Nose Work Class

Just like you might with other kids, I send my fur babies to school.  Katie and I have taken all sorts of classes together from obedience, to agility, and recently we have been doing nose work.  Nose work is the same training or concept used to train bomb or narcotics sniffing dogs.  Neat right?

Last night, Katie graduated from Nose Work II.  I am so darn proud of her!  As a thank you to our trainer I tied a few peonies with a pretty ribbon and had Katie give them to her.

(Side note:  I also realized that I officially have three colors of peonies!  You can see the light pink with the stripes, the hot pink, and the white one below.  What a fun surprise to have them all in bloom at once.)

It's a fun class because when we're not sniffing for things, we are hanging out in a back room bonding.  I have also learned how to give Katie tiny massages through this class as a way of calming and focusing her.

Did you know that the reason dogs have such a long face is so that they have room to store all those sniffing sensors?  We also learned that smells travel much like a breeze of warm air or the fog from dry ice might through a room.  The scent falls and then spreads over the floor. 

It's an odd sort of training from all the other things we have done.  In this class, I actually ask Katie to find the 'hide' or object (usually a plastic egg filled with stinky dog treats) and then I follow her around the room as she sniffs for it.  As she picks up the scent she usually moves a bit faster and then gives an adore subtle wiggle.  We are to the point now that once she is pretty sure she knows where the scent is she cues me by sitting down.  All in all we have a blast and I love the time we spend together doing it!

And, since Katie wasn't feeling too camera shy last night, I had our instructor take a quick video so you could all she Katie in action.

Sorry, the video doesn't seem to be working at the moment... I'll have to reload it a little later on.

There is a Nose Work III class starting up in July and I am really tempted to enroll Katie in it.  Like I said, she really seems to enjoy doing the work and she is actually pretty darn good at it too.  The third class takes things up a notch by expanding the work space from one to several rooms and to include the outdoors.  And the size of the finding object gets smaller too. 

Between now and then our trainer suggested that we practice taking a few boxes and an easy hide to a parking lot or place with distractions to prep for the next class.  So, if you see me out there at the Tractor Supply parking lot with my pup and a bunch of boxes... we might look weird, but we are just prepping for a nose work class.  A nice wave and hello will suffice.  Say nothing more about the crazy box lady ;)


Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Christie! I know you have had fun! My dogs, especially Hanna enjoys so much about 'nose working'! We don't have any classes here but sometimes make our own lessons for fun!
I love your bottlet rainbow quilt - it is so beautiful!
x Teje

Seaweed and Raine said...

She does look like she's having fun! :) Do they only use doggy treats as the thing to find - or will they use other things too?
It's so cool to hear your voice!!! It reminds me of my friend Jenn who is origionally from Loudon NH. (She transplanted herself to Aus 18 months ago).
And what gorgeous peonies!!! Katie's teacher is lucky - not only does she get to play with Katie, she gets presented with pretty flowers too!

Josie McRazie said...

What a great Job she did!! Keep her entertained and do another!! It sure can't hurt!!

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