Canine NoseWork is a relatively new dog activity and sport that is gaining more and more popularity. It is based on search and rescue and tracking sports but geared to the general public and pet dogs rather than working dogs. Any dog can do this activity and it uses the dog's most powerful sense, smell. You do not have to want to compete in this sport to enjoy it at home. It does not take a lot of equipment and can be enjoyed all year around. It helps build confidence in shy and fearful dogs and is both fun for the dog and the owner.
The instructor, Steve Bettcher, IACP Certified Dog Trainer and Canine NoseWork Training Instructor has been training dogs for over 20 years and has been competing in and training NoseWork since 2012. His classes will lay a foundation for future competition if you so choose. Steve has earned the following titles with his Beagle Buddy:
NACSW Titles; NW1, NW2, NW3, Nw3 Elite, NW3-C, NW3-V, NW3-E, NW3-I, L1C, L2C, L1I and L2I.
AKC Titles: SWN, SBN, SCN, SIN, SEN, SIA, SCA, SEA, SBA, SWA
SDS Titles: Excellent
Buddy hauls in a tone of ribbons at AKC Scent Work Trial in San Jose, CA.
The first thing we teach in K9 Scent Work is the "Indication" before we begin searching. This is backwards for many dog training methods who teach the Search first. By the use of an operant chamber (scent box or scent tube) we condition the dog to Indicate with a sit/down. Once the "Indication" is bomb proof we move to Odor Discrimination.
Once the dog is proofed on a solid "Indicator" such as a down/sit we introduce odor discrimination. We introduce the dog to a cocktail mixture Birch, Anise, and Clove. Once the dog can correctly identify the correct box or tube reliably we then introduce individual odors and start expanding the number of objects to be searched.
Searching beyond the conditioning lab does not happen until a reliable "Indicator" has been conditioned, that is the dog can reliably identify the right sent box from multiple choices and work independently from the handler. Once these pieces are in place we can begin real world searches such as Exteriors, Vehicles, Interiors and containers.
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