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Doggie Sports/Activity: K9 Nosework
  • Just curious if anyone on the forum do Nosework with their Shibas?

    For people who are not familiar with it, here is a cut and paste from the National Association of Canine Scent Work

    What is K9 Nose Work?

    K9 Nose Work is the specific sport created and sanctioned by the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW). This sport was inspired by the training methodology of detection K9s and borrows elements of that training for recreation. The terms nose work, fun nose work, scent work, search work are all commonly used references to describe any activity where the dog is using its nose to locate a target scent or odor. K9 Nose Work is the term that defines this detection inspired sport that has evolved from the pursuit of many dogs (with their handlers) to practice nose work and have fun.

    One of the many challenges faced by working K9s and their handlers is encountering new environments and scenarios daily. This challenge will be reflected in the sport through differing search environments and requirements of each trial location.

    I was first exposed to K9 Nosework about 6 months ago via a workshop held at the training facility we went. I found it very interesting and a great activity for any dogs regardless of breeds or whether they are reactive or not.

    The dog works with its human and does not have to interact with other dogs at all. It is fun because the dog gets to used its nose for a change and scent is probably by far canines' strongest sense. They don't have to be a search and rescue or tracking dog, but they get to enjoy the joy of using their nose in a game and get rewarded generously for it. It's a win/win game for the dogs with no corrections whatsoever. It is also easy to start equipment-wise, you do not need expensive equipment or a lot of space and all you need are just a few cardboard boxes, collar/harness and leash, your dog and some yummy treats to get going.

    I first enrolled my girl Maluko (almost 6 years old) in Nosework class about 2 months ago and she loves it. I would say it is by far her favorite activity. I then enroll Koji (a year and half) in level 1 class 2 weeks ago and he loves it too. I really enjoy watching them work and the different search style my dogs show. Maluko is very methodical and serious when she searches. She maps out the room and is very through in her search while Koji is the opposite when searching. Koji moves fast, but not over crazy like some of the other dogs in his class and still manages to focus on the tasks at hand. I learn so much by watching my dogs work their nose and I think this is one of the best doggie sports ever invented.

    This was shot last week and it's week 2 of Koji's Nosework 101 class. Unique scent is not introduced in the game yet and they are only searching for yummy treats in boxes.

    And to contrast their working style, here is Maluko in her Nosework 102 class last week. Her class has advanced to unpairing the scent (birch) with the treat and she was only searching for the birch scent in the room. In this video, it was just 2 small q-tips with birch scent in a tiny tin box slightly open and it was attached to the metal chair near the left wall.

    Post edited by Calia at 2012-10-13 09:11:04
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Very nice post. :) I loved doing a bit k9nose work my trainer in obedience worked a bit on it. Hope to try it again Bella did pretty good with it.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    That's awesome that they are both getting into nose work. The training facility I take the pups to also offers nose work as well as other canine sports. :) Glad to see they are doing so well in it! Help to see more updates on them and more videos of them continuing their new found love of using their nose :)
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    That looks so fun! (and a nice indoor activity for younger pups, cold weather, or dogs who can't be off-leash or around other dogs)

    I'll have to look around and see if anywhere in my area offers it. :D
  • It is also great for older dogs too. A friend of mine has a 14 year old Shiba that became deaf at older age and totally loves this game.

    Initial search will be indoors, but it will advance to outdoors and in a vehicle if you want to take the game to the next level.

    Certified trainers in the US can be found here,
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2011-10-06 18:48:06
  • I love the videos! It looks really fun!

    I really want to do this, and thinkToby would enjoy it. (Bel would find it too scary--strange place, strange things, strange people, but Bel doesn't like to go new places. Or anywhere really). They offer it in Santa fe, but unfortunately right now I'm in school every other weekend so I can't take the class :(

    can you tell us a little about how it works? Are you clicking and treating when they get close to the object, or do they just find the object or food and that's the reward? (in the beginning class I mean?) I wondered, because even though I can't take Toby to a class right now, maybe I could play a game with him based on nosework.
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2011-10-06 22:05:21
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Posting on this side also, but these are awesome videos Sandra. It's so nice to see people out there working with their Shibas and showing off their talents
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Aw boo, the only instructors listed for NY are all down near NYC.

