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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I'm looking at getting started in scent work, handler discrimination division, and I'm hoping you guys can give me some tips and tricks for training, and trialing. I want to get started with handler discrimination division, and then move to odor search division.
Also, what has been your experiences with trials? I've walked by a couple at shows, but haven't been able to stop at watch them. I've read the rule book, but looking for some real world experiences.

Thank you
 

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no idea about AKC but I can say that your best bet is to find a club that you enjoy working with if you can. You will need people to help with blind hides and to watch for things you can't see for yourself. Finding a group of people that you enjoy working with can make a big difference in how far you go.
 

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I think the three major organizations AKC, NACSW (National Association for Canine Scent Work),and PSD (Performance Scent Dog), work under basically the same principles so it’s not unusual to find trainers, judges, etc who are involved with more than one, at least in my area. This would be a good site for on line classes to start your foundation work. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - Scent Sports.

Once this Covid19 is sorted and organizations return to functioning again one really good suggestion is to volunteer in a trial. Not only will you get a good sense of what goes on and what it takes to run a trial but it Is also a great way to make contact with many in the field.
Also a lot of training classes have gone the webinar route so look for website in your area. I volunteered in a couple of trials before ever trialing. It was fun and eye opening.

This would be suggestions for the sport. If you are still hoping to get into SAR, I would continue with what Heinini suggested.

My trial experiences were with NACSW and they were great experiences have obtained NW1 and the NW2 titles. Trialed for NW3 but I blew it on the first search then life happened and,I put it on hold. I wouldn’t trade that period of time for the world as we both love it.

So keep up with what you want to do, contact AKC and see if they have sites with how to vids also check out NACSW left hand side of their web site has quite a few vids of trials etc.
 

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for instructors in NACSW Certified Nose Work Instructor Listing | NACSW
I did NACSW with my GSD the one hard thing I found was getting in trials since they filled up fast
I have done akc scent trials with my malinios so far she has 2 legs of the 3 in novice and have been on working handler discrimination during the Covid19
My mal got her Level 1 title in lost item recovery in NASDA so I figured try for a title in akc handler discrimination I use a cotton glove stored in zip lock bag with a pair socks that a wore for a day
 

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My experience with AKC and NACSW trials is that AKC is a bit more disorganised. Some clubs add too many elements in the day and it becomes chaos trying to run searches. You need 3 Q's per element to title in that element.
NACSW, on the other hand, is pretty organised. There is a set amount of people entered (40, usually) and 4 elements to search. It's pass/fail and you must pass all 4 elements at the same trial for levels 1 and 2 to title; things changed for level 3.

Katsu and I are 1 leg away from her total SWN title (missing 1 buried Q) and are working on her SIA (Scentwork Interior Advanced - a title towards the overall SWA title - Scentwork Advanced. Confusing, right? :ROFLMAO:). We also have our NW1 and L1V titles through NACSW. So, we're not advanced, but also not super new, either.

Blind hides is very beneficial to you for training as well (having someone place the hides for you). It prevents you from training your dog a "tell" that you know where the hide is and they end up relying on you instead of their nose. I do a roaming class every week - different locations with an instructor that has gone to the NW3 Elite level and is very competitive in the sport. He reads my dog well, still trials, and has the experience to provide tips that are useful to a novice like me. If you can find one of these nearby, I'd highly recommend it. Search for local AKC clubs or dog trainers - they may have something similar.

FDSA (Fenzi Dog Sports Academy) listed above is a good resource if you cannot find a local class to start out with.

Handler Discrimination should be the same as teaching an odor recognition, I think. I haven't done it yet, since it isn't required for the overall AKC titles in Scentwork, but I've had a few friends who have. They've already taught their dogs the 3 essential odors for NACSW, though. Most are women, who place a glove or other cloth article inside their bra for a day/few hours, then use it for a training session. Reward interest in the box that has the odor, moving the box to different locations in pattern of other, similar boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry, I should have specified that I am talking about AKC, although I have been looking at NACSW.
There is one AKC club in the whole peninsula, and they don't offer nosework classes unfortunately.
I wore a pair of new cotton socks for 2 days, and then I have been fermenting gauze in my bra for the past few days lol
I also got some metal tins and magnets.
I have been looking into the online fenzi classes.
 

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Sorry, I should have specified that I am talking about AKC, although I have been looking at NACSW.
There is one AKC club in the whole peninsula, and they don't offer nosework classes unfortunately.
I wore a pair of new cotton socks for 2 days, and then I have been fermenting gauze in my bra for the past few days lol
I also got some metal tins and magnets.
I have been looking into the online fenzi classes.
You don't have to go to such lengths to make scent items.
I hope you find a great group of folks to work with.
 

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You don't have to go to such lengths to make scent items.
I hope you find a great group of folks to work with.
I just figured the stronger the scent the better chance he would have at finding it, since we are just starting out.
 

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I can’t say I’m the best to listen to as I’m not terribly experienced. But I started with what was highly motivating to my dog rather than the strongest smell. He loves to play with empty milk jugs (especially as a puppy) so I started with easy hides inside with the much loved milk jug and steadily made the hides harder and added distractions (like outdoors). I think the key to the basic level is to give them confidence in their nose.
Other members, free to correct me if I’m incorrect.
 

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I just figured the stronger the scent the better chance he would have at finding it, since we are just starting out.
Once you start working these dogs you will find out that you don't have to make the scent strong. More importantly, learn about air currents. It can move scent molecules to places you might not suspect.
K9s Talking Scents is a cool podcast to listen to. So much to learn
 
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