Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Another Nosy Organization

I mentioned earlier that Jedi and I participated in a Sniff 'N Go event on Sunday. It was great! I had a bad case of the butterflies and nearly backed out. Lucky for me, sometimes Hubby can be a bit mean. He basically told me to put on my big girl panties and go, dammit! I showed up late (had to work, grrr) and they had already finished with birch and were running anise. Yet the group that put on the event was very accommodating -- resetting just for me! --and even offered some helpful training tips. The location was literally 5 minutes from my house and it would have been stupid not to have gone. (But hey, I've been stupid before.) I put my name a list while waiting, and hopefully Jedi and I will be able to take classes there after the first of the year. Woohoo!

What I didn't mention earlier is that the Sniff 'N Go was run under United Kennel Club (UKC) rules. I didn't even know UKC did nose work trials! I thought the National Association of Canine Nose Work (NACSW) was the only game in town. And since I'm almost as nosy as Jedi, I had to check it out! Here's what I've gathered so far:
  • Each organization requires you to be a member before you can participate in their trials. (No biggie. AKC does the same thing.) NACSW charges a one time $30 registration fee for a dog. The owner/handler must also be a NASCW member. The fee for that is $30 a year. UKC charges a one time $35 registration fee for a dog, and it looks like there's no fee for the owner/handler.
  • A UKC nose work kit. That's a lot of smell right there!
  • Both organizations require dogs to pass an odor test before they can start competing. NACSW calls that test an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) and I've mentioned that before here. UKC calls it Pre-Trial (PT). UKC will recognize NACSW ORTs and not make a dog retake an odor test. I don't know if the NACSW will recognize UKC PTs.
  • NACSW uses three different target scents: sweet birch, anise and clove. UKC uses these same scents plus two more: myrrh and vetiver.
  • Both NACSW and UKC start off using birch at the beginner level.
  • Both organizations have the same four search elements as well: containers, interior, exterior and vehicle searches. One big difference is that UKC only hides the scent on the front of a vehicle whereas NACSW will hide it anywhere on the exterior of the vehicle.
  • Since I'm not competing yet, I'm not quite sure what titling entails. It appears that both organizations add scents and the hides get more challenging as a dog progresses.
  • Finally, it looks like there are more opportunities to compete in my geographic location with NACSW. However, the programs look similar enough that a dog and handler team can compete in both NACSW and UKC simultaneously without confusing the dog. (No guarantees for the human though.)
Jedi and I are members of NACSW. The ORT I want to do in January is NACSW, and my local club, K-9 Obedience Club of Jacksonville, is following NACSW rules. That being said, I downloaded the rules and application for UKC -- just in case.

So my question for you: do you compete in canine nose work? And if so, which organization are you a member of? Anyway, it looks like I've got a lot to think about! I'll let you know what happens. -- K