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Hey all. I started my boy in scent work a few weeks ago. Doing it on my own. Have lots of experience in scent work, having done SAR for many years.

So we of course started with Birch. Just lots of positive reward with scent and have slowly moved to problems. He is doing amazing. Really usring his nose, and working through issues.

I am working now on being "obedient to scent" and it's slowly clicking on his head to stay focused on the scent and keep his nose on it.

Looking forward to talking with others that train and trial in Noseworks.

Anything you wish you would have done from the vet go? Tips? Tricks?

I wanted to post a video, put don't know how. Anyone know how?

Pic cause he is stupid handsome.
 

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I train with Katsu at Tecla's K9 Academy in Ellicott City and Elkridge, MD. We're in the "Continuing Odor" class which is just meeting each week in separate locations to practice in different environments (it also allows us to practice without knowing exactly where the hides are). Katsu was a SAR prospect, but ended up with me instead (probably best with her heart issue) :grin2:


We did an 8 week beginner course which focused on introducing Birch. First couple weeks were the dog finding food lying about, then food hidden. After that food paired with scent (Birch) and finally just the scent. About a 2-3 weeks into the Continuing Odor class, Katsu can identify Anise and Clove as well. We're looking to trial for our NW1 this November.


Since I'm relatively new to it still, I don't quite have any regrets yet. I do think indicators are super important. I went with the default, down and sit, however I have made certain Katsu knows she MUST have her nose on the target odor when performing the indicator (she actually scoots forward to sit with her nose on the odor.) A lot of dogs will move backwards when going to sit which makes the "alert" a bigger area to guess from (some judges can be finicky and will challenge you).


You can make an indicator box out of...well...cardboard boxes. Cut a large hole for the dog's head and a smaller one for your hand on the adjacent side. Put the odor inside (I tape it) when the dog targets, feed. You can train for specific behaviors (sit, down, look at you then return to the odor, etc) to make it easier to identify when the dog found what s/he is looking for.


Tips?


Always keep MOVING. Even if that means shuffling from one foot to the other in one place. Stopping can cause a dog to think you know where the scent is and they can false alert. I can struggle with this one sometimes, but I'm getting better.


Try to keep the dog between you and your search area (say a car). That way they are less likely to deviate from the task. I've had Katsu wander into the bushes next to the vehicle we were searching because someone's dog left some pee-mail.


Since you do SAR, you probably already know scent travels. My instructor has a ribbon attached to his leash for competitions. He can use it to see which direction the wind is blowing to see if the dog is moving away from or towards a scent.


That's all I can think of right now...Your boy is "stupid handsome" :wink2:
 

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I’m currently training my 4th dog for nosework, and I’ve trained each a little differently. My first two started together, and were taught to search for food first, then we paired that with odor, then eventually took the food pairs away. When I started my girl, I skipped the searching solely for food part (I already knew she had excellent hunt drive), and went straight to odor paired with food. I kept sessions short and fun, and set her up for siccess with easy hides to build a nice foundation for the game. Eventually I moved her to more distracting environments and added in more difficult searches. She started going to advanced classes a few months after I started her. My current puppy I started completely differently. I imprinted him heavily on odor starting when he was 12 weeks old. No food pairs. With him, I introduced the scent of distractors (food, toys, etc) right away as well. He learned early on that odor is what pays. I jackpotted him during imprinting. He went to the tube with odor, he got a ton of food. He is also the only dog I taught a trained final response to right off the bat. I have an issue with my first dog crushing boxes, so I picked a down for the puppy to alert on containers. I’m more flexible with his TFR for the other elements, as I want his nose on odor, but for containers I require a down. I also started bringing him out and about to do nosework in stores, at parks, in public places way earlier than any of my other dogs. His odor obedience is stronger at this stage than any of my other dogs were when they were starting out. I kept him at home, inside, until I knew he understood what he was looking for, but then we progressed to areas away from home pretty quickly.