    But really it doesn't look too complicated. I could probably just set something up around the house and play the game at home. Or at friends' houses.
  • bds2000bds2000
    Posts: 15
    I love this and I would love to do it with my dogs!! Should I do obedience first or does it not really matter?
  • Lisa,

    You can definitely try playing the box games at home. It seems like a very easy game that a dog will enjoy without too much structures in it, but the dogs definitely learn more and gets challenged when they are in class.

    I would suggest attending a Nosework Workshop if possible. This is usually 60-90 minutes in length and will give you a good idea of the sport.

    A few things to remember about Nosework. There is no correction, no verbal correction, no "leave it", or no yanking the leash at all. It is supposed to be a fun game. The dog should enjoy it. Period!

    To start, get a few cardboard boxes of different sizes and scatter them around in an enclosed area (you don't want too many distractions initially). Pick one box as the cookie box and choose a very yummy treats to put in that one box. The goal for this stage is to let the dog get a sense of the box game and have quick, easy success.The cardboard boxes is a cue to the dogs that the game is on. Put the dog on a flat collar or a harness and dog on leash, so the dog will not wander off and not engage in the game. You don't need the leash much once the dog learns the game, but in a real trial, sometimes the dog has to be on leash. A harness is preferred as you don't want to accidentally yank the leash and choke the poor pup.

    Once the boxes are set up and the treat in place, choose a command to signal the start of the game. I use "Nosework" and I know others use "Find it", "Search" or "Nose On". Choose anything you want, but just be consistent. Depending on the dogs, some will be more reserved and not sure what you want them to do. Just walk the dog with a loose leash around the boxes and when they find the treat, encourage them to take the treat and tell them what a great puppy they are. Throw in more treats in the box as a bonus. Remember to make the initial find easy and reward them generously, so they learn to love the game fast. Do this a few times and once the dog gets a rough idea of the game, you then can make it a bit more challenging. Put the treat inside a box that stands on the side with flaps, put the treat in a box that is upside down, but with an opening on the side (like a garage), put the treat on top of the box etc. Make sure the dog is not stressed when playing the game. The search itself should be fun and rewarding. Challenge your dog, but don't make it so hard that you wonder if your dog can find it. If the dog gets stuck, walk closer to the hide, but without actually pointing out where the treat is.

    Practice different hides a few times and make sure the dog is successful before you change the difficulty of the game. If the dog gets a difficult hide and eventually find it, praise and reward generously (in the box) and for the next hide, make it easy, so the dog finds it quickly and gains confidence. Always end the game on a positive note, like any training session. Don't do nosework non-stop for an extended period of time. In class, we usually do 4 searches at a time, then the next dog is on. With a class of about 4-5 dogs, your dog get some down time and he/she builds up excitement when it;s his or her time to work. Depending on how difficult a search is and what level the dog is at, a dog usually get to go 2-4 runs in an hour class, with 3-4 back to back searches in each run.

    Once the dog get treats in the box game, move it a notch by moving the treats outside the box (not too far from it though). Eventually, the treat can be anywhere, but the cardboard boxes are always there to remind the dog it is THAT GAME we are playing, along with other distractions (like toys, chairs, grocery cart etc) are there too.

    You can move the treats to an elevated location (such as on a step stool) or on a chair, but remember to not make it too much higher than the dog's nose level. And always remember to reward dogs at the source (if only treats are used, reward bonus treats at the original location where the dog finds the treats. This is so because you want the dog to stay at the source (which will be odor only in later stage).

    Odor will be introduced once the dog gets a very good idea of finding the treat and being able to find treats in different locations. Odor is first introduced with the treat and depending on the dog's progress, treats will be removed at the source and only odor is presented. You still reward the dog when he or she finds the scent, but you need to be great on timing to deliver the treats fast, but at the same time, not getting to close to the dog while he or she is working (it can push the dog away if you get too close).

