Bailie and I have our first ORT tests in just three weeks, so we are studying hard! ORT is for odor recognition test and this test will be a test for birch odor for both of us. Mom has never been to one of these test either so it is all new for us. Luckily, our teacher, Sharon, at Active Dog Sports Training is trying real hard to help us prepare. We completed Nose Work level 2 and start level 3 this week. We are excited as it will be outdoor and vehicle searches. At our last class, we were told how the ORT test works, how to prepare and did a couple test runs in class.
The test will consist of twelve identical boxes, one of which has the odor in it. The boxes may be in a single row, two rows, a circle, or any constellation. They need to be spaced so the dog can walk up and down and between them. There is also a threshold, a kind of starting line. The dog starts the test there, but like in a track meet, can’t cross the line with the paws until it is time to go and search, so we are practicing that as well. Crossing the line early results in a failed test, yikes!
To get identical boxes, Mom went to the post office and picked up twelve boxes. She taped them together with festive orange duct tape. Box twelve is the source box. Using the scented swabs and a glove, three of the swabs are placed in the roof of the box. the box is then closed, and labeled source. This is the only box that will ever have the odor in it. We let it sit for at least half an hour to get the odor going.
It seems real simple, and for Bailie and I, it really is…BUT…there is a weak link in our chain – Mom! The problem is signaling Mom so she knows which box has the odor. This is where the teamwork really comes into play. Right now I seem to have it down as I kind of push the source box around, but not the other boxes. Bailie hasn’t found her communication move yet, so she and Mom are working on that. If we fail, it will most likely be her fault for not being able to read us well enough. No pressure, Mom 🙂 We will bring a few boxes and our odor kit with to Blogpaws so we can get a practice or two in. Going a whole week without nose work might not be a good thing.
Once we finish doing our regular nose work homework and then studying for our ORT by doing a few runs, Bailie and I are worn out. It is a lot of mental energy with all the sniffing. It may not be the same calorie expenditure as going for a run, but it does add into our fitness training variety quite well.
That is one of the ways we were staying fit this week. What were you doing to stay fit? I’m joining the FitDog Friday Blog Hop hosted by SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love! Share your story with others and find fun, new fitness ideas too!