Sunday, January 10, 2016

Nosework – 4 weeks!

Hard to believe it was the beginning of December when I decided to dive into NOSEWORK to give Jake a job and keep me semi entertained while recovering from a knee replacement…  and to get us through the COLD Wisconsin winter!!  I ordered boxes, set up a training area and finally got scent December 5th and here we are a month and a few days later posting a video of quite a few hides and jake’s searches.  I don’t videotape every day because I spend way too much time editing them and hence, less time training!  Anyhoo…  here it is About 15+ minutes cut down to 5!

Click here to watch video!

  • The beginning is a hide in white boxes in my bedroom.  I leave most training items out so these boxes were simply strewn about the room.  He identified the hot one where there were several Q-tips in a tin. 
  • At 39 seconds he starts the second search of the same boxes in the bedroom and identifies the source at 53 seconds.  When I say YES he jerks his head and looks at me and I lean over and treat him at the source of the odor.  Then I have him put his nose back again to extend the time at the odor.  If he looks back at me I say “uh uh” (or play the red light/green light game) and he puts his nose on source again.  When finished I say YES and ALL DONE.
  • At 1:18 he starts the 3rd search and he has to search the whole house.  It’s in a basket on the table and I thought he’d go on the couch to get it but he didn’t.  Nevertheless he found it at 2:43.  I hid it again at the same place and he did go on the couch then to get it and was very obedient to the odor.
  • The next search starts at 3:18 and as he passes it at 3:24 he does a head jerk and finds it.
  • In the next search at 3:32 he starts in and clears the living room but then finds it in the kitchen at 4:09 between the refrigerator and cabinet.
  • Right away at 4:10 is another search where he went by it and then did a head jerk and found it in the closet.
  • At 4:19 he starts a search in the training area and immediately goes to my boots where the odor is hidden.
  • At 4:29 he heads into the living room and clears that quickly before heading back and finding the odor (in a magnetic spice tin) on the pellet stove.  We then work on obedience to odor.


  • I start every session by putting a wide collar on him and a 10 foot leash without a handle and tell him to go to his place (mat) in the training room. This is where he returns between searches which happen throughout the house.  His rewards (kibble – anything better is too stimulating for him) are on a table right in the room which he leaves alone. 
  • After I’ve hidden the the odor I go back to him by walking through the rooms where I did not hide the odor so he doesn’t track my steps and I always take a different route.
  • Sometimes I hold the leash when he’s searching but when I was doing the videotape I didn’t have enough hands.  Other videotapes I’ve done I set up a tripod but the way he is all over the house that is no longer practical.
  • He was a little spooked with me talking for the video which I normally don’t do AND I normally have treats in my hand that now held my phone so things were a little off for him.  Because of this I noticed that he didn’t focus quite like normal…  however…  we need to work on focus and distractions!!

2015.12.13 Jake at window