Last week was our last Nose Work Distractions class. My little pal, Brody, let us use his small vehicles for our class. Altogether we had seven miniature vehicles to use in our search. Remember, a vehicle can be anything that moves, not just a car. The first search was just a circle of the vehicles with three hides. We do nose work in our yard and neighborhood all the time, so the only distraction we had was the other classmates being at our house, but for them it was all new. We had planes flying over, cars going by, Katie was on the deck watching and barking, kids were playing in the yard next to our fence, and then all the new smells for the new dogs.
Our neighbor offered to man the camera so we could get some shots of Bailie and I on the course. The first photos are Bailie on the second miniature vehicle arrangement. Now instead of a circle, they were in clusters of one to three vehicles. Bailie is ready to go, you can see she has found her focus.
Next she made her way over to the wagons. Both wagons were together, but only the red one had a hide on it. While this task seems easy to humans, for dogs it is not. It is as if we are blindfolded and are led by our sense of smell. The clusters and new arrangement of the miniature vehicles creates an entirely new scent pattern to find and follow. Bailie is on the wagon hide.
Next up was the fun little plastic car. We have practiced on this one before, but it is all new in our minds now. The hide is on the front of the car, but Bailie is following the wind to lead her to the source of the odor.
Bailie found all three hides pretty quickly, but on the way out, she had to stop and sniff our good old John Deere Tractor just in case!
Now it was my turn and the vehicles had another configuration. Our teacher arranged the clusters so the hides were difficult to access. To a human the paths were clear, but dogs like to go straight to the odor and don’t even see the opening if it isn’t on their odor path. The hide is in the same place on the Arctic Cat, but now the Mercedes is in the way.
Our teacher said Bailie and I were really on our game that class. Mom says we were showing off since class was at our house. It was a lot of fun searching all the miniature vehicles. Next week Bailie and I start a class called Seeing What The K9 Nose Knows for six weeks, and I will be doing a three week trial prep course on my own. Mom wanted me to have a class by myself since Bailie will be doing tracking on her own later this month. We both love nose work and highly recommend it for any dog. It is something a dog of any age can do with any age handler. Some of the dogs we have in class didn’t start until they were twelve, and some handlers are seniors as well. You can also take nose work classes and not even move on to odor, just work with treats if you don’t want to compete. It really works our noses and brains!
I’m cohosting the FitDog Friday Blog Hop with SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love! Please join us on Fridays to share your fitness stories with others, find new ways to have fun, and new fitness ideas too!