The biggest tip for handling I could give is to give your dog space to work. I see so many people who are a foot or two away from their dog, and they talk their dog into odor or pull their dog off odor more often than not. Work on patterning container searches now if you plan to compete. It will help you down the line. Try to stay in the middle of a room, away from any objects that could have odor. Don’t be too quick to introduce inaccessible hides, as it could confuse the dog and cause them to fringe. Have a plan for how your are going to cover a search area, but be flexible if your dog picks up odor right away. Work on thresholds! Threshold hides are hard for some dogs (and handlers) because they are excited to get into the search. Work in all weather conditions because you never know what a trial will bring.
 

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I did nose works with max and passed our nosework odor recognition test in all three scents. I felt we were incredible as a team. I hope there is not an expiration date on that. I signed up for the trial but got into a lottery and was not picked. It an be a challenge to get into the trials so plan ahead. I had started Luna in nose works took a few classes then Luna came into heat and life kept happening full force one thing after the next. Have not fully tapped into Luna’s gifted scenting abilities.

They both have a great nose.Nosework is very addicting and you become very intuitive how they use their nose. I took Luna to the beach once and walking back from our walk - with dozens and dozens of footprints in the sand she voluntarily scented my daughter’s foot prints tracking her foot prints. she Doug her nose right in and was in her glory.

I would hide the ball in snow or at the beach and max would naturally hunt for the ball in the foamy tide using his nose. He has very good hunting instincts. Max does not like other dogs but I was always impressed that he blocked them out as he worked off leash even if they were a few feet away.

I love nose works I have not been going to classes in quiet awhile. I learned a lot going to to a nosework clinic was lucky my instructor had a clinic at our class made it easy and convenient to get to. Again so addicting. Hoping to get into again. Would like to learn much more. We are always doing scent games and things. Attatched a phot of Luna doing nose work , a video of Max finding a ball in the snow on a very windy blizzard day and a photo of him scenting his ball in the foamy surf. It’s good to get used them using their nose in water. There was a search in buckets filled with water in class and max had no trouble finding the scent. I use the words “find it” in scent games and only the word “search in noseworks” . I have practiced with max in noseworks in pet stores , Home Depot’s anywhere dogs are allowed if someone can go with you to video it would be helpful. I usually did video myself and difficult to get the dogs entire body. I felt this thread was very helpful that I attatched. Before major adding distractions it’s good they are solid. In the snow video Luna was the distraction tempting max to play a game of tag in the snow but he remained on task!
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=617226
https://instagram.com/p/BdigpdCH7yq/
 

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I did nose works with max and passed our nosework odor recognition test in all three scents. I felt we were incredible as a team. I hope there is not an expiration date on that. I signed up for the trial but got into a lottery and was not picked. It an be a challenge to get into the trials so plan ahead. I had started Luna in nose works took a few classes then Luna came into heat and life kept happening full force one thing after the next. Have not fully tapped into Luna’s gifted scenting abilities.

They both have a great nose.Nosework is very addicting and you become very intuitive how they use their nose. I took Luna to the beach once and walking back from our walk - with dozens and dozens of footprints in the sand she voluntarily scented my daughter’s foot prints tracking her foot prints. she Doug her nose right in and was in her glory.

I would hide the ball in snow or at the beach and max would naturally hunt for the ball in the foamy tide using his nose. He has very good hunting instincts. Max does not like other dogs but I was always impressed that he blocked them out as he worked off leash even if they were a few feet away.

I love nose works I have not been going to classes in quiet awhile. I learned a lot going to to a nosework clinic was lucky my instructor had a clinic at our class made it easy and convenient to get to. Again so addicting. Hoping to get into again. Would like to learn much more. We are always doing scent games and things. Attatched a video of Max finding a ball in the snow on a very windy blizzard day and a photo of him scenting his ball in the foamy surf. I use the words “find it” in scent games and only the word “search in noseworks” . I have practiced with max in noseworks in pet stores , Home Depot’s anywhere dogs are allowed. I felt this thread was very helpful that I attatched.
https://instagram.com/p/BdigpdCH7yq/
ORTs do not expire. I hope you’re able to get back into it! And yes, trials are difficult to get into sometimes. I’m currently 0/4 for getting into an NW2 with my girl. I had to expand my radius of how far I’m willing to travel to trial, lol.
 

