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Nosework is Amazing!

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Duke taking a break

I began offering K9 Fun Nosework classes in 2011.  I have seen amazing positive changes in some of my students that I would not have believed were possible one year ago.  K9 Fun Nosework is a class and sport that is increasing in popularity because it appeals to a wider range of dogs and owners than many other dog training classes and sports.  Nosework focuses on encouraging and developing your dog’s natural scenting abilities by using their desire to hunt and their love of toys, food and exercise.  Originally, my thought was to offer this class to provide dog owners that were unable to participate in more traditional obedience sports and classes, another option to enjoy working with their dogs in a safe and social environment.  What I learned is that participating in Nosework has had profoundly positive effects on many of my students.  I’d like to share some of our success stories.



Lexie – I first met Lexie in a private session.  She was apprehensive with me and uncomfortable with my presence in her house.  Sharee, her owner, indicated that she was fearful around children, men, strollers and stressed by certain situations.  After suggesting some behavior modification exercises, I also suggested she try my Nosework class to work on Lexie’s confidence.  During searches, Lexie really excelled.  She was even able to find treats that I had overlooked from previous searches.  Lexie’s confidence improved tremendously from the search exercises and the behavior modification she and Sharee practiced during class when Lexie was not searching.  Lexie’s body language during most of class was that of a relaxed and happy dog.  Sharee and Lexie are working on extending Lexie’s confidence to other situations in her daily life.



Harley – Debbie came to Nosework to address her dog Harley’s  reactive behavior around other dogs.  While working our first class, I realized that we would need to work on his confidence as well.  I inadvertently caused Harley some stress while rushing to him to reward a find.  Harley also excelled at searches and was able to search for birch scent without being paired with meat. To make it fun we had him search for keys with birch scent.  Harley became much more relaxed around people.  Although he had some reactions to other dogs, his threshold improved and his demeanor around the dogs in class was much more relaxed.  Debbie continues doing Nosework searches with Harley at her truck maintenance facility where Harley searches for birch scented truck keys.  You can read more about their fun on our Testimonials Page.

Duke (pictured above) – I have been working with Duke in private training sessions with his owner, Jamie.  We are lucky to have her big yard with lots of hiding places where we can work off leash.  Jamie’s goal with Duke was to have a constructive outlet for his energy.  His history includes some other behavior issues that the family has been managing successfully. Duke is not really enthusiastic about fetching or going on walks, but he sure is excited about Nosework!  We started indoors hiding meat in boxes and under other objects. We worked our way through pairing meat with birch scent and now, birch scent only.  Jamie will wait with Duke inside while I hide a business card scented with birch oil out in the landscaping.  I’m careful not to encourage digging or any undesirable behaviors.  Typically, Duke takes less than 5 minutes to find the scented card.  He works hard, and is very excited about his search job.  An interesting side note: while searching outside, the next door neighbor’s yard crew was working close to the fence line.  Jamie indicated that normally, Duke would display reactive behavior barking at the activity next door.  While searching, Duke was not at all distracted by the yard crew.



Maddie – We recently took Maddie on vacation to Key West.  She takes a while to warm up to new places and has been known to whine incessantly or nip at any strangers that comes close during the adjustment period.  So, to take Maddie’s focus off of the adjustment, we did some Nosework upon arrival at our B&B.  Before Maddie entered our room, I set up some boxes and treats for her to do a little search exercise.  She began to focus on the search rather than our unpacking activities and the stress of a new environment.
Since Nosework is so new to everyone, it seems that we are all discovering new applications and amazing successes from participating in this fun sport.  The class has no prerequisites and is suitable for a wide range of dogs.

For details on K9 Fun Nosework, visit our website.  Nosework will be offered in Fall 2012 on Saturday mornings.  Stay tuned for dates!  Check out our videos below!



2 Responses

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  1. Wow! Your dogs are really cute. Thanks for sharing this to us.


    September 25, 2012 at 1:24 am

  2. Such a cute dogs. Thanks for sharing those pics.


    November 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm

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