We had taken a break from our nose works over the winter, but I was anxious to get back into it. We needed something else to do while waiting for our weather to finally break, even though we’re limited for space in our house to do too much.
I decided to take one step back from where we left off, to be sure that both Luke and Cricket could start off with success. As it turns out, I didn’t really need to worry about that, because they both remembered exactly where we were at, and it was like we never took a break!
I did my best to get some photos but it was tough to get a lot, because I didn’t want to be distracted with the camera and miss their alerts.
They are both at different stages in their training, so Cricket was started off with the scent inside plastic containers. At first I used a small number of containers in a small area, but quickly kept adding more, and then hiding them a little bit to challenge her! The next time we moved into a bigger area.
I had to go back to my school work to find out what we needed to move on to, because she was obviously ready! Luckily the online classes I take continue to be available to me. At Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, they let you keep your classes for a year in your “library”, and longer if you take new classes.
We added some distraction scents to other containers to try to fool her. I tried two different things – a bar of soap, and some dirty collars. She stopped to sniff both when I had put them out (at separate times), but she was not fooled! I had to keep trying different things to challenge her, and I did stump her when I put out just one cold container and hid the “hot” container (the one with the birch scent) around a corner. I quickly re-set up the scenario with the cold container a little closer to where the hot was, and then she found it with no problem.
When we left off last fall, Luke had started doing Mock ORT’s (Odor Recognition Test), so to start out now, I hid a magnetic tin with odor in it first around our bedroom (he found it every time with no problem), and then the next time moved him into a bigger area of the house. The first hide I did, he found almost immediately, and though a couple others took him a bit longer, he aced it every time.
I have a tendency to over-do because it’s so much fun, so I have to remember to quit while we’re ahead and not wear him out. I think we’re ready to go back to our boxes, and I finally got a bunch of matching ones to make it more real. I know we are definitely ready to take the 2nd class in this series, and plan to do that this summer.
The dogs remembered everything, but I was the one who needed more review! It’s nice for me to refer back to the class work to see where we’re at. I had forgotten something else: how much fun it is. It is interesting and challenging for me, because Luke and Cricket definitely have different styles. Cricket is prone to “false alerts”, and she spends a lot of time looking to me for those treats, her reward for finding the scent. I have to be careful not to have my hand heading towards the treat bag when she’s getting on the scent. I also have to make sure she keeps her nose on the box in between her glances at me.
Luke almost never looks to me; he is far more focused on finding the scent. He rarely gives a false alert. It will be interesting to see if Cricket gets more like him as we move along. Now that our weather has finally taken a turn for the better, we can start moving some of this outside. Cricket needs that generalization to new areas more, and I need the bigger area of our garage or patio to do better set ups for Luke. We still have to wait for the driveway to no longer be a mud pit, and for the snow to melt off the patio. But we will use the deck, even though that’s smaller. The most important thing is to have fun, and I think we’re accomplishing that already!
Jodi Stone says
I’m so glad they remembered it! This post reminds me how fun it is to play this game inside.
I play a game with Delilah in the driveway, when we come back from our walks, where I throw the treat on the ground and tell her to find it. It works to keep her focused on me and what we are doing, but I’m also working her off-leash in the yard, in hopes of teaching her to stay close to me when she’s off leash.
That’s great! We learned that trick in our Reactive Dog Management class. You are right, it’s an effective way to teach them to stay focused on you, but also a way to distract them if there is something you don’t want them to see.
2 Brown Dawgs says
Sounds like some great training. I can’t wait to hear how they progress.
Our patio is finally clear of snow, and the driveway is starting to dry up, so we should be able to do some better set ups soon!
Erin the cat, Princess says
There is some mighty fine scent work going on there, these guys have learned a lot. Us cats can benefit from playing hunting/sniffing games too, helps with weight control and can be mighty stimulating for the indoor cat.
Groovy Goldendoodles says
Between you and Emma of My GBGV Life I’m getting more and more interested in trying nose work with Jaxson. Recently he’s becoming quite curious with his nose everywhere we go. Thanks for this post – I’ll keep you posted #punintended. Happy Easter my friend.
I hope you had a great Easter too, Cathy. I think you should try the nose works with Jaxson! It would be a lot of fun for both of you. I’ll be staying tuned. 🙂
Dz Dogs says
Way to go!! This looks like so much fun!
It really is a lot of fun, I’m so glad we decided to try it!
Barbara Rivers says
Nice job, everyone, including Mom 😉 What kind of scent is in the containers? Birch?
Thank you! Yes, the scent is birch. That is the only one we have worked with so far.
Lynn LaChance says
Good work! and memories!
Thank you, Auntie Lynn!
The Island Cats says
Nice to see that Luke and Cricket haven’t forgotten their previous training.
I love this. I’m always looking for ways to stimulate Bear and keep his mind moving. I imagine it takes a lot of patience and prep work … but I have no doubt the pay off is worth it!
Thank you for linking up to the Showcase! I hope readers are inspired by your efforts to keep Luke and Cricket stimulated and busy. I also wanted to tell you once more how wonderful your new logo and tagline are 🙂
I’m always happy to join in the Showcase fun! And thank you again on my logo/tagline. Hopefully everything will be updated by next week, I can’t wait.
Brian Frum says
Y’all are really doing good at the nose work stuff and we can see the fun!
M. K. Clinton says
We covered how much dogs remember this week on the news. I’m glad they are having a sniffing good time! ♥
I know…we seem to be on the same wave length at times! 🙂
We never forget, may get a bit rusty but the rust falls off fast and we are right back on. Mom finds with most sports we are miles ahead after a break…absence makes the heart/nose grow fonder!
Super Duper! What stars you have. They obviously really enjoy these nose activities. Hugs xx
They really do! Thank you, Lorna! xo
BRAVO!!!!! nothing can fool our noses, right?
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Looks to me like you’ve all done a great job! Luke is REALLY focused on sniffing-out everything! Cricket may or may or may not get to that point since her style is so different than Luke’s; but the important thing is that they’re having fun. And so is the Momz. ????????
It is definitely all about the FUN!….and the treats, say the dogs. 🙂
Two French Bulldogs says
You’re a pro!
Lily & Edward
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
That is awesome, good job guys. In hunt test training it’s nice to take a break, they never forget and they get refreshed.
That’s so good to know – it makes me feel less guilty for slacking for so long! 🙂