Posts Tagged ‘k9 nose work’

Dash passes his ORT

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Below Amy share’s her story about Dash’s ORT…

I wanted to let you know that Dash passed his ORT today. I’m so happy with how he did. I realized on the drive down to Portland that this would be his first time working in a strange location. He walked into the room and was a little uneasy at first. We took our time at the start line, probably 15 seconds or so (I counted to 10 then took a deep breath!) and he settled in, focused right in on the boxes and when I said “search” he went right to work. He went down the first row of boxes, then doubled back up the same line and stuck to one of the boxes. I called alert and he was right. He found it in 16:97 seconds. More importantly, he really knew his job and despite being in an unfamiliar area with new people and smells he focused right away and knew exactly why we were there. I’m so happy with how K9 Nose Work is helping Dash become a more settled and “comfortable in his own skin” dog :)


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Martha & Milo’s report from Elmira

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The Elmira Trial was the first trial for Milo and I. I was uneasy because recently in class Milo has been less demonstrative about cueing me to odor source on all but the containers.

I had the whole drive from Longview to Eugene to ponder our issues, and my past experience. in Clackamas with my Giant Schnauzer Sunny I was cautious and did not trust her enough to call the alert without searching the entire element area. I put my plan ahead of the dog’s.

This trial location was an elementary school & my heart sank at the walk-thru. The interior hide was a nightmare! Lots of clutter and endless possibilities for hides! Milo’s typical detailed style along with being somewhat of a social gadfly would make 3 minutes go very fast! This was my last element, so I had the whole day to fret over it.

Our first element was the exterior. The area was bordered by exterior walls on 3 sides, with a sidewalk and grass as well. Windows, downspouts, drains and gravel were also present. My plan was to search the perimeter.

As Milo crossed the threshold, he wanted to visit the judge and all the people in the area. I encouraged him to got to left around the walled side of the site and Milo immediately stuck on the downspout at the base of the foundation. I called it immediately and was thrilled how he stuck to the source–not like his class work.

Without time to absorb, we were immediately whisked off to the vehicles which were at an angle to the start line in a covered parking area on asphalt. A small truck, car and van. The start line was facing the middle of the car. Milo and I went to the right and I had hoped that we could weave in and out of the vehicles unless Milo had other thoughts. He started searching the front of the first car and after he searched the license plate, went to the 2nd vehicle wheel well and stuck to the upper part of the well and I called the alert. These two searches were the best work that we have done together as a team. I was thrilled. And worried about the afternoons interior search.

The arrangement of the boxes in the container element was a straight line and then a “U” shaped on top of the straight line. Sort of like a hat. Milo and I started at the end of the line and then progressed up the “U” where Milo found the hide and indicated strongly. He was right and now I had to wait for the interior search.

I really thought about this search and decided that this would be a good candidate for a threshold hide. The cluttered was everywhere. Everything went as planned at the door as far as slowly letting him enter the room. He than trotted off to visit everyone. Fortunately, he sort of toured the room while visiting and ended up toward the front. He went to the front desk and immediately became interested in the hardware at the back of the chair. He stuck on the backrest adjustment and I called the alert. He lingered just long enough for me to feel confidently to call it and thankfully, it was correct and WE PASSED THE TRIAL. I was so relieved! My beautiful Golden Boy performed brilliantly and I was so proud of him.

At the award ceremony we found out just how well my gentle Milo had performed. Not only did he pass the trial but he had the fastest time for the vehicle search–13 seconds and the 2nd fastest time overall for the trial at 1 minute and 54 seconds. Needless to say, I was in complete shock. Milo has never been really that fast in class and is usually very slow and meticulous in his work. During the trial, you just do not have a sense of time and it never occurred to me that these times were a possibility for Milo and I.

It was a wonderful culmination to a 1 1/2 years of work with Joyce. She has been very patient with both me & my dogs. They love this game and it has been a tool for me to become closer to them and participate in something that they love to do. And Now, onto Level 2!!

Happy Sniffing,
Martha Schostal and Milo

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More Elmira Trial News

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

This post shares two stories from students who were at the Elmira trial last week. The first is a report from one of my students who had some great hunts and shared a very astute analysis of the two afternoon elements that she missed. I’m totally impressed with her ability to recall so clearly what was happening. Many of us [for instance... ME!] struggle to remember all that went on during an element search let alone recalling the whole thing a day or so later LOL. Most identifying info has been changed although this handler did give me permission to post her report. The second report shares the wins from Pat and Winsome Will.

First up -exterior. My dog smoked this. 3rd fastest time – 26 seconds. She never even thought about peeing in the grass. Then to the vehicles. She was a bit distracted by the birds (she wanted to chase them), but quickly got into search mode. She found the tire pretty quickly that had the hide and initially alerted to the top of the tire. I hesitated and she hit on the bottom of the tire – sticking her nose in the hub-cap. Good thing I hesitated, as the hide was on the bottom not the top. The judge even said she thought I was going to call it on the top of the tire as my dog gave a pretty good alert.

