Saturday, April 6, 2019

OTCWF Beginner Scent Work - Week 2

This past Tuesday I attended my second scent work class.  As everyone was coming in Miss Martha asked how many of us had living rooms full of empty boxes.  I raised a paw, mommas been collecting for a while.  Miss Martha said a whole corner of her living room is dedicated to scent work boxes.  Shes even gone as far as getting props off the side of the road to use as hides.  Sounds like she has a fun house! 

A lot of good questions were being thrown around like When do we call alert? or How do we know when the dogs are indicating?  or What should be be saying to the dog when we are starting the search? Her answer was right now we are focused on imprinting the scents.  The other stuff will come later.  Right now its just smells, treats and hiding the aforementioned in various locations/containers.  She said one quick game we can play  if we are running short on time is "it's your choice".  Momma holds the scent tin in one hand and a treat in the other.  If we touch the scent tin wif our nose and ignore treats, a treat magically appears on the tin.  This can even transition outside for added distractions later on.  (edit by the momma: as we were doing the its your choice game Lucy's been adding an alert I wasn't expecting nor asking for.  She is placing her paw on my hand that has the scent tin...So I am a little excited she is liking scent work so much and giving these behaviors willingly.)

Miss Martha then talked about trails and what to expect.  Such as during a weekend there are as many as 5 trials over a 2-3 day stretch.  Each trial we enter we will either get a qualify or not qualify score.  A qualify is finding the correct container, the pawrent calling alert, and having no faults.   If we get 3 qualifying scores in separate trials we will earn 3 green ribbons and the title.  Since the club offers so many trials over a weekend it is possible to title in a single weekend.  There is also the ability to level up in a weekend so we can go on to earn legs for the next title.  She said with as early as we are starting this year by August we will be ready to trial.  #WINMEARIBBON

We divided up this time into littles and bigs.  Exercise one we had a ring set up with 3 plastic buckets.  We each got 3 rounds of searches in the area.  Martha moved the scent to a different bucket and different location each time but it was no match for me.  I sought it out quickly.  She mentioned that dogs typically go for the same bucket in subsequent rounds but this is teaching us to use our nose instead of a learned behavior.  

After us littles went 3 rounds each in the mirror room we switched with the big dogs and went to the puppy room with the other trainer to search boxes.  There were about 6-8 boxes of all different shapes and sizes.  With this set up the co-trainer said that if the dog gets distracted or searching to far out (since there was no ring in here) our pawrents should point us in the right direction and give us the "search" or "find it" command again just to get us back on track.  A little more sniffing was involved but those treats were mine within seconds!  I might have even crawled into a box in search of hidden treats.  But no photo means no proof.   This is Jackson on doing a search.  His momma is the one that gave me cheese last week.

I had a blast pawticipating and watching my fellow class mates.  When watching I perched myself on one of the chairs and took mental notes.  

Chance the schnoodle, not Freddy as previously stated in last weeks blog, waiting for the scent tin to be rehid.  

After that we all went back to the mirror room to see if any one had questions.  Then we were excused.  Here is this weeks photo.

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