Nose work for your dog!
Our canine friends has been using their inbuilt ability to help their human friends for century. Do not need to look far, look at our law enforcer agencies. They uses them for Search and Rescue, Bomb Sniffing, Drug Detection, Crime fighting and sniffing termites and cancerous cells detection ....
Let me break down the exercise into bite size for you.
In SD or Nose work, you are teaching two things;
1. To teach your dog how to differentiate the scent, and
2. What to do with the discrimination.
But before you can embark into the great fun of SD or Nose Work, you need to perfect your fetch or retrieve with your dog. For those who has not read my article, here's the link talk about Fun Retrieve ...check it out.
At this stage it might be helpful if you have teach your dog how to differentiate the type of toys; such as ball, dumbbell, rubber duckie etc If your dog can differentiate his toys by name or by scent, you have a good head start.
If not, fret not, let's work on the following exercises;
Let's have good and clear expectation of the exercise. A good yardstick will be what Obedience Competition will require.
1. A good setup at heel with Scent Articles ready to set up a formation pre-determined by the judge,
2. About turn and stay, (for the judge & steward to position the article in predetermined formation)
3. About turn, scent your dog and send,
4. Your dog goes out readily and work on the pile and find the scented article,
5. Pick up and return at a front position,
6. Release the article on command and
7. Exercise finished.
The gist of this exercise is to differentiate the scent. Your dog will need to different 'New' from 'Old' Scent. This can be done after performing many retrieve exercises. The toy will be OVER scent, and after many repeated retrieves , he will get to familiarize with the article scent by his own saliva and/or body scent.
After being able to differentiate the scent, your dog need pick up and eagerly return the scented article to you to exchange for a good reward. Some dog does the run away from their find. You can improved this situation with good retrieve repetition during your Retrieve Exercises.
The final end product will complete once you put all these parts into a single execution. Look at the video, Hermes go out to search for the 'familiar' scent and return with the discrimination.
Have fun and stay positive!
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