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How to start nosework?

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:38 pm
by anashenwrath
I have just had a blast reading all the posts about nosework on these forums! It seems so great and fun for everyone! Scylla is older (going on 9 years) and she's DA, but if she could do this without other dogs around, I think she'd love it.

So my questions are: is this something an older dog can enjoy? And does anyone know any places in/around NYC that do certified nosework training? Everything I saw online seemed to be on the west coast.

Re: How to start nosework?

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:52 pm
by maciek
my class had a strict crating policy. The dogs were in crates and covered so they couldn't see each other and only one at a time was allowed out to work. from what I read with other people their training was similar. my trainer was really understanding of dogs with 'issues'. worked wonders with my dog that seems to usually care more what other dogs are doing than focusing on what he's asked to do. I think you should be able to give it a try with a DA dog if the class you find has a similar policy.

as for the training part we started off with boxes spread around the room with treats hidden in a box we'd let the dog out and let it do its thing. we looked for "signs" (we would video tape as well and review which dog gave what kind of body language when he was on the trail) that the dog found the treats under a particular box help them if they can't flip the box over then give more treats in the box as they had their face in it eating what's already there. the trainer also asked us to hide all their daily food portions around the house to build up the drive to hunt for food. we then transitioned to other items such as cones and eventually just hiding it around the room. There is more to it but really the dog should catch on very quickly. 6 classes in 4 out of the 5 dogs in our class were able to find their food up on a 6 foot cabinet by having to climb on a chair then on a crate to get to the top of the cabinet (the last dog was too shy/timid/etc to get up that high but she did great in the class as well).

Re: How to start nosework?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:59 am
by Red
anashenwrath wrote: Everything I saw online seemed to be on the west coast.

Most of these classes are, since the founders of K9 nose work are in CA but other states have now certified instructors.Are you part of a training club?If you are, you might want to ask if they are willing to host a workshop as a start.Or maybe you can find a group of people as interested as you are, a location, and apply for a workshop. I looked up for workshops in your area but did not see any as of yet. I'll ask Jill if there is a plan for one in the future.

As far as dog to dog aggression...I have a highly dog to dog aggressive male in class and owners are asked to keep their dogs in the crates when they are not run so that there are no problems. Except when someone forgets to lock the crates!

Re: How to start nosework?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:51 am
by heartbullies
We don't crate in the building--- the climate thus far has been cool enough and our class is in the evenings, so we just leave the dogs in our cars/trucks and then go out to get them, potty them and then to wait our turn to enter the building when the dog ahead of us is working their 2nd of 3 runs.

I just registered with the National org today. If we practice I am hoping B can pass the ORT for birch in January. Um, but we have to practice first. lol

On there is a list of certified nosework instructors-- I didn't see any in NY yet, closest was MA. I do know that a trainer (who isn't listed on the site either) at our local humane society put on a fun class that was very inexpensive, introducing the concepts to dogs/handlers. So I would check your local humane society or SPCA that offers dog training--- if there's enough demand they will likely hold a class!

Re: How to start nosework?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:07 am
by heartbullies
oh, and you can find all the little magnets, pre-saturated q-tips, oils, tins, and kits here:

finding the little containers has been the biggest PITA for me. you can get all kinds of awesome cheap little stash containers in every color at your local head shop but then you have to drill holes in them which i never have time/equipment to do. for a while i was using soft plastic ones that i jammed a microchip needle through to perforate, but these are NOT durable at all if your dog is enthusiastic like booker.

Re: How to start nosework?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:46 am
by anashenwrath
Thank you all for the great starter info! We're not part of a training club, but I found one in Port Chester, NY that looks good. They do nose work, but it's on weekday mornings. So I guess I'll have to wait and see what the schedule is like next year. In the meantime, I'll check out what we can do at home. Already, I've started hiding her treats, and she LOVES it. If I show her the treat bag and point down the hallway, she'll run and sit while I hide them in the other room. It's like a kid covering her eyes before hide-and-seek!

For anyone else in the area, here is the place I found:

Re: How to start nosework?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:54 am
by anashenwrath
And I think if she is crated or just kept away from seeing other dogs, she'll be ok. She loves going to the vet, as long as there aren't other dogs sitting right in the waiting room; I bet this would be the same.

And watching how focused she gets when she's looking for hidden food makes me think that maybe this will even help her a little with her emotions. Maybe. :tongue:

Re: How to start nosework?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:15 pm
by pacopoe
Here's an article on how to get started:

Xdog passed her ORT in October and we'll be competing in March.