Olympia K9 Nose Work Class – Week 3

Olympia K9 Nose Work class – Dec 21, 2011

Wow, my Olympia students are doing just great. It's clear that the dogs are progressing in their ability to detect the odor and have a successful hunt.

I did a hide on a desk part that was about 16 inches off the ground The desk top was another maybe 14-16 inches up and on top of it was a couple of plastic baggies with kibble and dog treats. About 6 feet away from the desk and against the wall hung my jacket with pockets full of treats. Most of the dogs showed some interest in my jacket and in the top of the desk but they continued to hunt without trying to eat out of my coat pockets or to jump on the desk for the kibble. This makes it clear to me that they are identifying that the Odor is what pays. This is their 3rd week on Odor.

Lots of noses going up tonight too. Odor rising. The heater in the building goes on and off throughout the class. Gota think more about how the dogs hunt in relationship to heater on / heater off.

Update from K9 Nose Work Trials in CA

Dec 10th, 2011 Joyce Reports from Livermore, CA

Itʼs trial day for us folks going for our NW2 tittle! Iʼm in Livermore CA and seeing folks I met last May is part of the fun of going to K9 Nose Work Trials.

It was an easy drive down with blue skies the whole way. Picked up Pritamo at the airport and went to see some of the NW3 trial. The first half was at a winery. The vehicle search was apparently near a heap of brush and lumber that houses wild bunnies. I didnʼt see the vehicle searches, but apparently a lot of dogs were distracted by that pile and had a tough time sticking with the cars. Something to put on the training list for advanced students.

The exterior area was fenced so I got to see one dog work off leash. Only two even tried it. The one I saw did excellent. I think she won the element 1st place. Dogs love to work off leash. But there are many reasons for many dogs not to do it – critter lovers, urine markers, etc.

Pritamo is the first in her group C and I am the last in my group D so we canʼt talk to each other ALL DAY! about the searches. That will take some discipline and thought not to make any mistakes. P. & Nick aced her first 5 hides in Exterior and Interior. She is very happy with how he worked. Iʼm hoping he has had a little conversation with Mick about where the hides are LOL. The first dog ran about 10am.

Itʼs now noon as I write and there are still about 8 dogs ahead of Mick and I. The A-B group is about done. One hide each in containers and vehicles. The sun is out and Iʼm no longer wishing Iʼd brought long-johns. Itʼs beautiful. Light breeze which Iʼm glad to have. I believe that wind and wet are your friends in Nose Work. Not a ton of one, and none of the other here right now. Oh Well. Mick is restless. Mr. sound sleeper at home is wanting to work. No surprise there. Phew! 5 hides in the first two elements and Mick is on! Worked very well on all three hunts, and I must say, I was patient, waited, moved, and made sure he was sure before I called it. Three thirtyish and finally we get escorted to the container and the Vehicle. I am nervous. I let him work on his own in the container drill, but also track where he has been and where he hasnʼt. He goes to the tall suitcase on a far edge, or is it one container in, I donʼt remember. He is sniffing pretty strongly, pushing on it, looking pretty adamant. I call it and we get a positive response from the judge.

Yippee, one hide to go. Out to the vehicles. There are three and they are configured like a pinwheel, front bumpers forming a small triangle space. Mick sniffs down one side of the closest car, and starts on the BMW front end. Goes to the far [right] front corner. Intensity increases, sniffing all over that corner. Telling me. I finally call it and Ron says yes. I feed him on the lower part of the bumper behind the light. Iʼm grateful I wasnʼt asked where because Iʼm not sure I would have called it right. I realize as I am typing this that I had no thoughts of how the wind was blowing when I was doing the vehicle. Gota work on that!

Mick has his NW2 tittle. Not bad for a dog that is closer to 15 than 14 years of age. Iʼm thrilled and proud of Mick and of my handling. I canʼt wait for NW3 trialing. Long live Mick, I so want him to keep having fun at this. The only sadness is that my plan was to start to focus on Rider getting ready for his NW2 trials. Who would have guessed that Mick had more time than Rider. And Rider really brought me to this sport, something he could do without having to worry about other dogs. Nose Work 3 really separates the ʻmen from the boysʼ so to speak. A room without odor needs to be identified, and the handler doesnʼt know the number of hides. 1-3 per element. Call finish when you think your dog has them all. This is a huge jump from knowing the number of the hides. I hope Mick stays strong enough to at least have the fun of trying a few times.

K9 Nose Work, truly the most fun a dog can have!

Joyce’s Dogs offers No Risk Gift Certificates

Joyce's Dogs is offering No Risk Gift Certificates for any of our Services

These are great gifts for the Dog Lovers in your life! 

Dog with mannersHere's how it works. Contact Joyce and she will issue you gift certificates with the name of the recipient and the value of the certificate.

