Thursday, March 24, 2016

Great stuff this Nosework thing…

Well, we’re really coming along quite well with this nosework thing.  It certainly gives Jake something to look forward to each day and keeps me energized because EVERYTHING I do with Jake is energizing!   I log the 3-4 training sessions/day with 5-9 hides/session.  This works out to be about 100 hides/week!  It’s amazing how quickly this can be done if you do it daily but, for sure, if I wasn’t writing it down, it wouldn’t get done!  We’re now on all FIVE odors (Birch, Anise, Clove, Myrrh and Vetiver) that are part of UKC Nosework trials!  He was able to switch to the other odors with barely an introduction to them. 

Since I can do steps now I put the training room in the basement back together.  Brita in the first photo is clearly waiting for something to happen whereas Jake in the second on is trying to make it happen with his squeaky Kong!  His toys are strewn about the boxes where there could be odor and he completely ignores them.  Kibble on the floor…  well that’s another thing! 

Training Room 1Training Room 2Training Room 3

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Vehicle heaven…

…… right next to a park with play equipment, a fire station, picnic tables and several metal buildings.  It’s Trail Head Park in Larsen!




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Another session, 2 more Fenzi online courses!

Yep…  every 2 months are new courses!  The courses are 6 weeks each so that allows a few weeks before the next session to recover from review the courses that are just ending. This session I’m taking 2 more courses – one that is the logical sequence from the beginning ones I took and the other is more specialized. 


This is the third skills level course in our Nosework program and will build on the skills acquired in the previous two skills classes.  We will search for odor only and work to develop the teamwork necessary for successful trialing - and that involves trusting your dog to lead you to source. We will cover training skills such as:

  • thresholds and corners
  • environmental considerations around airflow and weather conditions
  • aged hides
  • non-box containers
  • how to set up and work through distractions
  • how to evaluate search are challenges/approach
  • how to effectively search an area
  • multiple hides
  • inaccessibles
  • advanced vehicle searches
  • building search stamina
  • combo odors
  • what to expect when trialing
  • assessing trial readiness
  • problem solving individual team skills

Week 1:

  • Self-Assessment
  • Thresholds
  • Corners
  • Airflow/Scent Theory
  • Analyze airflow/search environment conditions and predict how the search will go
  • SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: Adding new odors
  • SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: Use of other Qtip holders

Week 2:

  • Increasing age of hides across all element
  • Adding appropriate direction for covering an area
  • Evaluating search area challenges/approach
  • Effectively covering small and large search areas
  • SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: Hide Placements (Accessible vs. Inaccessible)

Week 3:

  • Introduction to non-box containers
  • Unintentional Distractions
  • Introduction to multiple hides

Week 4:

  • Adding more vehicles/novel vehicles
  • Adding blind hides in your training
  • Intentional Distractors
  • Introduction to Inaccessible hides

Week 5:

  • Hides in every day items
  • Odor is Odor - not relying on visual cues
  • High and Low hides - considerations for small and large dogs
  • Extending multiple hide searches to all elements

Week 6:

  • Combo Odors
  • Extending inaccessible hides to all elements
  • What to expect with trialing / Assessing Trial Readiness
  • Building Search Stamina (Part 2)
  • SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: Building Search Stamina (Part 1)
  • Revisit Self-Assessment


This course will take your Vehicle and Exterior Skills to the Next Level.  Teams working from NW1 through NW3 will find this course extremely valuable. 

Vehicles are one of the least practiced elements yet are also one of the least understood.  Stacy decodes the ins and outs of her favorite element and shares all of her hidden secrets that have resulted in multiple NW3 Vehicle wins and 100% pass rate.  Learn her "secret sauce".

Exteriors are more often practiced but are often difficult due to scenting conditions and search area complexity.  Stacy guides you through one of her other favorite elements (and often won at NW3) in order to get you comfortable in understanding and navigating your search area.

Week 1: Vehicles and Exterior Basics

  • Vehicles and Exteriors as Elements
  • Basic Handling
  • Sticking to Vehicles
  • UKC Novice Vehicles - Training Bumpers
  • One Hide Multiple Vehicles

Week 2: Vehicle and Exterior Scent Theory

  • Vehicles: Flow and Aerodynamics
  • Weather impact
  • Wind, Elevation and Structure
  • Windfalls, Working next to Buildings

Week 3: Vehicle Handling and Lots More

  • Vehicles are like a sundial
  • The Dance
  • Keeping your bearings
  • Handle This and I Handled That
  • When to Call Finish
  • Inaccessible hides
  • Addressing pawing at source and other troubles

Week 4: Vehicle Challenges and Competitive Considerations

  • Multiple hides on a single vehicle
  • Getting Creative
  • High Up Vehicles
  • Anything with Wheels Goes
  • Shaving off Seconds

Week 5: Exterior Handling and Lots More

  • Evaluating a Search Area in 3D
  • Working a space effectively
  • Boundaries! Or Not.
  • Handle This and I Handled That
  • When to Call Finish

Week 6: Exterior Challenges and Generalization

  • Ground Hides
  • Hides on Multiple Levels
  • Hides Near Drains
  • Training for Distractions
  • Generalization of Course!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Off we went to Point

As the weather warmed up I took Jake on the road a bit and realized just how much we needed more of that.  Focus was not his strong point if there were any distractions at all SO we decided to drive to Pawsitively Unleashed in Stevens Point for some practice session.  Again, as expected, he was distracted by other dogs and people but each of the four times I brought him in he was a bit better!  It’s just going to take repetition and knowing his job!