    Sorry for the lengthy response, but it is really a great activity for dogs of any breed, age or temperament. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
  • @bds2000 No obedience training is required to start Nosework. However, I would recommend doing at least basic obedience class with a positive reinforcement trainer with your dog too. :)
  • Lindsay,

    I stopped doing classes with my dogs after we complete the basic and advanced obedience classes and thought I did not need to do more classes with them. They are well-behaved dogs that I can take anywhere with me that dogs are allowed, so why did I need more classes? I saw no reason to do competition obedience as it seems so rigid and boring to me. I did not pay much attention to Rally or Agility either.

    But thanks to a few friends that also have Shibas in the area, I got to explore the idea of going back to classes with my dogs and I started enrolling them in classes again. I am really glad that I am back in class with my dogs. The dogs enjoy learning something new and fun and they also get to spend some quality 1-1 time with me in a classroom setting.

    Maluko seems to like Rally and I am very proud of her winning the little "dog backing up on verbal command" competition in class this week. It is so much fun to work together in a team.

    I strongly encourage everyone to consider trying different doggie sports/activities with your Shiba. Life is so much more than just walks for the dogs and they can explore and experience the world in so many different ways with you!

  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    @sandrat888 - Thank you so much for the information! This sounds like something that might be good for Nola on days when she is less confused. She LOVES to sniff things out. :)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • I said this on the other side too, but YAY! Thanks for explaining how it works more! I can do this with Toby at home and I think it will help boost his confidence!
  • These videos were shot last night. Just to give people some ideas of what a class looks like and if you want to model some of the set ups at home to try.

    Week 3 of Koji's Nosework 101 Class. The dogs start to find treats outside of the boxes. This video shows Koji finding the hide on an elevated surface (step stool). The find was outside of the box (he did a few searches of treats outside of the boxes before this one, but the treats were placed not too far from the boxes). In this video, a box was placed on top of the step stool as a cue. His next search after this one, the treat was placed at the same location, but no box at the top of the stool.

    I am told not to move around much when the dog is searching off-leash, so I am not distracting them or actually help them find the search. I only move slowly and casually when the dog is stuck for a while or when the dog may be distracted. My moving is to get the dog engaged again and not necessarily helping him with the actual search. I may move randomly or just move closer to where the hide is if the dog is really having trouble finding the hide. You never point and tell the dog where the hide is.

    This video shows the hide on the top of the step stool this time. It is higher than Koji's nose level and he is trained not to climb up on furniture or stuff at home, so you can see he was a bit hesitant at first when he located the hide. For overly excited and strong dog, the instructor told the handler to stable the step stool when the dog finds the hide, so that it will not be knocked over and accidentally traumatize the dog.

    As the search got harder, this video shows that I just use the kissy noise to get his attention when he wandered off. This is the 15th search of the night and it took him longer to find the hide now, but he was enjoying the process and not stressed.

    He did 16 searches last night and it took him from less than 8 seconds to close to 2 minutes to find each hide. It may not seem a lot of exercise, but he was mentally exhausted and slept soundly through the night.

    Hope these videos help anyone that wants to try this game at home some ideas of how to set up their own game.

    As a comparison, Maluko only did 4-6 searches last night, but she is at a more difficult level with no treats and just the scent (birch).
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2011-10-10 00:55:57
  • SakuSaku
    Posts: 372
    Thanks for the sharing! I always wonder how nosework really works! Great video and beautiful shibas! ;)
    Saku & Mina's mom

    Saku & Mina
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    Very cool, the class looks really fun! Thank you for sharing all of this great info!
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • shibahiroshibahiro
    Posts: 977
    that is so cool!!! btw, what kind of harness are you using?
  • It is the ComfortFlex Sport Harness and I got mine here

    What I like most about this harnesses is how easy it is to put it on. You just slip it over the dog's head and there is not stepping over. This is a great harness especially for doggie sports where you will really appreciate the convenience to easily grab your pup by the handle on the dog's back or quickly clip his or her leash to the D-ring. This is especially a great harness for Nosework, but remember it is not a no-pull harness, so for a dog that is not trained to walk nicely on leash, don't expect this harness to help you with the pulling.

