Monday, May 29, 2017

Nosework News

Jedi looking for odor 
Some interesting things are happening for us regarding nosework. First of all, our favorite trainer is back in Jacksonville once a week to teach a class. We're very, very excited about that. As I mentioned earlier, the AKC has joined the nosework game. They're calling it Scent Work and the rules are slightly different from what we've been doing. However, I think the changes are more difficult for me than they are for Jedi. For him the rules are pretty much the same:
  1. Find odor
  2. Tell Mom
  3. Get cookie
Trainer has been working with the AKC for a couple of years to get this program launched. She's already an approved AKC scent work judge. The classes she's teaching incorporate AKC scent work as well as UKC nosework, so we should be good to go when trials officially start in the fall. The biggest of challenge for us is buried hides. Jedi will now have to find a particular odor that has been buried in dirt.

More exciting news: my German Shepherd Dog Club has applied for licensing to hold official Scent Work trials. We have to prove to the AKC that we are knowledgeable and capable. We sent the application in last week. I think we have a shot! About a quarter of our members have experience with canine scent work. We have a trainer/UKC nosework judge, a retired K-9 officer with experience detecting explosive and narcotics (it counts!), and members with titles through UKC (the United Kennel Club) and NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work). We have successfully put on AKC conformation shows so the AKC knows we can follow procedures, fill out all the necessary paperwork, hire judges, secure venues, obtain insurance, advertise, etc. Cross your fingers we get approved!

Jedi chillin' in the hotel before the trial
Jedi, Hubby and I went to Ocala in early April for UKC nosework trials. This was the weekend before the German Shepherd Dog Club's show weekend. I was super stressed and ended up sick. I was achy and nauseated and could barely keep my eyes open. Hubby would wake me up so I could trial and then I would go back to sleep in my beach chair. Needless to say, I don't have any pictures from that weekend. Despite my illness, we did pretty good. We got one leg for our Advanced Containers title. He missed the second hide, and I blame it on handler error.

The following day was Handler Discrimination. That one's tough. I had a cotton glove with my scent on it. It was hidden in one of 12 boxes and Jedi had to find it. To make it more challenging, we were outside surrounded by feral cats. Jedi thinks cat poop is much more interesting than boxes. Still, he found the right box both times, earning two of the three legs he needs for the novice title!

We're going to continue to train but I don't see anything exciting happening on the nosework front until October. Hopefully we'll be prepared. I'll let you know! -- K