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    Thread: Nose work

    1. #1
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      Nose work

      Does anybody here do nose / scent work with their puppies? I am about to sign up for an intro class and am excited! My breeder (who is also a trainer) does a lot with nose work and I would love to take some of her classes, but she is down in West Virginia and I am in Massachusetts, so that obviously won't work. But the training center I've been using up here has a few nose classes, which look good. If Diggity does well, I might look for a more specific training center near me that does more with this type of training.

      Just wondering if anyone has experience / advice with this type of training and (long shot) if anyone knows of any good trainers up in the Boston area that you'd recommend?

    2. #2
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      We do it with Tickle. She loves it. I'll probably get the griff puppy into it when our teacher has an intro class again. It's a lot of fun.

      We're in Colorado so no training recommendations for you, but it is fun.

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      bmathers (10-08-2018)

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      Fenzi Dog Sport Academy has excellent instruction. Julie Symons and Stacy Barnett are both very successful. Stacy has a Lab. She is also a nose work judge. I know a lot of people that do the online training for nose work and it's one of the easier sports to do this way.

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      Quote Originally Posted by JenC View Post
      We do it with Tickle. She loves it. I'll probably get the griff puppy into it when our teacher has an intro class again. It's a lot of fun.

      We're in Colorado so no training recommendations for you, but it is fun.
      Cool, thanks. I signed us up. First class is on Halloween!

    7. #5
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      Hemi does it, definitely start with a trainer, sorry don't know any in your area. you will start basically finding food. Then they start adding the scent to the food. When we are talking scent it is mostly imperceptible to me. There are multiple scents allowed in competition, you will start by only learning one as not to confuse them. Anise, Clove, Birch, Vetiver, Myrrh are the typical scents with Clove being one of the most popular. If you plan on hunting, you can also use bird scents. This would give them a leg up on finding the birds. How you get your scent is typically you get a glass jar, you put one single drop of the essential oil on a cotton ball. The cotton ball goes into a plastic container with holes on it, then into the glass jar. Then you cut off the ends of a bunch of q tips and put them in the glass jar. Seal up the jar and usually in 24-48 hours you can then use one single q tip to hide and find. This usually goes inside another container with holes and you hide the container. You can use magents or earthquake putty to attack the container to items. Now they will probably start with the trainer with a stronger scent, but this is what Hemi finds right now and how we learned to dilute the scent after Hemi was trained.

      Anyway the other big part the trainer will teach you is to recognize when your dog is on the scent or not. There are a lot of different ways dogs scent. Hemi is an air scenter, some are ground scenters. The trainer will be able to after a few classes know what your dog is and guide you how to develop them. You also need to look and develop an alert signal, the signal when the dog has found it and is sure. Honestly, the most to learn is by you. The dog knows how to use it's nose, your just developing it and teaching it how to hone in. You however need to learn how scent travels and all kinds of things to allow you to set your dog up for success.

      Once the dog has transitioned from food to pure scent, probably within 4-5 weeks. Then the scent will start being hidden other places, new environments. Up high, down low, on cars in stinky areas with lots of other odors like a freshly cleaned bathroom, or around a dog wash. After a few months introduce new scents, teach them to find the one your looking for. Especially if your going to ever compete in UKC, there are multiple dogs, multiple scents. While only one dog at a time goes, the scent lingers, so if your dog is trained on multiple scents. They need to know which one. When competing time to find the scent is a huge part of your score. Fastest Hemi ever found one was 3 seconds. We all laughed cause I unhooked the leash and gave him his find it command, and he took off running across the room, ran right past the scent put on the brakes turned around and was like Oh here it is. Gave him his treat and goof ball took off running to explore what ever it was he was running for to begin with. We interrupted his goofy labradorness, because he found a scent apparently. Once he got his praise and treat brain went back to labrador mode.

      Nose work even just working at home is great fun. Hemi and I do not compete in it anymore, we just do it for fun and continue to develop the skill. He has done things like people searches where the scent is on people and he has to find it in a room full of people. Once they are working and they know how to work it really awesome to watch and see. At first you will be finding scents on leash so you can help guide them. Hemi does it all off leash now. I just turn him loose and trust his nose. It can also be used to be helpful to you. One of the ladies that usually runs the nose work stuff at dog scouts, actually trained her dog to find a specific piece of leather. This piece of leather then went on her key chain. She notoriously looses her keys. However not anymore finding her keys is how she and her dogs start the day.

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      bmathers (10-12-2018)

    9. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
      Hemi does it, definitely start with a trainer, sorry don't know any in your area. you will start basically finding food. Then they start adding the scent to the food. When we are talking scent it is mostly imperceptible to me. There are multiple scents allowed in competition, you will start by only learning one as not to confuse them. Anise, Clove, Birch, Vetiver, Myrrh are the typical scents with Clove being one of the most popular. If you plan on hunting, you can also use bird scents. This would give them a leg up on finding the birds. How you get your scent is typically you get a glass jar, you put one single drop of the essential oil on a cotton ball. The cotton ball goes into a plastic container with holes on it, then into the glass jar. Then you cut off the ends of a bunch of q tips and put them in the glass jar. Seal up the jar and usually in 24-48 hours you can then use one single q tip to hide and find. This usually goes inside another container with holes and you hide the container. You can use magents or earthquake putty to attack the container to items. Now they will probably start with the trainer with a stronger scent, but this is what Hemi finds right now and how we learned to dilute the scent after Hemi was trained.