    Nosework is so much fun. I took Maluko to her first field trip over the weekend. It was at a very beautiful horse farm and we did a few searches there.

    Even though we were told to start practicing searches in our backyard as homework, I got lazy and never did, so it was her first time searching outside of our house and outside of the classroom. She was a bit confused at first, but did quite well after a while. The facility we took the dogs to said they offer field trip for free once a month and encourage us to attend as much as we can. I really enjoy the trip and will start practicing some easy outside searches in our yard (initially the search should just be easy, on concrete at a location the dog is familiar with outside of the house).
  • Maluko passed her first ORT (Odor Recognition Test) for Birch this morning. To enter into any trials, a dog has to pass an ORT trial for the odor being tested first. So this means we can technically sign up for a NW1 Birch trial if we want to. Don't think we are ready yet as we need more practices for exterior search and we have not practiced vehicle searches yet. All trails have 4 elements - container (box) search, interior search, exterior search and vehicle search.

    When we entered the test room, there were 12 container boxes, 6 boxes on each side and only one box has the birch scent in it. I took Maluko to the start line and told her to go find the hide. She sniffed the first box and then moved on to the next box. She stopped and sniffed that box intently and then looked up to me and I know that was it. I told the judge "alert" and I was very pleased when the judge told me we were right.

    I am very proud of my girl. She found the scent in 8 seconds!
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Cool! If Conker would actually use his nose I would train him a bit in scentwork, but he doesn't seem interested unless whatever it is is edible.
  • Dogs use their noses all the time. With Nosework, dogs get food rewards after they find the hide. Initially, the training is searching for treats and then an odor is introduced and paired with food rewards. As the training continues, the food reward is removed from the scent, so the dog is only searching for the odor. When the dog finds the odor, the handler then rewards the dog with food.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Way to go Sandra! I am very proud of the work you have done with Maluko. Did you tell Leslie yet?
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • lockshi3lockshi3
    Posts: 628
    This is very cool! thank you so much for sharing these videos. I'm actually pretty interested in this now and I'm trying to find a class similar to yours! Please keep posting more videos if you can! and congrats to Maluko and Koji for doing such great jobs
  • YukikoYukiko
    Posts: 452
    Congrats to you and Maluko. That's amazing!
  • @lockshi3

    Glad you find the information interesting and are thinking about finding a class. This is by far the most fun doggie sports we have tried. It is very accommodating to all dogs regardless of breed, age, health (disabled or deaf dogs can do it too) and even shy or reactive dogs can participate as well. It also doesn't have a lot of prerequisite like Agility where the dog has to have some basic obedience and focus foundation to do well in it.

    Btw, we ran into a Jamthund (ämthund) at the ORT today. I talked with the owner and she said she got the dog from Sweden as she has relatives there. It is one cool looking dog. She said the dog is used for hunting in its home country and that there are not many if any Jamthund in the US.

    Here is a video of Koji at week 7 of his Nosework 101 class. The find is relatively easy for him. You can see his speed and enthusiasm for the game. On a side note, you will see the white little thing with wings on Koji's collar. That was the Tagg Pet Tracker (GPS dog tracker). I will write a separate review if I have time, but in the mean time, if you have question about this product, feel free to ask. It is not perfect, but it definitely helps in the unlike event that Koji ever gets lost.

    This is a difficult search for Koji. He did 3 finds in this video. The hide was in that tube box (one that you use to send poster). It was difficult and new for him as he had not done this before and the odor was trapped in that tube, so it was not like previous searches where the odor can travel more freely for him to locate it. If you watched the video closely, you will see that he caught the odor off the leg of the instructor standing by the wall and then went straight to the hide in the tube box.

    The 2nd find was relatively easy as a way to boost his confidence after the first difficult hide in the tube box. Then the 3rd hide is back in the tube again. He was a bit stuck and the instructor told me to move to a new location slowly, not to pointing to him where the hide was, but reminding him to do a different pattern. He found the 3rd hide right after I moved slightly to another part of the room.

