Last weekend, Madison tried her nose at three odor recognition tests (ORT). This was her first real experience with nose work in a pass/fail situation. Mom wasn’t sure how it would go, Madison wasn’t worried at all. She always listens to Bailie who is not really a good influence and had her share of nose work failures. I tried my best to steer Madison in the right direction, but I can only do so much!
Mom and Madison are a new team. Sure, they aced tracking so far, but Mom just has to follow along for that sport. In nose work, they need to work together. After practicing the last few times, Mom was not real sure about Madison’s alert, meaning it wasn’t happening a lot of the time. Oh well, they were going to try anyway.
Back in May 2014 Bailie and I took our first try at odor recognition tests. We each tried for only birch. Bailie went first and failed. Mom was devastated as it was partly her fault for being overly anxious and calling “alert” too quickly. The next day I tried and passed. It was a big learning experience for all of us, and now Madison is in those same paw prints with Mom.
Madison was excited to get started and dashed into the rows of boxes but then realized there were lots of people watching and she loves people. She kind of sniffed up one box, but then all she wanted to do was visit the people. Mom tried everything to get her to work, but she didn’t want to. Finally with eight seconds to spare, she called alert and Madison got her clove.
Unfortunately, for anise she was still too busy with people to work the boxes and in the end alerted on the totally wrong box.
With birch, she finally came in and searched. Mom was very happy with her work, but she didn’t give any real alert. It came down to two different boxes at the end. Madison stopped and sniffed up one of the two, so Mom called it and got the “no”. Madison has to pass birch or she can’t start to compete.
One of the biggest challenges is rewarding Madison since she is not particularly interested in food or treats. She is now entered in more odor recognition tests for birch and anise on October 14, which gives her two months to get it down. We have a few ideas to teach Madison the value of odor, and hopefully it will work out. Mom wasn’t really disappointed as she knew there was a good chance team pink would have trouble. It is just a shame she didn’t at least get birch as clove is useless with out the other two. Madison is young and has time. I’m sure she will do better at her next ORT.
Jan K says
We know your Mom will work hard with Madison in the next two months to solve the issues. On top of that, Madison will be maturing and maybe more focused by then. It has to be difficult, if seeing people is more of a reward to Madison than food!
Madison is just not interested in food and that is a problem, but we are working on it.
Ellen Shedlarz says
I think she will be a star next time.
We certainly hope so. This was a real test for Mom to see where they were at, and now we know.
Will (MarkingOurTerritory.com) says
Long road, but as you say Madison is a young pup and I’ve no doubt you guys will get there with all the work you put in.
She is young, but she needs to start liking food. We have some things to work on, and actually, we are all doing the same thing to build drive from square one. It’s good for us all.
I know what it’s like to have trouble reading alerts–Barley’s is so subtle, but if I don’t pick up on it quickly enough she’ll decide to move on. Things really would be easier for us if you pups would just say “Hey, it’s this one!” 😉
Madison’s reward is finding the box on her own, and then she continues the hunt. We have to get her to stick on the odor which is hard to do without food since it doesn’t matter to her.
That’s the problem with having a friendly dog. 🙂 I’m sure she’ll be able to focus better at her next test.
We are working on some new training and hope it gets her on track.
No worries madison… in october we dogs can smell all odors much better, because then we have fall and the wind and the nature help us to sort all that fabulous smells…
I’m sure you will pass with flying colors at the next test… we are very young and we have a lot of chances to try it again ;o) Hugs to you, for me you and your sisters are anyway simply THE BEST.
She needs to learn to tell us when she finds it. She finds it no problem but moves on without telling anyone. Hugs to you our friend!
M. K. Clinton says
We are sure Madison will get her pass in October. Let us know so we can report it on BFTB Sports!
First Bailie has four trial entries in September, one of which she really needs to pass. We will be working a lot on our nose work the coming weeks.
Kinley Westie says
Good luck next time!
We sure hope it goes better next time.
Good try, M. People are the best reward, even if you didn’t do anything to deserve them. They’re there, just dying to pet you and say you’re cute. I get it. People distract me, too. From everything!!
Love and licks,
People are a tough distraction for Bailie and Madison. Bailie is pretty good at working through them, but Madison has a lot of learning to do.
How fun! Sorry Madison missed on Birch and Anise. What does she do to alert? Stetson used to stop and stare at me. I always hoped he would sit neatly by the odor box like some of the other dogs in our group.
Right now she has many issues. Most of the time, she doesn’t alert, although she finds the odor, that alone is her reward and then she moves on to more hunting. Hopefully we will figure something out soon. I really stick to the odor and give my mom a clear sign by looking at her. Bailie is pretty subtle, but her body goes stiff along with her eye flick.
Karen Meldrum says
I think Madison did great just to be out there with people, remember, she just turned one. I tried out for therapy dog class and totally bombed and I will be two tomorrow, so us kids just have to get more experience under our belts and our mom’s have to be patient that is what I think. Your friend, Elbe. p.s. Our moms know we have high potential, but we can’t mature fast enough for them. so just keep working, Madison.
We are working with her. She does know what she is doing, but she has to figure out how to work with Mom. It will come.
We think the most important thing is that Madison and your Mama are spending some quality fun time working together!
Arty & Jakey
It was all about the experience and the expectations were not so high. All in all, it was a good experience for both of them and they continue to work together to make a stronger team which is part of the fun of it all.
Oh sweet Madison will get it and then there will be lots of happy dancing going on!
She will. It was a good learning experience for her and mom.
They have to get used to the situation as well as the smell. That was great training, and as she gets the ability to focus on smell while working and people after she will be great.
The biggest issue with any training and Madison is that she is not interested in rewards. It is a challenge Mom is trying to work on with her.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Great try it’s hard when the pups are so darn friendly and young and all they want to do is get pets and say hi. Good luck in October
Mom has worked through that issue before, but the biggest problem is Madison has no interest in treats or food for rewards, not toys either. It’s tough to figure out how to get her to understand finding the odor brings reward when she wants nothing.
Miss Harper Lee says
That’s ok. Madison is still young and, trust me, people are kind of irresistible, especially compared to boxes. She and your mom will get. P.S. Tallulah and I find that praise, hugs, kisses, and lots of love make for great rewards . . . although we’d kind of rather have treats. 😉
We love praise and cuddling as rewards, but we have to find something more food like for Madison. We are working on it.
Cathy Armato says
I’m so impressed with Madison! I still think she is a rising star who will achieve so much. She’s really still just a puppy. Nosework is so fascinating!
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
We are not disappointed in her at all. Getting even one odor on the first try is a win. She is working hard “studying” for her next try.
Mary Nielsen says
She is so talented! But everyone has its ups and downs! Even Einstein struggled with most of his work in his life but with persistance everything can be achieved!
I believe that she is going to succeed in the next two months and I will be holding my paws for her!
She is a really talented pup. The test was really enlightening and now we are working hard to fix the issues she is having.
Jodi Stone says
I think she does pretty well for having just turned one. Keep at it Mom and Madison, you’ll get there!
Oh, she is not quitting. They are working hard on practicing for the next try!