I think I mentioned it before, but in case I didn’t, there are four areas of nose work searches: interior, container, exterior, and vehicle search. Last week we finished our third basic nose work class which started with exterior search and ended with vehicle search. For us dogs, all nose work is fun, but exterior and vehicle searches are the most fun of all. Being outside presents a hole new can of worms as far as difficulty with the wind and various surfaces. A vehicle search is searching the exterior of a vehicle, and a vehicle can be a car, truck, trailer, bicycle, anything for transport really. In competition, there can be one to five vehicles to search depending on your level.
For our homework on this day, Mom had five hides on three vehicles and it was a windy day. Some hides were birch, some were anise, some were in metal containers, come were in straws. The vehicles we had to search were a wheelbarrow, bicycle, and an SUV. In the photos above you will notice I was concentrating on the front wheel area at first while the hide container was really on the handle. The wind was blowing in the direction handle to wheel, so the odor was traveling under the wheelbarrow and getting trapped in the wheel area. I had to check that our before I moved around and found the container on the handle.
I can search the vehicles in any order I want, but Mom should have a plan so we don’t miss anything. If I seem to have a serious desire to start on one, then normally that is where I start. I went to the bike next. I started on one side and worked my way all the way around until I found the container on the other side.
Finally I searched the SUV. Two of the three hides on the car were in a straw (they are black and about two inches long). I approached the vehicle and sniffed my way to the wheel, and then to the rim where I located the hide in the straw.
Bailie demonstrated two hides on the SUV. In the top left photo, Bailie is finding lingering odor from my previous hide that was on the rim. She moves along and finds the straw on the inside of the wheel well. She then works her way around the vehicle to the other side, sniffing along and finds the hide on the back rear door panel.
After my last post, many asked why we don’t just sit when we find the hide. I asked our instructor about this. It turns out that detection dogs sit, but they are only saying they found odor in the “area”. It could be anywhere within ten feet or so. In K9 nose work, we have to be exact. It isn’t enough to say it is in the wheel area, we need to pinpoint it down to say it is on this spoke. For this reason, we need to signal with our nose or other body signal to be precise. In the photo above, Bailie actually touched the container with her nose and is now pointing to it waiting for her reward.
Since I do a good job searching, very thorough and methodical, I strapped on my Sony Action Cam and set out to search the three vehicles for five hides. Watch how I stick close to the vehicles, sometimes I go out and come back to catch an odor because of how it travels with the wind. The bike hide is interesting as I find it, but I am on the wrong side of the wheel, so I have to figure out how to get to the container to show Mom where it is. Remember also, these hides are not meant to be real tricky, we are still learning to just find them. Now and then they will be well hidden, but for now we are learning to sniff them out and we don’t use our eyes much. They may look obvious to you, but we are going almost exclusively by scent. Sometimes you can hear my sniffing/breathing in the video. We also get rewarded after each find, so you may see Mom doing that from time to time in the video.
Now that we have completed our basic nose work courses, we will be taking fun nose work classes to practice finding hides all over the place in all four search areas and we will also be adding the third and final odor, clove. Bailie and I have our next ORT on July 2nd, hopefully we will both pass. Bailie will be trying for birch again and I will be trying for anise. We both really enjoy nose work, and it seems like I am really excelling at it. Bailie may end up being more of a tracking dog, but Mom wants her to keep on with nose work at least until she matures a bit more to see if she learns to focus better. As I always say, if you are interested in nose work, you should attend at least one class to get your dog started off in the right direction.
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!
How excellent! And I loved the video.
Yep, tracking scents outdoors is much harder. As a sailor who tries to pay attention to the wind, I have learned a lot from watching Honey trying to find things in the yard.
Mom never thought much about wind until recently, now she thinks about it all the time. It is really interesting if you are in a sport like nose work or sailing where wind is a big factor!
Reilly & Denny says
what an excellent search you guys did – I am pretty sure if any of our birch trees goes missing – we know who to call 🙂 🙂 🙂
LOL! Now that is funny!
We are totally impressed with the progress you have made! Mom wants to take me to a nose work class but is it like, for fun, or do we commit to it like you? Anyway, you guys are amazing! Love Dolly
Nose work for most is just for fun, we want to do it competitively, so we are in for the long haul. Try a class and see how it goes. The first class is usually searching inside in boxes for treats. If nothing else, you get some good snacks out of it. Even if you are doing it just for fun, the classes are good sometimes to get your motivation up and to learn new things. Just remember, it will wear you out totally because of all the mental work involved, so plan on a nap after.