    This video shows what a container (box) search looks like. ORT (Odor Recognition Test) set up is similar with more boxes of the same size. The boxes can be arranged in any pattern. The tricky part is you don't know where the hide is unlike in a classroom or at home practices, you know where the hide is.

    If you do not spend time observing your dog's body language to know how they act when finding the hide and train them to stay on odor and not goofing off or wandering around, then you will have a hard time pinpointing where the hide is and you only have 1 chance at ORT or trial to say "alert" to let the judge know where you think the hide is.

    Koji stayed on odor or the find and he would look up to me for reward.

    Also notice how a harness is preferred over a collar when doing Nosework. The dog usually gets excited when doing the search. If the search is on leash, you really don't want the dog to run to the end of the leash and be choked. A harness and leash attaches to the back works perfectly for this sport. And even with a harness, you really try to keep the leash loose, so the dog is not constrained to go where his nose leads him.

    This is Maluko's Nosework 103 Week 1 Search. Amazing how she was able to find the hide in such a short amount of time. The room was not big, but there were tons of places the hide could be. She walked in, ran passed the hide and caught the odor right away and she turned and found it under the chair.

    This is the last search of the night. The hide was in that yellow plastic thingy sitting on a box to the left. Noticed that she showed interests in the plastic yellow container around 1:19, but I did not rush to reward her as I wanted her to be more assertive of her choice. In class or at home practices, you know where the hide is and if you rush to reward your dog to be in the general vicinity of the hide, then you will have problem in an ORT or real trial as the dog learns to just get to the vicinity of the hide and then waits for you to tell her where the hide is and reward her.

  • HamletHamlet
    Posts: 146
    I've been thinking about getting Juliet into nosework. She is very intent on finding something once she gets a scent and seems quite good. Last night, she tracked a cat from our front yard to the slide in the playground down the street, about 1/2 a mile away.
  • @Hamlet

    Give it a try. I am sure Juliet and even Hamlet will enjoy this sport. I started training just my girl Maluko only as she is mellow and not as adventurous and athletic as my boy Koji, so her choice of sports/activities that she will enjoy may be fewer than the boy. But I now enroll both in a class because when I practiced with Maluko at home, Koji wanted to play too and it was really easy to rotate dogs when you already set it up for one dog.

    We also looked at another sport - tracking, but decided not to pursue it at this point as it is very labor and space intensive to train. Nose Work is a great sport for urban dogs and can be enjoyed by even older dogs, shy dogs, reactive dogs or disabled dogs whereas many other doggie sports require certain physical fitness to participate.
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    Maluko had a lot of fun at the Nosework trial (NW1) this Sunday. She passed all 3 elements of the 4 and decided she wanted to pee over a spot where a previous dog pooped in the exterior search before she continued searching for the hide. Her peeing eliminated us from getting our title, but I am very proud of my little girl.

    She was happy and sweet to every exhibitors that she met at the trial. Everyone commented on how well-mannered and polite she is. She is always the cautious pup, but I am so proud of her being very relaxed and focused on finding the hide even when there was a big cargo train making all kinds of noises right behind her when we did the vehicle search. She also took the slippery flooring of the container search room very well. It used to be something that really bothered her.

    We worked great as a team and the judges acknowledged that in her score sheet. I couldn't be more happy with what we have accomplished and I am grateful for being able to come home with the best dog in the world!
  • KitsuKitsu
    Posts: 765
    Too bad there is no trainers in North Dakota or I'd probably do that eventually! Looks like a lot of fun
  • kaysejeankaysejean
    Posts: 76
    Nope. Not even on the list of states. I think the nearest to us would be down in the cities. 4 hours away. Oh well. I might try it with Kona just on our own.
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    It is a newer sport, so it may take a while before you see more Nosework resources/activities in your area, but don't be discouraged.

    The sports is gaining momentum like wild fire. It started out in CA and has quickly spread to many states in the United States. Keep an ear out from classes in your area and you probably will hear about a Nosework class coming to you soon!