      Anyway the other big part the trainer will teach you is to recognize when your dog is on the scent or not. There are a lot of different ways dogs scent. Hemi is an air scenter, some are ground scenters. The trainer will be able to after a few classes know what your dog is and guide you how to develop them. You also need to look and develop an alert signal, the signal when the dog has found it and is sure. Honestly, the most to learn is by you. The dog knows how to use it's nose, your just developing it and teaching it how to hone in. You however need to learn how scent travels and all kinds of things to allow you to set your dog up for success.

      Once the dog has transitioned from food to pure scent, probably within 4-5 weeks. Then the scent will start being hidden other places, new environments. Up high, down low, on cars in stinky areas with lots of other odors like a freshly cleaned bathroom, or around a dog wash. After a few months introduce new scents, teach them to find the one your looking for. Especially if your going to ever compete in UKC, there are multiple dogs, multiple scents. While only one dog at a time goes, the scent lingers, so if your dog is trained on multiple scents. They need to know which one. When competing time to find the scent is a huge part of your score. Fastest Hemi ever found one was 3 seconds. We all laughed cause I unhooked the leash and gave him his find it command, and he took off running across the room, ran right past the scent put on the brakes turned around and was like Oh here it is. Gave him his treat and goof ball took off running to explore what ever it was he was running for to begin with. We interrupted his goofy labradorness, because he found a scent apparently. Once he got his praise and treat brain went back to labrador mode.

      Nose work even just working at home is great fun. Hemi and I do not compete in it anymore, we just do it for fun and continue to develop the skill. He has done things like people searches where the scent is on people and he has to find it in a room full of people. Once they are working and they know how to work it really awesome to watch and see. At first you will be finding scents on leash so you can help guide them. Hemi does it all off leash now. I just turn him loose and trust his nose. It can also be used to be helpful to you. One of the ladies that usually runs the nose work stuff at dog scouts, actually trained her dog to find a specific piece of leather. This piece of leather then went on her key chain. She notoriously looses her keys. However not anymore finding her keys is how she and her dogs start the day.
      Most of the big trainers don't use food. I believe it has to do with getting into the higher levels, distractions are planted (which are food). They use food to reward. If you have a drivey Labrador and use food, you have some box-smashing issues to deal with!

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      bmathers (10-15-2018)

    11. #7
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      Hmm, really? Never seen them not use food to start. Hemi has been to a couple trainers. The one is a UKC judge for the sport they all used food to start them off, at least in my area they do. Once they get them game then they switch to the scent. It might be because they are working with a whole lot of different dogs and breeds at the start. Never lost a box, oh the boxes were a little worse for wear at the end of classes. We had one dog, big hunk of a guy just didn't care about the boxes. Sniff nope not in this one, walk over it smashing it in, sniff the next one, walk on it smashing it walk over another smash it without even sniffing. We got a lot of chuckles out of him. Hemi wanted to pick up and play with the boxes before he got the game. Once he got the game though and food was involved, boxes were serious business.

      Either way, Highly recommend nosework, once they get it, and once you start working it, it becomes a lot of fun. I still feel an extreme thrill myself just watching Hemi work. He knows exactly what he is supposed to do and i trust him fully to do it. His ability is beyond mine in this area and I just have to let him work it out. I really love watching him do it.

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      bmathers (10-15-2018)

    13. #8
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      I'm sure it is huge fun. I did it for about a week... my dog's nose is like radar. She's awesome but she'd learned to use it since puppy-hood with birds.

      I had to stop the fun and games however because in nosework, they are to lead you on a long lead. "LEAD" to Ram Jet Rocket Dog meant racing to the source of scent as fast as she could go dragging me along. This was counter-productive for our main goal which is STEADINESS at Hunt Tests.

      But I gotta tell you, we did it long enough to know it would be a hoot!

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      bmathers (10-15-2018)

    15. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      Fenzi Dog Sport Academy has excellent instruction. Julie Symons and Stacy Barnett are both very successful. Stacy has a Lab. She is also a nose work judge. I know a lot of people that do the online training for nose work and it's one of the easier sports to do this way.
      Thanks! I will check into this!

    16. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      Most of the big trainers don't use food. I believe it has to do with getting into the higher levels, distractions are planted (which are food). They use food to reward. If you have a drivey Labrador and use food, you have some box-smashing issues to deal with!
      Interesting you say this. I emailed my breeder (who I mentioned also trains for scent work) and she said the exact same thing. Her advice was start with the birch scent and not food. She didn't elaborate on why, but that's what she said.

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