Great search. Thanks for sharing. Learning so much from reading your posts.
Thank you. It is really just a quick summary, but it hopefully gets the basic idea across.
SlimDoggy (@MySlimDoggy) says
Excellent job as always Emma. The video was great and yes we can hear that great nose of your sniffing away. I bet you inspire lots of our friends to give nose work a shot.
I am really happy as I know two dogs that have started because of my posts. Whether for fun or competition it is a great sport for dogs because we were born to use our noses.
We just started car searches at the end of our last class, too! They are really fun. Since we live in an apartment, it’s been too hot to practice out in the parking lot very much, so we’ve just done searches with a few treats I sneaking set on the bumper as we’re coming back from a walk, but Barley loves it! Our scent kit finally came in on Wednesday, so we’re having lots of fun with that and if it stays nice today, we might do some exterior searches this afternoon!
Exterior searches are so awesome. You can go to a park and put hides out for variety, park benches are awesome as the oder travels in the slots between the wood pieces. Just love searching. Hope you get out today. We have to practice on our boxes for our ORTs coming up but we hope to do some exterior searches too this afternoon.
Will and Eko says
This is so cool! It’s been fun seeing you guys work your way up in skill. Remind me not to try and sneak any contraband through your town!
If birch or anise is what you are carrying, you will be out of luck, but drugs and stuff, we aren’t interested 😉 Mom and our teacher say that I have really gotten good and focused. Bailie is still a bit all over the place, but she is young and she is a real tracker more than a searcher.
Sparkle the PBGV says
Emma, you and Bailie are pawsome! Yes, we should expect such good instinct as you are French scent hounds. 🙂 I love it when you are the videographer, and I can hear you snorfling. Great job Emma (and Bailie.) XOXO Sparkle the PBGV
Snorfing, I like that! Mom says I do that on walks too now. Once you start learning to use your nose, it becomes something you do all the time. It makes Mom happy to know I am using my nose like I was born to.
Wow… dat nose work stuff looks like fun. I may have to check it out in da fall (when it is cooler outside).
It all starts with interior and container searches, but we started in the winter for something to do. All dogs love nose work, you should definitely give it a try just for fun!
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
WOW! You have a great sniffer! I haven’t gone that far into nose training at all. We just like to play hide and seek with some treats in the house on a rainy day and whatnot. We have also tried putting things underneath a few boxes, the huskies have done well with that also, but I am not sure how it would go while outdoors and the wind blowing. I might have to try that!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Hiding treats just for fun is a great activity. There are all kinds of methods and stuff that you learn if you take a class, so we learn to search systematically. If you try outdoors, you need to start slowly in a small area as there are so many natural distractions, dogs get frustrated easily. We just love all of it and it all involves food rewards, so we can’t go wrong!
BRAVO! I jumped with joy as I saw how fast your found the hides! Bet now the smugglers have a problem to find a good hide if all dogs have such a good nose like you!
I’m proud to be so good since I am a French scent hound…No more smuggling birch or anise by this hound!
IT’s so fun to see you sniff out things… Donna is always sniffing in the grass but I have no idea what she’s sniffing, haha!
There is so much you humans don’t know when it comes to smells! We dogs feel bad for your lousy noses!
Well, I’m kind of glad poo doesn’t smell as strong as it will if I were a dog 😛
Ellen Shedlarz says
Great job Emma. A model and a sniffer. I see a brandy commercial in your future.
Now that would be interesting. In the meantime, I’ll just keep sniffing around here.
Jan K says
You are doing so great! I really enjoyed the video, and love that we could hear you sniffing some of the time. The wind really has to make it challenging but you stepped up to the challenge!
BTW, I did look and found just one instructor in our state, but it’s pretty far south of where we are where they hold classes. Thanks for telling me where to look though!
Too bad there isn’t anything closer. I think it will only gain in popularity and it is a sport for the entire life of a dog, so maybe keep checking and eventually something might pop up a bit closer.
I saved the website so I could do that. We are really close to Vermont as well, and there was nothing there yet, but I’ll keep checking both states.
