Bailie and I started our nose work class last week at Active Dog Sports Training and that is where the mischief occurred. First, I need to tell you all two things! One, the photos aren’t our usual quality as we were in a training facility that isn’t designed for pretty pictures, and two, no one peed on the floor. The water spots on the floor are from snowy paws and shoes going in and out.
Mom signed Bailie and I up for nose work because it sounded like the perfect activity for scent hounds like us. We figured we would meet other fun hounds too. Well, it turns out we are the only two hounds our class of six. The other four dogs are actually there to work on their behavior as they are reactive dogs. We never in a million years thought about that! No wonder the course instructions said to avoid dogs meeting each other on the way in or out of class! We are all kenneled except when it is our turn to work. It isn’t a big deal as Bailie and I really are focused on the nose work and not on making new friends.
We aren’t kenneled at home except for when we are puppies and Mom is gone, but I didn’t mind the kennel thing at all. Next week Bailie and I are going to just share one larger kennel and see how that goes.
The hardest part of the class is waiting for your turn. This nose work stuff is so much fun, we didn’t want to stop. Mom loves it too and loves to see us working our hound noses and doing so well at it. We are naturals! Bailie is super fast and inhales the treats when she finds them. I take things a bit slower and methodically, and as always I savor my tiny treat rewards.
Nose work one is all about finding treats hidden in boxes. We get a whiff and then sniff around until we find the treat in the box and then we get an extra treat too. If you love treats, this is definitely a class for you!
Mom built a box course in our basement so Bailie and I can practice every day. We practice one at a time so there is no fighting over treats. All the thinking involved in searching for the treats really wears us out too.
At class, aside from being in kennels, the dog that is “up”, is led by leash into the box course area, but that area is hidden from the other dogs. This is where the mischief comes into play. Bailie did fine except for when she saw Mom and I disappear into the nose work course. I think she was scared we left her at first, and then she was mad that it wasn’t her turn. No matter, as soon as we were out of sight, she started her pathetic hound howling. Everyone was just laughing as she was so serious about it, and she is so very loud! We had three turns each, and by the third turn she was a bit less noisy, but still howling. If you haven’t heard her howl, I have a short seven second video of her howling at home. Sometimes you hear Katie and I in the background too. We couldn’t record her at class because Mom was busy working with me during my turn.
We are so excited for the rest of our nose work classes! This really gets us in our groove. Obedience class is something a dog should complete, sort of like humans and high school, but it is definitely not something that we or Mom enjoy. Unless something changes we will continue on with nose work and then tackle tracking as well. I will also post more our classes as we learn more, and maybe I can wear my Sony Action Cam too so you all can see what I am doing from a hound’s point of view!