    It is seriously a very fun and accepting activity for any dogs and handler in any health condition/temperament and shape/size.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Awesome job with your girl Sandra. Hummm....not sure I like the fact they are putting hides near poop (even if unintended). Usually the site needs to be pristine for a trial, if nothing else inspected for debris.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2012-04-17 12:50:57
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576

    The poop was gone, but the smell/scent was still there even though I think they tried to clean it up a bit. The hide is not near the poop spot, but it is within the search area.

    This trial was held at a junior high school and as you probably know, kids and especially teenage kids can be messy. We were told that anything that is hazardous or dangerous will be removed from the search area. We also got a chance to voice any safety concern during our walkthrough.

    I honestly did not expect the trail site to be pristine and I know that whatever that is there is there as long as they do not pose a danger to the dogs. All trial sites can not be used again until a year or two year goes by, so the site is clean in terms of no lingering/old scent.

    I appreciate the efforts the trial hosts put into setting one up, finding the location/organization that is willing to work with. It is a huge endeavor on many volunteers to put this up.

    It is totally my fault for not distracting my girl fast enough. She did not read the rule book and knows that once she pees or poops, she gets eliminated. She probably thought she could still continue on once she marks that one really attractive spot where another dog pooped. :)
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    ahha I see I misread. As far as "pristine" it seems to be a debatable subject even among instructors LOL.....I certainly would not want to hide or feed where a dog has pooped (dog walk areas) and believe me there are some that are teaching in that way : ( Have seen it myself first hand. : ( : (

    Anyway, around here nose work is catching on, but finding trial sites is really tough. Apparently rules and regs as far as school building use/municipal facilities etc vary state to state, and in our region no dogs allowed period, even off hrs : ( It is not as dog friendly as CA and some of the west coast States to say the least. Due to this and the rules limiting reuse of a facility for two yrs, plus the regs for parking separation etc etc, make for trials that are few far between in this area.

    We have to wait until Sept at the earliest when the next trial actually rolls around. I guess it's once a yr at this point, possibly twice if we get really lucky.

  • brscrnsbrscrns
    Posts: 447
    We live in IL and at our Petsmart we have a class for Scent Games. The instructor has all sorts of games to play with the dogs using their noses. She also uses the birch scent in some of them.
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576

    Nosework is really catching on, but still putting on ORTs and trails can still be daunting and challenging. We are blessed in the region to have certain training facilities willing to take on that task.

    The junior high school site we just trialed at was not easy to get the buy in. I believe the science teacher of the school had some connection with people doing Nosework and she convinced the school administration to give it a shot.

    We will try to enter the next trial in OR, but it is going to be a random draw, so not even sure we could get in at this point.

    There are many scent games that you can play with your dogs. It's great that your instructor at Petsmart teach students fun games. The official Nosework sports is a bit more structured in terms of how the game is played and ran and it is very interesting for both dogs and human to participate.

    When I started Nosework, I thought it was the dog doing all the work and human is the only cookie dispenser.

    Well, the cookie dispenser part is still true, but the human has to be able to observe and understand their dog's search behavior to be able to commit to a location of the hide. You only get one chance in a search and if you identify the wrong location, you fail that element. It is also a timed event, so the hide has to be found within the allotted time with many distractions in the environment.

    If your dog enjoys the scent games at Petsmart, I would encourage you to look into Nosework. It is a ton of fun!
  • brscrnsbrscrns
    Posts: 447
    We decided to have Hoshi, who is a rescue and somewhat fearful take the class to become more socialized and have some fun on a small scale. We got lucky because the class only has a total of three dogs. Each week the instructor has a new game for us to teach our dog.
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Hammond absolutely loves his nosework class. I hope the place we go offers a level 2 class, but the one we're in right now is like the beta test class, haha. It was never posted anywhere and I only got in because Hammond had already taken 3 classes and they mentioned it once. I said I'd be interested, so they signed me up.

    I think the other lady was the same. The other 4 dogs all belonged to trainers there, though we quickly dropped down to 4 dogs. The one trainer only used hers as the example, since they were experienced, the second trainer's dog was elderly and too distracted/overwhelmed, the third trainer ended up dropping out for busy-life reasons. The fourth is still there with her dog, so we're down to 3, haha.

