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    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      Nosework question

      So I did meet with an instructor who evaluated Rocket Dog and said she was capable of joining a more advanced class. (I could not begin at the beginning because of timing issues.) So we've been doing what she showed us during that session. Hiding the treat, telling her to find it. She finds it very quickly while I'm trying to learn her cues that she has scented the find and is moving in on it.

      From what I understand this next class will be about outside and vehicle search, and I hope we'll get into indicator behaviors. BECAUSE...

      I'll tell you what, it doesn't matter where the find is. She's all over it in mere seconds. Here are my 2 questions:

      (1) Is this supposed to be difficult or a puzzle or something? The instructor acted as if outside and vehicle searches were sort of advanced. It doesn't matter where we do it... her accuracy is the same. And (2) I'm trying to figure out how to tell if she is on the scent. She's so fast... BAM... she's there. I might see her working it a little, I sometimes see the "power sniff" turn on. But basically she sniffs it out almost instantly no matter. Around and on my truck, in the grass, around the basket ball court, in the strewn boxes, in a corner or a along a wallboard. It's the same.

      I'm afraid if we don't get to slowing her down and getting her to indicate she's found it... all I'm doing is watching her eat treats.

    2. #2
      House Broken
      ZEKESMAN's Avatar
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      LOL I don't have a clue, but this is hilarious.

    3. #3
      Chief Pooper Scooper
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      I think eventually you will move to scents vs. cookies so that might be more difficult. You can also get a magnetic noseworks box (or make one out of an altoids tin) and put it UNDER the car for a real test.

    4. #4
      Senior Dog
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      Yeah, scent vs. cookies...it's going to be different. You're building a behavior, a habit right now and difficulty will increase. With cookies, my dog is a star and Labs have great noses. I find that my dog responds to finding a duck the same way he responds to finding a cookie or the right scent article. So, perhaps channel your field work experience and look for those similar signs?

    5. #5
      Senior Dog
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      I try. I think when you analyze a series, you kinda have a sense of where the (duck) scent will be coming from (wind direction and vegetation) and put that into your calculations for how you'll (try to) run the dog. The nosework instructor did tell me to look at places in my house where the dust bunnies collect (hysterical... where DON'T they collect) because that's where air currents are dead... thus a good place for a hide. Also at thresholds the dog crosses since typically the dog will just blast through a door. Yeah, those strategies fooled her... once or twice but now she's caught on.

      In a HT, the dog is driving deep and it's real obvious when the dog throws on the breaks and starts working scent. I don't know, it seems to happen in a flash in these short distances and even when I know where the find is, she's on it before I even am ready for it. (It would be hilarious to video it and run it in fast forward.)

      I found the coolest place to work on this. One of our parks has an area with kiddie play equipment on it. Limitless places to stick a hide. Plus you can put it under nearby bushes, on the free throw line of the nearby hoops set up. It's cool.

      She looks very official in her red training vest with me holding her 15 foot lead. I wonder if anyone got their knickers in a knot when they saw us sniffing around my truck.

    6. #6
      Best Friend Retriever
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      What is her indicator when pheasant hunting. M tail goes straight up and helicopters when she is on a bird and ready to flush. Nose work sounds like great fun but our weather is still really mild so will continue in the field until the snow flies.

    7. #7
      Senior Dog
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      She has never been pheasant hunting so far. Strictly non-slip retrieving. Maybe when she's doing solid Master work and has a little more maturity. You should try the nosework. I'm sure it will be a hoot once I know what we're supposed to do.

    8. #8
      Senior Dog
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      At this point, you are showing her that searching = finding something and eating it. Getting the dog to search without giving up is a first step. With a hunting background, she's probably more advanced and has better perseverance than a dog that's never done work like this. Just be patient, it does get harder! I haven't gone past treats mostly because I want to wait until Linus is older to really get into nosework.

    9. #9
      Senior Dog
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      It might help when your in the actual class to really watch the other dogs. You can tell when they catch the scent. Every dog is different though, however to watch them and see the subtle cues and body language. One of the hardest things in this is first trusting the dog. You want to help them, you want them to succeed, however you need to let them figure it out. The other thing is you have to understand the travel of scent. You yourself need to be very aware of air movement and the cone of scent. It can be truly rewarding, especially when you learn that body language of your dog when they catch that scent. Rocket is probably on the scent way before you are realizing it. Its not usually, ok here it is. They have a pattern on the scent cone as they work in to the strongest part. One of the hardest thing that helped me the most was letting go and letting him do this completely off leash and trusting him.

      Indoors is harder to see this cone of scent because air conditioning heating drafts, you have to think how the air flows in the room your in. Outside this may become much more obvious for you what I am talking about. Say the wind is coming from the west, well you approach from the west. There will be a cone starting at the scent but it will be widening to the east. So the dog will actually go east of the scent, catch it then they walk the cone back in to where it is strongest. I love watching Hemi that moment he catches the scent. It is very subtle but you can see him light up, you can see his brain going ok I know what I am after and my dad is going to be so proud of me when I find it.

    10. #10
      Senior Dog
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      I haven’t done Nosework (yet) but my friends who do, who are all experienced Obedience trainers tell me the hardest part is as Jeff says, learning to trust your dog and not try to help them. You have to get past where YOU think the scent is likely to be and really read your dog, even if you think they are wrong.
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, CD, BN) 6/4/2015
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      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
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