trial, most people think it's easy, until its actually done. There are variables in trials that you never think to plan for.
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post #30 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 10:19 AM
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Actually I lied on the ORT. I think it’s an array of 15 boxes.

But I meant to touch on this and forgot: There are also official rules, and rules of etiquette, and conventions and tips/tricks that you learn in a class. You can read the rule book and you can pick up some of it yourself, but if you go to class and listen to your instructor and more experienced classmates, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel. You won’t be the one asking the CO, “Wait, could the hide be on the cones marking the start line?” (Answer: No. It never is. Don’t be that person.) And you’ll also know to never freak out and call alert on the cone.

I can also tell you from experience that all of that stuff is muscle memory, and it’s so easy for all of what you’ve read and told yourself to fly out the window when you walk into a search area at a trial. If you’ve practiced, if you’ve listened, you might recall that one thing your instructor has repeated at least 9,047 times and you had no idea why until THIS search. Having my instructor in my head literally saved my NW1 title in an exterior search that was incredibly fun but also not easy.


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