Monday, February 29, 2016

Who loves Nose Work class?!

I love, love, love that our Nose Work Instructor Erica Wells offers Nose Work classes at all kinds of fun locations.  All of the locations give me a good sense of what Catty and I need to work through in terms of the environment.  It also really preps me to not feel overwhelmed with what a trial site may look like.  

Here are some of our past class adventures with Erica:

With spring in the air, I was really excited for our class at Swansons Nursery since there would no doubt be some fun stuff to look at!

"Where is Erica? I'm ready to get searching!"

Class hasn't started and Catty says "Erica are we doing a vehicle search"

I tell Catty that we are not doing vehicles this is an exterior search class...

"Oh mom, are you sure? I'll check and see"

"You were right, no odor to be found"

We make our way to the front of the nursery

"Look at  me up here!"

Lookin good Catty girl!

No more messing around - it's time for class!

Erica lets us know the exercise and what we are working on today.  Once you get to the Nose Work three level, this is way more of a team sport.  No more just blindly flowing your dog around!

Here is our first search area and it's so large that I wasn't able to get the whole area in the picture. Again this is what I love about our classes as it  builds my confidence as a handler that we can work a large area like this and be successful.

Here are a number of videos of this parts of this search. 

This was one search and we had a time limit of 4 minutes to find as many hides as possible. During the search we have a "caddy". The caddy's job is to help the handler if they see a change in behavior of the dog (that the handler missed), point out if the handler missed something else as the search was going on and/or if the handler didn't cover the whole search area.  It was an excellent exercise and I look forward to doing it again.  

This one made me laugh - you can see me biff into the tree and Catty keeps on searching and finds the odor. Good girl Catty way to ignore the dork at the end of your leash.

This was a great example of the environmental progress Catty has made thanks to Nose Work.  See those kids in the background.  Catty isn't fond of kids - their unpredictable movements and how loud they often are cause Catty to feel upset.  In the past Catty may have barked at lunged at the kids. But, she is able to work through the stress, ignoring the kids and working to find the odor.
Even with Catty working through the kids being around she was stressed and I knew that and that little look at me that she does in the first part of this video is a stress look.  But, she keeps working and finds the odor.  She's rewarded and told over and over what an amazing girl she is!

Next search area...

No video this time and Catty was a rock star.  Same exercise with a 4 minute search and a caddy.

So many pots and the layout of them was real fun to navigate!

She's onto odor

"I'm coming for you"




The odor was dropped down the hole of the upside down pot.

Both Catty and I have a great time in this search area

Class is over and time to wander around the nursery. 

Catty has made huge environmental strides thanks to Nose Work and Erica's classes at different locations. By the time class was over the nursery was a busy place and Catty wasn't bothered by the hustle and bustle.

"What is this thing?!"

"It opens and closes"

Catty was fascinated by the door and time to move on through

Lots of colorful items!

We wander through the rest of the nursery and then head back to the car to head home!

Fun class, great location and lots of learning!

What did Catty do the rest of her day...

Tired happy girl!

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