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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, someone told me it takes a year to really have your dog "get" nose work. We are close to that now. Pula turns 2 tomorrow, and today we had our regular class in a new location.
About 2-3 weeks ago, all of the sudden, she started giving me a "look" when she finds odor source. It is an awesome feeling for her to be so specific! She has been giving a "look" since the beginning but it was so fast, you couldn't be sure you even saw it and she didn't wait for you.
What you can't see on the video is how still she is and how intent her look to me is.

These videos are from today. 1 exterior search (scent in on the ground in a crack), 2 interior (on a shelving unit, and on the trash can), and 1 vehicles (in the wheel).
She just rocked it today. I was so proud of her and how far we have come. If this is all I ever do with her, I'll be very happy! The best sport ever...

Pula exterior:


Pula interior 1:


Pula interior 2:


Pula vehicles:


Enjoy.
Lisa
 

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I am so jealous! Kyrah loves doing that. We have no resources here to get into it.

What a great job! You both look like you are having a great time! She is a beauty!
 

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Very nice! It looks like she loves it! Is she working with one scent, or multiple scents?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes. She is animated. The others in my class like watching her work. It is funny to me that the videos don't show how clear her signal is. To me, it feels like ages when she looks at me to acknowledge the odor source. It is only a fraction of a second.

Here, we are only working with birch. Pula is trained on both birch and anise so far. Clove will come later.

Don't know if she will ever pass a CGC, or be in obedience trials. She still doesn't like anyone touching her when she is working or by someone she doesn't know if they come to her. She prefers to come to them, and even then, she can be odd about it. Agility - who knows. She needs a better sit/stay and focus; athletically she is great. But nose work--- she loves it. No one around, no one to touch you, just a big game of hunt and get treats.

Lisa
 

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Awesome job Pula.

Can't remember if you already mentioned in a previous post - are you training for all 3 scents before going to trial?

Have you heard about APDT C.L.A.S.S? There are 3 levels of tests (B.A., M.A., Ph.D) - many of the same test items as CGC. At the B.A. level, the evaluator will ask if she/he can pet or give your dog a treat and you decide if you want them to treat, pet or not approach your dog. All are acceptable answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awesome job Pula.

Can't remember if you already mentioned in a previous post - are you training for all 3 scents before going to trial?

Have you heard about APDT C.L.A.S.S? There are 3 levels of tests (B.A., M.A., Ph.D) - many of the same test items as CGC. At the B.A. level, the evaluator will ask if she/he can pet or give your dog a treat and you decide if you want them to treat, pet or not approach your dog. All are acceptable answers.
No. We are only training on 2 scents right now, but the first nose work level, NW1, is only 1 scent and 1 hide per type. You have 2 scents for NW2 and multiple hides. You have all 3 scents for NW3 and multiple hides (and sometimes no hides and the dog has to check the whole area).

No. Have not heard of CLASS test. I'll look into it. We are working on her behavior with people, but it is a slow process.
 
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No. We are only training on 2 scents right now, but the first nose work level, NW1, is only 1 scent and 1 hide per type. You have 2 scents for NW2 and multiple hides. You have all 3 scents for NW3 and multiple hides (and sometimes no hides and the dog has to check the whole area).

No. Have not heard of CLASS test. I'll look into it. We are working on her behavior with people, but it is a slow process.
Thanks. I was curious about the different methods of training scent. There is only one person/dog in our class who has taken (and passed) the ORT and she is still training with birch while waiting for a trial.

Maiya has been training with birch for about 15 months now. We are about to take the ORT for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pula took her ORT back in October (I think) for birch. She did great and has come a long way since then. The hardest part was to just let her work and give me the indication, which st that time was to paw and really stare at the box (and then for me to get in there before she tore it up).

I will start looking for trials in May. I missed the sign-up for Livermore in April. It can be hard to get in out here. Demand is high since it started out here. I will likely have to drive a good way. I actually want to learn how to teach it myself, and also help them more so there can be more trials. My instructor is running an entire trial in Alaska in May.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks. I was curious about the different methods of training scent. There is only one person/dog in our class who has taken (and passed) the ORT and she is still training with birch while waiting for a trial.

