Last week Madison started sniffing for odor in her nose work class. This is her second of the three basic nose work courses. Until this point, the dogs have been searching for treats to build up their drive. The first odor is birch, then she will move on to anise, and finally clove.
Since Mom knew Madison was going to be doing nose work, she started putting odor around her and associating it with positive things like food and lots of love as soon as she came to live with us. We don’t know if that will help her in her nose work career, but we figure it can’t hurt. For her official searching for odor start, she has some brand new tins, and a brand new set of birch Q-Tips.
There are several different nose work organizations, but we follow and compete in NACSW and they always start with treats, move to paired hides, and then onto just odor. We are all excited to see how she does with odor and hopefully she will be able to take her ORT (odor recognition test) in August. Dogs can take an ORT starting at six months of age, but can’t compete in nose work until they are at least a year old. There is no immediate rush to take an ORT since Madison won’t turn one until August.
Right now Madison is super motivated and excited about the game, aka finding hides in nose work. This video is of her very first search using birch. For now the hides are paired, but the game has changed since she now knows that birch is what she is looking for to get paid. She is still a puppy, but growing, and her harness is a bit loose, thus the clicking now and then as she runs around. The video is a bit long, but it is her entire first search. She is off to a great start sniffing for odor!