In the afternoon though, things didn’t go as well. In the container search my dog stopped on a box, pushed it with her nose, put her paw on it and looked at me. Sounds like an alert right? I called it but we were off by one box – she fringed on that, so no title for us. I was pretty bummed but tried to look upon the interior element as a good training opportunity. It was in a classroom and she pretty quickly figured out which side of the room the hide was on. She narrowed it down to a desk. She alerted on the corner of the desk and again I hesitated. She then tried to stick her head further under the desk and couldn’t figure out how to get under the desk further so pulled her head back out, hit the corner with her nose again and looked at me. I called it – another miss. The hide was under the desk chair that was under the desk. I guess the scent pooled up from the chair and collected under the desk. Since she had given me two solid looks and an attempt to crawl under the desk more, I was sure she had nailed it. The judge said she would have believed those alerts as well and was pretty sure that my dog thought she had found the source as well.

So what started out so well (both exterior and vehicle were 20 something second finds) ended with 2 false alerts on container and interior. I would have guessed those to have been our strongest elements……..

Report from Pat & Will…

My biggest concern for the trial elements was the exterior since this is where we have had trouble in the past so when we did the walk through I was glad to see that the exterior search area was very much like the exterior of a building where we have been practicing.

Our first element was the exterior: There was a covered walkway leading to the exterior search area with the start line at the end of the walkway. The area perimeter encompassed a wall to the right then a turn along that wall to an outside corner and another wall. There was also concrete, dirt and grass in the area. Will walked to the right along the wall and checked out a pipe, made a turn to the left and checked out a grassy clump, made another turn to the right and walked directly to the corner of the two walls and alerted…YEA

Second was the container search in the gym. I was hoping Will was not going to start playing with the boxes like he did on Wednesday practice, ask Cindy:o). Anyway the set up was a big oval/circular pattern and two rows of boxes in the middle. Will chose to go right so I kept him on my left as he sniffed his way to the top of the oval/circle and stopped to put his paw on a box, I thought, oh, now here we go, he’s going to play, but he corrected himself and turned to the box next to him and alerted…Whew..

During the lunch break we went down the road to a big closed campground where he stretched out, pottied and found many sticks.

The interior search was first in the afternoon with the class room door being the start line. The room was packed with “stuff”. Will went to his right and checked out a couple of chairs at the computer desks but quickly moved on as he got on the odor, he checked a couple of bookcases then went to some wall cubbies, started to turn away then quickly stuck his head in a cubbie and looked at me..Alert..YEA

On to the vehicles, a pick-up backed up to a trailer and a van pulled up to the trailer on the other end. He skirted the end of the van and went to the trailer tire and worked his way back of the trailer, placed his nose on the chain and worked his way along to the bottom of the hitch..Alert..

What a guy…First in exterior, First in interior and First Place overall with a combined time
of 1.22.59 !!.

Happy and Tired…Pat & WinSome Will

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Congratulations to Martha and Milo

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Martha and Milo were overall 2nd at the trial in Elma today. And also 2nd in the Vehicle search.

Milo is a great demonstration of the fact that the dog that doesn’t swirl the odor all over the place can be fast, even when they are moving not so fast!

What a great team, I’m very thrilled for them.

I haven’t heard from others yet, but I know that everyone put there best paw and foot forward to have a successful day whether or not they found the odor in time. Some days you’re on, and some days you’re off, and that’s true of the dogs too.

I personally have ‘missed’ in 4 out of 7 trials with my dogs in NW 1 and NW 2 and I can tell you from personal experience, that I learned way more when we missed than when we found the odor.

It’s worth the increased wrinkles I’m getting in my face from prolonged smiling as I watch your dogs hunt for odor in classes.

I love this sport! Joyce

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Tale of an Elusive Odor Box

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

I have a funny funny K9 Nose Work story from one of my classes this week. I was introducing dogs to odor for the first time. I had 3 tins available in my pocket and was putting a new one out while the handler was feeding at another box.

I was having the handler pick up the box with the odor that they were re-enforcing if I didn’t get there in time to get it myself. Somewhere I realized that i was missing an odor box. I kept checking my pockets, and started worrying about the possibility that a dog maybe swallowed it. Hard to imagine but possible. One of the dogs in class is a Cavalier. So, close to the ground. And the odor was in an open box.

Well, you might be guessing where I’m headed with this story now. On the third search, a box ended up with two odor boxes in it. Low and behold, the odor box magnet had attached itself to the Cavalier’s collar tags because it wasn’t attached to anything else, being in a cardboard box.

We all had a good laugh.

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Lola tells us about her NW1 Trial

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Lola sent the following report on her experience running Zita in her first NW1 trial. The Nose Work 1 trial was on Sunday Feb 26th in Enumclaw WA.

Zita and I were both shaking yesterday both from nerves and the cold but what a fun day it turned out to be.