Maiya has been training with birch for about 15 months now. We are about to take the ORT for the first time.
With the first scent, which you seem to be familiar with, we start with boxes only and pair with food (for a long time). We then add distractors before removing food, and then we slowly remove the food until it is just odor. If you run into any issues, then go back to pairing with food. Then we continue to up the ante and add new locations (grass, buildings, etc), and go back to food pairing if needed.

For a new scent, you can pair with food, you can couple with the first odor for a combined scent (adding 1 q=tip of new to 3 q-tips of old) and slowly phase out the old scent. From what I see, moving to new scents is pretty fast if you have the right foundation with the first one. Pula picked up the new one very quickly. However, if we ever have trouble, we go back to pairing with food.

The hard part about a new scent is to maintain control of it. Do not mix containers, keep separated, etc.

Lisa
 

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Anne and I are taking K9 Nosework classes. She is on the birch scent, and loves the work. It is fun; basically just you and your dog.

Thanks for the thread.:)
 

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With the first scent, which you seem to be familiar with, we start with boxes only and pair with food (for a long time). We then add distractors before removing food, and then we slowly remove the food until it is just odor. If you run into any issues, then go back to pairing with food. Then we continue to up the ante and add new locations (grass, buildings, etc), and go back to food pairing if needed.

For a new scent, you can pair with food, you can couple with the first odor for a combined scent (adding 1 q=tip of new to 3 q-tips of old) and slowly phase out the old scent. From what I see, moving to new scents is pretty fast if you have the right foundation with the first one. Pula picked up the new one very quickly. However, if we ever have trouble, we go back to pairing with food.

The hard part about a new scent is to maintain control of it. Do not mix containers, keep separated, etc.

Lisa
Thanks for the information about adding the 2nd scent. Since we haven't started training with the anise scent, I wasn't sure how it was introduced.

With birch, we trained the same way as you did.
 

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Love it! I have Dakota trained on the birch, and we also use lots of other scents. If we use something other than the birch, I just let her take a sniff, and she knows what she's looking for. She LOVES it, and it's such a great way to get some energy out in a fun way. Awesome, awesome stuff!

The one thing I never understood about nosework (maybe this happens in later training, correct me if i'm wrong) is why they don't teach a more distinct alert... I taught my dog to sit, so she noses the area, and sits and looks at me. Makes it much easier, especially when you start getting into longer range, off leash type stuff.
 

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Pula took her ORT back in October (I think) for birch. She did great and has come a long way since then. The hardest part was to just let her work and give me the indication, which st that time was to paw and really stare at the box (and then for me to get in there before she tore it up).

I will start looking for trials in May. I missed the sign-up for Livermore in April. It can be hard to get in out here. Demand is high since it started out here. I will likely have to drive a good way. I actually want to learn how to teach it myself, and also help them more so there can be more trials. My instructor is running an entire trial in Alaska in May.
Congratulations on passing the ORT.

Not too many trials in our area either. I was willing to travel to several nearby states to get into an ORT but now there are 2 scheduled very close by. I tried to enter an ORT in Colorado last year since we were going to be there anyway but there was already a waiting list when I inquired about it. So far, only one trial is scheduled in this area.

I think it is interesting to see the various indications that the dogs in class give. Maiya turns her head to look at me when she finds the scent - although last week at a mock ORT, she did paw at the box. That was a new behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The one thing I never understood about nosework (maybe this happens in later training, correct me if i'm wrong) is why they don't teach a more distinct alert... I taught my dog to sit, so she noses the area, and sits and looks at me. Makes it much easier, especially when you start getting into longer range, off leash type stuff.
Based on what I have seen to date with many dogs, the goal is to let them offer an indication to you not to train one. I have yet to see a dog that required a specific indicator. Some people prefer a sit or down because they as a handler need it so that they are sure and because they want it to be clear to the handler. Teaching one requires more work and to be honest, is not always successful. Every dog I have seen has a default alert - a sit, down, stand and look, stand, paw, etc. You seem to see more false alerts when the dog is not using its default behavior. So, my experience - you don't need to teach a specific alert, but you do need and want a clear one that you can document if you want to trial successfully. If you want to teach one, you can. Pula's look at me is now VERY specific and quick once she targets the actual source of the odor. For me, a sit or down or something else would not be more clear. Her alert is very clear to me. The nice part about a look back for me is that I can call an alert faster since I don't need to wait for a sit.