    Hammond, a basset hound, and a black lab. Hammond is by far the fastest and most focused. :D
  • I am happy to report that Maluko (San Jo Chaka Khan RE, NA, NAJ, CGC, NW1) earned her Nosework Level 1 (NW1) title on Sunday.

    She had a blast searching for odor in all 4 elements - exterior, vehicles, container and interior and I held up my end of the bargain as a team - trusting my dog's nose, calling out "alert" loudly and confidently when I noticed her change of behavior when she searched (None of the hides were visible, so you really need to trust your dogs and be able to tell when they found it). You only get 1 chance of identifying the location of the hide in each element under the time limit defined.

    Only the 3 fastest dogs in each elements and overall are recognized with a ribbon. Anyone that knows Maluko know she is not a speed demon, but she is steady and ranked #4 overall among almost 40 dogs in the Nosework 1 trial.


    Nosework is a great sports for any dogs and if you can find a Nosework class in your area, I highly recommend it to anyone with a dog. It is a fun game/sports that requires very little equipment and space or prior training - very low barrier of entry and all dogs love it. Fearful, reactive and old dogs all can enjoy it.

    On the National Canine Association of Scent Work's website, you can look up titling information of any breed at any level (NW1, NW2 and NW3) and Maluko is the 4th Shiba that earned the Nosework Level 1 (NW1) title.

    I poked around this function and found 1 Kai earning its NW1 title in the summer, which is really cool. No other Nihon Kens were represented.
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2012-11-05 06:43:47
  • A good overview article about K9 Nosework

    Harnessing the Power of Your Dog’s Nose: An Introduction to K9 Nose Work
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    Koji got his NW1 title in Jan 2013 and earned his NW2 (Nosework Level 2) title on June 30, 2013, becoming the first Shiba with the NW2 title. He could have placed 3rd in time overall and 1st in Container search (only took him a little over 9 seconds to locate the hide with food and toy distractions) had I not incurred a fault in Container search. I said "found it" instead of the mandatory "alert" to indicate the find and got a fault for it.


    There was a cream Shiba at the same trial and they drove all the way from Texas to WA for this. They did really well until Atlas heard fireworks going off before their interior search and he refused to work after that. I talked briefly with Atlas's owner and he has 2 other Shibas at home. He said Nosework is a great activity for Atlas since he is reactive to other dogs. It gets his brain working and he enjoys finding the hide and working with his human!
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Congrats to Koji (and belated congrats to Maluko!)

    That's a cool story about the Shiba from Texas (though sad he didn't do well after the fireworks :( ) I think my old boy, Toby, might like this. Hard to find nosework classes here, though. They have them occasionally in Santa Fe, but haven't seen one in ABQ yet.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I want to revive this thread and see if there is anyone active in k9 nosework now??
    Juni and I have just finished a beginners course and have enjoyed it a lot. It really is a perfect indoor activity too for those rainy days when you don't feel like a long walk but the dog still needs some stimulation.
    The sport is very new in Sweden (although of course there has been similar activities for dogs here earlier) so there has only been one official competion so far.

    So I'm thinking the competion is not that big yet, we might actually have a chance!
    I get the feeling that Juni is still not quite sure when she has to search through boxes but she is very thorough and enjoys when I hide one container with the scent somewhere in our apartment.
  • Yep I work more than one dog in canine NW. It really is a fun activity for almost any dog.
    As far as competition, I think anyone can do it with thoughtful training : )

    I am not sure how trials are organized or who the governing body is in Sweden. Here in the U.S. anyone can put on a trial, so I would say don't let one body or club hold you and your fellow NW friends back if you want to go that route of holding trials.

    If you would like guidance on how to proceed with trials I would contact someone here in the U.S. to give input. If you are looking for individuals to guest lecture for group training workshops etc. you can email me privately or refer back to the link provided when you are ready.

    Have fun.....Best of luck to you!
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2014-11-17 14:48:08

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