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Gypsy ghost- that’s a big relief- no expiration! Yes traveling is a must how far yeah a needed readjustment to how far! Thank you always learning so much in those classes! Good luck in you nw2 adventures!!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Love scent work! Wolf goes out for his DDN and DDCN at the end of the month. We train under a narcotics K9 handler who is just fantastic and has been teaching me tons of things I never would have thought to do before we started training under him. He is very insistent on the Kroyer method and building foundation at the box before pushing the dog too much.

He also starts off with a cocktail of all the scents at the box, and then teaches discrimination through different odor discovery set ups. I, like many, started with birch before I started training with him and once we started doing the cocktail it made a massive difference in Wolf's ability to discriminate all of the scents. We are also extremely dedicated to getting the down and the nose on the hide at the box and transferring that to hides off the box. We did not move on to sit alerts, or any other sort of alert, until the down was perfect and the nose stays on the hide regardless of distractions. With the way we train, you can roll a tennis ball through the set up and the dog has to keep his nose on the hide. It makes a huge difference for upper level competition.

So those would be my tips, use a cocktail from the get go and differentiate through odor discovery and discrimination set ups (set ups where different scents are hidden all over and the dog gets rewarded just for discovering the scent, not doing a full alert, while at the box and with the cocktail the dog has to do a full alert. Once the full alert is perfect at the box, phase out discovery set ups and start asking the dog for a full alert off the box.) And, perfect each type of alert before moving on to the next (down, sit, and high alerts.)

This is my trainer and you can see some of his videos on his FB page: https://business.facebook.com/pg/optimalk9/videos/?ref=page_internal
 
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Thanks everyone!! Lots of great ideas. I am super careful not to get in my dogs way, while not accidentally cluing him.

I am working hard on getting that "obedience to scent" and the nose on the scent.

I like the idea, and had toyed with working all scents and then separating them. I think it makes a lot of sense.

I don't have access to the boxes, but I do know that I am going to have to join a class or take lessons at some point. I need blind problems pretty quick to ensure that I am not accidentally doing anything. And I don't know the rules and intricacies of the sport. So working with an instructor and watching some trials is going to be needed.
 

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Thanks everyone!! Lots of great ideas. I am super careful not to get in my dogs way, while not accidentally cluing him.

I am working hard on getting that "obedience to scent" and the nose on the scent.

I like the idea, and had toyed with working all scents and then separating them. I think it makes a lot of sense.

I don't have access to the boxes, but I do know that I am going to have to join a class or take lessons at some point. I need blind problems pretty quick to ensure that I am not accidentally doing anything. And I don't know the rules and intricacies of the sport. So working with an instructor and watching some trials is going to be needed.
I worked the opposite way of starting with birch, then pairing birch with anise and clove for three of my dogs. The last one I imprinted each odor separately, as well as imprinting the combos. Next time I may very well start with the combos then break them down.

If you compete in NACSW events, the best way to observe is to volunteer for trials. They allow spectators, but only for a specific competitor. You cannot simply spectate all of the competitors. I know AKC, UKC and USCSS run things a bit differently.

I value my advanced classes so much. Getting the opportunity to work with an instructor who competes and is also a CO is invaluable to me. I feel incredibly lucky to have the group I have in my classes. They are all phenomenal handlers with great dogs, and I learn so much from each of them. I hope you are lucky enough to find a great group to train with!

Oh, another tip. Video your searches! It’s so helpful to watch your handling after the fact, and see what your dog did from a different perspective.
 

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My girls and I have dabbled, but I've been slacking on training.

I really like the online Fenzi Dog Sports Academy classes. Their method starts dogs on odor from the very first lesson, and all the instructors are not only good teachers, but very successful competitors in a range of organizations, not just NACSW.
 
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