Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Viva showing off her Nose Work skills

We are continuing to have lots of fun at our weekly Nose Work class. 

Here's Viva's last Nose Work post in case you missed it Viva shows off the power of Nose Work!

We arrived at class and it was time for our first exterior search. Viva has made a ton of progress and this was going to be interesting given that Viva is environmentally sensitive. Her sensitivity is around unknown things coming into the environment. 

 I remember when Catty, D'light and I were at Nose Work camp in 2014 and we had many instructors talking about environmental set ups and watching our dogs to see how they would change in different environments.  One of the founders of National Association of Canine Scent Work gave a presentation title "The Environment is Everything"  and man did the light bulb go on over my head! I've attended a number of seminars and workshops around dog training where the enviorment is spoken about but, it was Nose Work where I really saw this in action and that has stuck with me every single day.  Paying attention to the environment and managing the environment is important for all dogs in all settings.

One of the reasons I believe Viva has excelled in Nose Work is due to the environmental set up by our instructor (Kathy Weaver) and our exterior search was set up in a way that she has success!

Our class is at 8am on a Tuesday and there isn't anyone else around and thus the parking lot is empty.  However, we can't control everything and apparently it's garbage day on Tuesday mornings so there are big and loud garbage/recycling trucks in the area - You can hear them in the videos.  Viva generally isn't bothered by loud trucks but, this is a new set up for her and we are offering the game of Nose Work to her.  The game requires her attention rather that focusing on other things in the environment.  So, Viva get to make some choice which will give us some great information.

Viva says:  "Lets do this!"

Viva works right to the first odor hide!


Working, working, working.  There are some distractions - the plant that I'm sure had dog smell on it and then a crow. Viva works through the distractions and  there's a "Good girl" from Kathy when Viva finds the odor hide.

There wa a change in the environment as Viva was working that wall.  The fog is setting in and you can see how this affected Viva.  She scans the now foggy parking lot and does a stress shake off. Then she move on and find the odor hide.

You can see from Viva's tail that she is not fully comfortable with the environment (the fog). However, she keeps searching which tells us a lot. Viva was able to work through some discomfort and if she had frozen or stopped working we would have stopped and created a different set up for her to have success.

After our exterior searches we did some fun interior work and as usual Viva had a super time!

Here we are on our way to car and Viva is heading back over to the exterior search... sillly girl is falling in love with Nose Work.

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