We started with the exterior hide and then moved directly to the interior hide. The exterior was in a cubby area on the side of the middle school. The hide was in a pen on the cement against a wall. Zita had sniffed around there once but I was not sure where the hide was so we walked around one other area but she went back to that wall and gave me her stare one more time. I asked here to find it and she nosed the pen. I called alert and the judge asked me where and I said “in the pen”. total time 0:43:23

The interior was inside a classroom, off leash if you wanted so I did. Zita again sniffed in a bucket but left, went around a few more desks but came back and gave me that stare. The judge asked were and I said “the bucket”, she almost didn’t accept that but the other judge said I was correct and then I said on the handle. So, they said “yes”. total time 0:43:29

After the morning I was feeling pretty good…. I was more worried about the vehicle then the containers. I was concerned about Zita not putting her nose right on the hide.

Anyway, we breezed through the containers. She alerted me earlier but I walked around that box and asked again and she nosed it one more time and gave me her look. total time 0:12:03. The judge told me we might have been the fastest team of the day if I had called it the first time. Oh well….. I just wanted to pass!

On the vehicle, same thing…. Zita alerted me but I walked her around one more time and then she really stuck her nose into the wheel rim so I called it. The judge said he knew that the dog knew where the hide was, he was waiting to see if I knew where it was! total time 0:56:15

Overall time was 02:34:70

I was so worried about getting it wrong I wasn’t worried about fast times, at least not this first trial. I guess I need to take their advice and “trust my dog”. Zita did so good yesterday, I am very proud of her. She did not appear to be scared and we were bouncing around and looking pretty happy after the lunch break, while waiting to go inside for the container search.

I enjoyed listening to the judges at the ceremony and one of the co-founders of K9 Scent work was there from California. I cannot remember her name (blonde hair) [Amy Herot]. The judges yesterday gave a short speech including their backgrounds and experience working with dogs. All I have to say is WOW!

Zita is sleeping in the chair right now. I think she is exhausted. She deserves the rest!!! Looking forward to NW2 now.

Thanks for all of your great coaching!!

Lola and Zita

A comment from your coach:

I just love that you could keep working Zita after she indicated the hide and that she had the confidence to go back to source and tell you “Mom, this is it, really it is”. That’s an important part of the training as I see it, helping to develop the dogs confidence so you can be more confident that she is telling you the truth the first time. I’m so proud of you two.


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Congratulations Cindy & Rigel

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Today in freezing cold weather in Enumclaw, WA. Rigel the English Bulldog passed his NW2 with flying colors in all four elements. Apparently he was just awesome!

I’m very proud of this pair. Cindy is a great handler, and Rigel is a great dog. What a grand team they are. Apparently the Judges were very impressed with Cindy’s handling, and Rigel’s sniffing. She even did the exterior off leash which is not usually even allowed because usually it’s not fenced. But today it was and she took the leap, trusted her dog, and let him work it his way.

Congratulations to a great team!

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Mick at fifteen years young

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Yes we can teach an old dog new tricks!

Oh my! If my youngster [nearly 15 year old Mick] lives long enough, he is surely a worthy candidate to take a shot at a Nose Work three trial. He is working so well, and I am able to track what we are doing out there [at least in practice!]

We have blind container drills with call to finish successfully under our belt twice now. At level three, the handler doesn't know how many hides there are, between one and three. And has to call 'finish' when you believe the dog has found all the odor locations that is present in the room, on the vehicle, in the container drill, and for the exterior. And there will be one interior room to search that will not have odor, and the handler has to call 'clear'. So many challenges.

The good news is that Mick just had a geriatric workup with our favorite and trusted vet Dr. Williams and he is doing great.

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Stories from our K9 Nose Work ® Classes

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Oh my, so much going on!

A fun one to watch in Beaverton

We had an awesome class last night in Beaverton. One of the dogs who is in his 10th week of food hunting is so interesting to watch. He moves very slowly, and sometimes cautiously. However it pays off for him. He walks along, makes a turn and goes straight to the hide almost every time. Rarely see him detailing. His stealth movement doesn't disturb the movement of the odor and he is just darned direct!

Progress with a fear/alert barker

I have a little 'Toy' Schnauzer in one of my K9 Nose Work classes. She is a fear/alert barker. Often directed at strange people. And she is a great little hunter. Often she barks as she enters the room and sees the class observers. Than she gets down to hunting and there is less barking. Today she did some barking during round one. During round two there was hardly a peep. Great to see her get more comfortable, and focused.

Our dogs can help us with our mistakes

OOPS! last week my Thursday evening class went to Wilco Farm store to do exterior and interior hides. My Bad, I apparently left a tin behind when we left. 8 days later, one of my friday morning students dog found it!

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Can your Pooch become a Super-Sniffer?

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

We wanted to share this fun news clip created by KATU-2 News that highlights K9 Nose Work ®. It features Joyce and Rider, and talks about how transformational the sport can be for many dogs. And of course how its fun for all dogs!

Watch the KATU-2 Video:
“Can your pooch become a Super-Sniffer?”

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