In nose work for a trial you won't be too far away from your dog anyway so I don't need a sit. Pula will stand and wait for me to get there and reward her. So far, she is an honest alerter. If you were too far, you would't be able to pinpoint the source location if asked.

My thoughts.
 

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Based on what I have seen to date with many dogs, the goal is to let them offer an indication to you not to train one. I have yet to see a dog that required a specific indicator. Some people prefer a sit or down because they as a handler need it so that they are sure and because they want it to be clear to the handler. Teaching one requires more work and to be honest, is not always successful. Every dog I have seen has a default alert - a sit, down, stand and look, stand, paw, etc. You seem to see more false alerts when the dog is not using its default behavior. So, my experience - you don't need to teach a specific alert, but you do need and want a clear one that you can document if you want to trial successfully. If you want to teach one, you can. Pula's look at me is now VERY specific and quick once she targets the actual source of the odor. For me, a sit or down or something else would not be more clear. Her alert is very clear to me. The nice part about a look back for me is that I can call an alert faster since I don't need to wait for a sit.

In nose work for a trial you won't be too far away from your dog anyway so I don't need a sit. Pula will stand and wait for me to get there and reward her. So far, she is an honest alerter. If you were too far, you would't be able to pinpoint the source location if asked.

My thoughts.
I guess it's just something that my dog picked up naturally. We never have, and don't have plans for competing, so we do mostly off leash, and when we're in the yard, she just runs free and goes searching. I guess if we were going to compete it would be different, but sometimes she's a bit quicker than me, so if she gets there first I will tell her "Show me" and she'll nose the area where the find is. Since we just do it for fun, I'm a lot less picky and don't really follow the rules compared to someone when they compete.

I wasn't knocking your training, or your dog, it's just been something I've wondered about. I guess if you know the dogs alert, since you have to call it out in competition that's enough, and it's fine to let the dog do what he/she does. Dakota is the first dog I have done nosework with, so maybe I'm just spoiled by how naturally she picked it up. She has solid prey drive, so things like bitework and nosework are easy to teach her, because she finds the "training" to be reinforcing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I guess it's just something that my dog picked up naturally. We never have, and don't have plans for competing, so we do mostly off leash, and when we're in the yard, she just runs free and goes searching. I guess if we were going to compete it would be different, but sometimes she's a bit quicker than me, so if she gets there first I will tell her "Show me" and she'll nose the area where the find is. Since we just do it for fun, I'm a lot less picky and don't really follow the rules compared to someone when they compete.

I wasn't knocking your training, or your dog, it's just been something I've wondered about. I guess if you know the dogs alert, since you have to call it out in competition that's enough, and it's fine to let the dog do what he/she does. Dakota is the first dog I have done nosework with, so maybe I'm just spoiled by how naturally she picked it up. She has solid prey drive, so things like bitework and nosework are easy to teach her, because she finds the "training" to be reinforcing.
No worries KevinK. I took no offense. Pula is my first nosework dog also. I only am relaying information from my experience so far to help clarify your wondering. Some dogs actually sit, lie down, or do other things naturally also as their alerts. Pula's just happens to be a stare at me. Pula may change her alert over time, but clarity and acknowledgement is most important.

From my experience, the biggest problem most dogs have is their handlers! :) Dogs naturally take to scent work (or most of them anyway seem to), but being sure about the alert to you in all circumstances of a trial or even training - like with different materials, adding food and toys inside of things as distractions, cats in the area and out(tough one for Pula), trash, dog pee/poo, and many others things - is the toughest thing. That is why the nose work motto is "trust your dog." TO me what seems hard right now is that at NW3 level, you might have a search area with NO odor it in but distractions and your dog has to search and you have to be able to call a no odor. I have seen dogs give false alerts at trials or in training, whether not being at odor or alerting on the food distraction, etc.

I did not go into this with the intent to trial, but since Pula and I both like it, I thought we'd try it.

If tracking were easier to do where I live (not enough open space for the most part), I'd like to try that also.

Glad you are doing this too. It is quite fun.
 
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