Competitive sniffing is something we do once and a while for nose work practice to build up drive. One needs to be careful doing it as some dogs will get aggressive with hides. At our house, Mom does it with me and Nelson. Bailie wants to do it, but she stands back and waits for the other dog to find the hide and then she wants to get rewarded. Madison isn’t interested in speed, so no good for her.
Mom normally uses a clear vessel for the hide so it is not as easy to spot. We have our smiley face ones and there are three Q-Tips with odor inside. To start, we are inside and she throws it off the deck into the yard. Once it lands, we are let out and told to find it. The first one to find it gets a treat and then Mom picks it up. When we are not looking, she throws it somewhere else. The whole time we keep searching as we don’t know that she is going to throw it and we think there might be more hides out there.
Yesterday, she tossed it six times. I won five of the six searches. Nelson is not as fast as I am, but I have three more years of practice under my furry belt. He works hard and is pretty focused on the task at paw.
One sign that a dog has caught odor is that we speed up. Nelson was speeding up when he realized he needed to make a u turn to stay in the scent cone.
Unfortunately for the hard working fellow, I was hot on his heels.
And then I passed him up on the way to the hide.
This is one of the five searches I won. Nelson is doing great! He will build more speed as he learns more and more about tracking down odor. You can see the vessel right under my nose. Next comes Mom with my treat.
Sometimes Mom is sneaky and she doesn’t throw the vessel for a while. We both search and search but are not able to find something that isn’t there. When this happens I check places I’ve found hides before like the bird feeder.
Nelson is hot on the odor trail again, ramping up his speed, with his long ears flying.
He really loves to excel at his sports and he takes it very seriously. We hear most boys have trouble focusing until they are a couple years old, but Nelson has always been pretty focused. He is even sporting his new comb over hairdo, LOL!
I’m always focused on my sniffing. Sniffing is the most fun thing in the world for me and I never get tired of it! Winning is also something I love, just like my mom. Competitive sniffing with Nelson is a lot of fun even if he does beat me now and then.
PS: If you don’t have nose work dogs, you can play the same game just using food or treats. Toss one and let the dogs find it – finder eater, loser goes without. Always make sure they won’t fight or get aggressive before playing these games. It is best played outdoors, not in the house.
I’m joining my friends at Living Laughing and Barking in Our Backyard for their Nature Friday blog hop.