My face in the photo pretty much show how proud I am of myself with my nose work news that I am sharing today! As you may recall, I did pass my Birch and Anise ORTs, so I can compete in either odor, but a dog normally works with instructors for at least a year before competing. Bailie and I are both taking classes and she has passed her Birch ORT, but she is still young, and just has trouble focusing on the task at hand sometimes. I take my nose work very seriously and am getting pretty good at it as well as getting Mom to understand me when I tell her alert (I found it).
Okay, okay, I know you are wondering what my nose work news is. My teacher told me and Mom two weeks ago that I’m doing really well, and she thinks I might be ready to enter my first trial. The first trial ever in Minnesota is in September and there were a couple spots left. Wow! Mom and I were so excited! We raced home and got our entry in right away. It is official, I will be competing in my first NACSW NW1 trial on September 8! We are practicing extra hard right now and I also have to read all the rules and regulations so we don’t do something stupid and get kicked out! We will be posting all about it after the trial, how it works, how it went, etc. We know we have a lot of work to do, but it is worth trying and if we pass, great, if not, we will have some good experience under our fur.
Bailie and I just completed a three week “What the nose knows” class where we search for blind hides and our searches are video taped. We can watch our searches later and see what we missed that could help us in the future with searches. Every week we met in a different location with totally different stuff to search, so we learn to search in any environment. I chose a couple videos that I thought my friends might find interesting to watch. The first two are about 30 seconds, the third a bit longer, but they go by real fast, so you won’t get bored.
This first one was from this week. The hide is in the door stopper. At first I was confused because of mirrored doors behind me and an empty room, but then I realized there was odor to be found. Take note at how well I point out the hide to my mom and how she doesn’t get it! Seriously, if we are going to pass the NW1 trial, she needs to up her game a bit!
This second one was last week. We had a vehicle search on this RV. I’m showing Bailie’s video on this one. Look at how busy and fast she is. You can see how she is sidetracked and starts tracking something else on the ground, but when Mom holds the leash, she shakes off and refocuses and finds the hide almost immediately. We have both started shaking off to help focus. Because Bailie is easily distracted and often loses focus, she won’t be doing a trial for a while yet.
My last video is the one from week one that Mom finds totally amazing. Remember, we are looking for 2-QTip ends with odor that are stuffed into an about 1.5 inch straw and hidden out of sight. Our hide was in an old shed with a dirt floor, tons of junk and stuff, critters live in this shed, there are openings where odor can come in from outside, and we need to focus and find that tiny 1.5″ hide. The shed was divided so we did have boundaries which is why Mom kept me in the certain area. Considering all the stuff and smells, it blew Mom’s mind that I could find that odor as fast as I did.
K9 nose work is a workout! Bailie and I are both dead dog tired after a class. We work our nose and brains really hard, so that is why K9 nose work is fitting for FitDog Friday! If you are in the Twin Cities and want to give it a try, we recommend Active Dog Sports! They are great and offer all kinds of dog sports. I’m co hosting 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! Tell your friends to stop by as well – fit dogs are healthier, happier dogs!