According to this organization, January has been designated Dog Training Month. So, in the spirit of “you can never take too many dog classes”, we signed up for a K9 Nose Work class. (Also, we weren’t doing anything on Tuesday nights.) From 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.
Roxy is a natural. We have taken two classes already and she “gets it”. Laser focus. Works the room extremely fast but methodical. Looks like a professional sniffer dog. We are still using treats hidden in boxes but the eventual goal is to advance to scents like vanilla, clove or peppermint. (Does anyone need a sniffer dog at a bakery?) Last night we had 15 boxes out on the floor — no problemo! It will be interesting to see if we are still this keen when we switch over from the liver treats to cloves.
This is a new dog sport. The only registered club in Canada is in British Columbia and the closest one to us is in Massachusetts. We do our training in upstate New York so hopefully there will be a club coming to this area soon.