Hopefully something will pop up.
Rocco Havanese (@RoccoHavanese) says
Love the video! Great job both of you!
Diane and Rocco
Thank you. I’m getting better with my Sony Action Cam, but it always wants to flop to the side.
You are sure rockin’ that nose work stuff and we are darn impressed!
Thank you! I love it and I am pretty good at it so far!
Oz the Terrier says
OMD Emma…is that your sniffing I hear every once in a while int he video? if so, it is the cutest sniff I ever did hear! BOL You and Bailie are doing really well with your nose work. High paws to a job well done! Have a super weekend.
Yes, that is my new noise. I am learning to sniff correctly and it opens up all kinds of things in a dog’s nose that aren’t usually used which creates new noises 🙂 I love nose work!
Great job Emma! You are really working hard on that. We never got much farther than nose work two, which barely transitioned us from food to scent.
That’s okay, you are just doing it for fun. I want to compete, so I’m working hard at it.
M. K. Clinton says
That is awesome! I’m sure that you will be able to sniff me out and come for a visit soon! i am very proud of my sweetie! Your Basset, Bentley
Before we leave, I will just need you to send me something with your scent on it. It will be a while as I won’t just blindly trust Bailie…she has to show me she knows what she is doing first!
Maxwell, Faraday & Allie says
This is sooo fascinating. Pawesome job!!!
Thank you! Imagine if there were catnip hides!
Talent Hounds says
Always great posts! Way to go Emma
Thank you. I try my best to keep the blog fun and interesting!
Susan C. Willett says
You certainly seem to nose what you’re doing! And having fun, too!
–Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats
My nose is pretty happy these days 😉
A dog’s nose is so amazing! You seem very nonchalant in your work. That video with your pretty fur so up close made me want to reach out and pat you!
The camera is right on my back, can’t be more in my fur than that. I just saunter along sniffing, it seems to come natural to me.
Whitley Westie says
Thanks! I love doing nose work, any time, any place!
Earl Lover says
Oh how PAWsome! Earl loves finding things with his nose! Sniffing is a dog’s strongest sense, and must be used to its advantage. Nose works really engages the dog’s brain.
Lots of Woofs from Earl and I at Earl’s World!
You are so right. Since starting nose work, my whole sniffing routine has changed in every day life, and I make such funny sniffing noises too now. We just love going to class and doing our homework! You are correct about the brain, we are mentally worn out after class.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
What great work and very interesting. Nice job gals!
Thank you. We are working on our skills all the time!
Nailah Bone says
I know they’re not hidden away but that still looks tough to spot. You guys do such a great job at your nose work activities. 🙂
It always amazes Mom how we don’t see them, just sniff for them, but it is what we are supposed to do naturally.
It’s brilliant that you two are both loving it so much! You guys are doing great!!
We both really enjoy it, but I am really crazy about it and Mom says I do really well.
Excellent job. This is all very interesting and I loved the video. Our dogs also have to deal with wind in finding bumpers or birds. It is interesting to watch them try to catch a scent on the wind and sometimes they will stop in their tracks if they catch a scent.
Yep! Mom is learning to read our behaviors and finds it really interesting.
Alfie Entlebucher (@AlfieEntle) says
Rooo Emma – I LOVED that video of you sniffing so much I had to share it on my blog, I hope that’s okay with you *waggy tail*. I have also started doing vehicle searches but I’m still only sniffing for treats – its good to see real scent dogs working real scents through so I know what I have to learn going forward! *Waggy tail*
Thank you for sharing! We only did boxes with treats and then switched to odor paired with treats to introduce things like exterior or vehicle searches. Now that we have been doing it for a while, our teacher introduced clove the other night without telling anyone and we found it right away. Hopefully we will both pass our ORT next week, one never knows. Happy sniffing 🙂
Boy, you guys are getting really good at this stuff. You might could hire out down on the border. I don’t know if you’re anywhere close to the border. I like to sniff backpacks at school because they usually have good lunches in them. Sometimes parents who come in the school think I’m a drug sniffing dog.
We have to be careful on morning walks because we try to get into kids backpacks at the bus stops! With two or three of us, one distracts, the other tries to steal. No success…yet…
Sometimes, if you look really sad, the kids might share.