You can opt to specify a particular service, or specify a dollar amount good for any of the services available.  Our selection of services include: Dog Swimming @ Joyce's Unsinkable Dogs; K9 Nose Work classes; or Private Training.

And here is the No Risk part of the offer.  You do not have to pay anything up front. When the receiver contacts Joyce to schedule their selected service, you will be contacted for payment at that time. That way if they don’t redeem the certificate, you gave a gift with good intent – but it doesn’t cost you anything. So if it’s round filed or sitting in a drawer somewhere – there is no cost to you.

Win Win for everyone – especially the lucky dog (or dogs) who are the true users of the gift certificates.

New ADA laws with regard to Service Animals clarified

Good evening!

I commonly chat with folks who are not clear about what the laws are with regard to the designation of "service animal".  A friend sent me the following statement which is a summary of the new law and is more clear than I have seen in the past.

The new law came into effect this year in March and defines a service animal as the following:

"Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition."

The service law states that the only reason a service dog can be bared from admission is if it is not house broken or its not under the control of the owner.  It also states that the owner can not be asked what their disability is, but they can be asked what service the dog provides, and if the animal is required due to a disability.  The owner is not required to carry any documentation.

I'm glad to see that the law is written more clearly now. I have been witness to many situations in which the law was being abused. The worst was a situation where two dogs with one owner came into a small grocery store and dove into the bulk bins. The situation was very out of control, and the poor store owner who was of foreign decent and culture was upset but mystified as to what his rights were. The human end of those leashes was screaming that they were her service dogs. This is such a dis-service to anyone who really needs a dog and has one that is behaviorally appropriate. It would be great to see the law posted in store fronts so all could be educated.



Trial fun with K9 Nose Work

I'm back from my trip to CA for a K9 Nose Work trial. It was great. I started writing this blog post while sitting under a tree on a beautiful sunny day. Mick was in the NW2 [level two of three] trial and did me proud. He nailed the vehicle (one hide) and the exterior ( two hides) in very respectable time. In fact, he got a ribbon for the fastest time for the exterior hide and was third fastest for the vehicle.

Mick got one of the three interior hides and just seemed clueless as to where the other two hides were. I false called one of the interior hides and he timed out on the other one. I think he got stuck in drifted odor from the first find or perhaps there was food in one of the lockers where he was hanging out. Mick did a stellar Job of ignoring what looked to be crunched up corn chips on the floor, and I was very happy with that.

The container drill was spooky. Theme of the day seemed to be 'threshold hides' and it was the first box about 6 ft from the start line. Hard to trust your dog on that one but I did and we got that hide. Then he just turned sort of wishy-washy and I ended up calling it on a not very clear indication. Wrong. I should of waited.  We had plenty of time.  "Oh well" and we were done.

Next search immediately following the Container element was the vehicle. Hi nailed it in very good time. Very confident.

Last element of the morning was the exterior with two hides. Lots of dogs false alerted on a door stop that was about a foot or so from the hide. Silver, just like an odor box. Not Mick. He went straight to the hide. Then he trotted along the wall and took a left into the gate of a dry garden area. There were a couple of sticks of wood on the ground under a tree and he indicated. I called it and low and behold I heard the judges 'yes'. That was our last element of the trial. We happily ran back towards the parking lot and when we hit the grass, he squatted and pooped!. {I know, too much information, but since he managed to scarf down 3/4 of a loaf of  Dave's Bread on Thursday evening, and 'seedy' bread at that, well, you know what the outcome of that could have been!}

As I type this I had to get up and get his nose out of a bag of clothes that happened to contain a pair of pants with a cookie in the pocket. He shows no since of what is his and what isn't anymore if food is involved. It's his as far as he is concerned. No matter how many pockets he has to rip through to get it. Getting old is wonderful, [for the dog end of the leash] I guess.

Anyway, after the folks in the score room finished up with the numbers stuff they announced the element and overall placements. And darned if my 14 year old boy didn't have the third fastest time in the vehicle hide, and the fastest time on the exterior! Yea Mick. Not bad for an old guy.

It was a great day for playing my dog's favorite game with him, and appreciating what a great dog he has been. Just so happens that I had the chair he won for an obedience High in Trial in 2001 with me cause it's little and fit in the car with all the other stuff we drove down with. So here we are, 11 years later and still having a great time together.

OK, enough rambling. The last thing I have to say though, is that Rider is mingling freely with Anne's dog, Crackers. She puts him in his place well, and it's so nice to see Rider want to play with her, and just hanging out comfortably with another dog.

It's tough having a reactive and aggressive dog. But it's been worth it. As I tell many people, Rider has taught me more about dog training than I ever thought I needed to know. What a great teacher!