scent work

Hide and Go Seek Foundation Training for Scent Detection Dogs

Hide and go seek is one of our favorite foundation games to play with young scent dogs. When the dog finds you, it’s very important to give multiple rewards to keep the dog with you. Otherwise, dogs tend to play keep away (getting close, but not letting you catch them). Warm up with restrained recalls. …

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NEW Scent Dog Foundation Online Course Starts Aug. 1, 2018

NEW Scent Dog Foundation Course – Class begins Aug. 1, 2018. From bed bugs to birds, from narcotics to nosework, Hunter’s Heart motivational scent training has helped hundreds of teams to reach their potential, since 1999. Learn the secrets to motivate your dog to love searching for odor, whatever your dog’s age or level. We’ll show you how, from fun foundation games …

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Sourcing, Residual Odor and Preventing False Alerts FAQ – Part 2

In Part 1, I explained why your dog should be working to source in every search i.e. getting his nose as close as physically possible to the highest concentration of odor. Hopefully you took the sourcing tests and videoed yourself. In today’s blog, you’ll observe students working through sourcing exercises at class. RIZZI 0:2 The first …

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Sourcing, Residual Odor and Preventing False Alerts FAQ – Part 1

Question: Carla, can you suggest training exercises to help work through dogs (false) alerting on trace or residual odour? I assume that for the most part it’s team inexperience but now that the sport of nosework is getting so popular facilities have multiple people placing hides and I’d like some pearls of your wisdom/experience to help …

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Blocking and Advanced Proofing with Barriers

A student recently described how her dog found most of the hides in SDDA Excellent competition, but had a fringe alert. Did she call alert too soon or block her dog’s access to source? If she had asked her dog to check both sides of the vehicle, would he have sat and false alerted just …

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How to Train Your Dog to Sit at Scent – Part 2 Scent Puppy Foundation

This video captures Jager’s first session training a sit indication for high hides at a hot indication box. Jager’s  6-month-old Brittany Spaniel and bed bug detection candidate. I began by experimenting to find a comfortable height where he can sit with front paws on the ground and press his nose to source. I was happy …

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How to Train Your Dog to Sit At Scent – Part 1 “Up-Sit” for Scent Detection

Question: My dog’s indication on hides over 3 feet is good, but not as intense as his indication on low hides. He finds them easily, but he sits looking at me instead of sitting with nose at source. I’ve never had anyone explain or teach me ways how you’d get a dog to stay focused and …

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You’ll Fall Many Times, But Who’s Counting

Even Olympic medallists eventually take a fall. Some are more catastrophic than others, but how they recover from failure helps determine future results. There’s a lesson for dog handlers and trainers who require constant perfection and suffer as a result. Kaetlyn Osmond took a fall for all to see, and then inspired. She fractured her …

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Converging Odors and Single Odor Hides vs. Cocktail FAQ

Lori’s question: Is there ever an advantage to using single odor hides? For example, one hide is wintergreen, another hide is birch with anise, etc.. (We started training using a cocktail of Birch + Anise + Clove + Wintergreen cocktail.) Answer: Cocktail allows us to train several odors at the same time so we rarely …

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How Many Indications or Searches Should We Do In Practice? FAQ

W’s question: I’ve been focusing a lot on indication lately and noticed she’s getting lackluster and starting to wander off.   At this stage is it ok to mix it up and sometimes do just a big reward for find it with food or toy then release and not wait for down?   She’s not the type of …

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What Should You Do About False Alerts? Mass Spectometry Would Help

Do you ever wish you had a machine to tell you what scents your dog false alerted on? It would be nice to get a definitive answer, especially when you don’t understand what happened after a seemingly easy search went haywire. While expensive, technology exists that can analyze the molecular composition of scents, and has been …

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Photo of Boo's cheeks moving in and out while sourcing, prior to stopping breathing when he reaches source.

Listen Up! When Your Dog Stops Sniffing

Did you notice that many scent detection dogs stop breathing when they reach source? One of the best ways to read your sniffer dog is by listening to changes in his breathing . While sourcing, sniffing speeds up, sounds different and you may see the flews (upper lips) moving in and out as shown in the …

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Table Distraction Game for Sniffer Dogs

Reliable scent dogs must ignore food, toy, and environmental distractions to find target odor. This video shows the Table Distraction Game we play with our scent dogs away from odor, to teach them to ignore a bowl of food by default. It’s a stress-free complement to training sniffer dogs to pass by distractions, go to …

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How Long Should Hides be Aged? – Scent Work Competition FAQ

Pat’s question: How long do you age a hide prior to the start of a nosework trial? Is it the same for all the elements? Answer: Aging is the amount of time between placing a hide (containing target odor) and the dog’s search. I’ve seen from 5 minutes up to hours of aging tested in …

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Entering Your First Nosework Competition FAQ’s on UKC Nosework

It’s an exciting time when you enter your first nosework competition. Having said that, you probably feel uncertain about what to expect. Below are FAQ’s for entering your first UKC nosework competition. For the full tutorial on How to Enter Your First UKC Nosework Trial visit https://nosework.huntersheart.com/2017/03/01/how-to-enter-sniff-albertas-ukc-nosework-trial-june-2017/. Scent theory applies to most searches, but every …

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Top Scent Dog Training Books and Websites 2017

Shopping for the holiday season? You can never have too many scent dog training books, right? Here’s a list of our favorite canine books and websites you might enjoy: Nosework & Scent Discrimination Scent and The Scenting Dog, William G. Syrotuck is a broad introduction to how scent travels in the air. It explores the …

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Nosework Seminar this Sunday (Calgary)

We have some openings for our nosework seminar this Sunday. If it’s challenging for you to attend weekly classes, this is a great opportunity to try nosework, or work on some of your skills. Dates: Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 25, 2017  Novice/Beginner 8 – 11 am Advanced/Excellent 12 – 4 pm – work on …

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What Do Sperm and Puppies Have in Common?

They both rely on scent to navigate through their environment. Sperm use chemotaxis to navigate to eggs, and newborn puppies use olfaction to navigate to the milk in their dam’s nipples, from the day their born. For animals like fish, that reproduce outside of their bodies, it’s obviously crucial to reproductive success for sperm to …

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How to Train a Freeze Indication Using Leash Pressure

Many people ask how we train a freeze indication with focused attention. Once a dog is confidently and proficiently finding source, we use gentle leash pressure to teach the freeze with forward focus. When you pull back, the dog learns to firm up and freeze like a statue to stay at source. This is the …

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Amp Up the Fun! Hunter’s Heart Fall Nosework Seminars

Interested in trying nosework? Join us for the most fun you’ve ever had with your dog. We’ll motivate your dog to love searching for odor at our hugely popular half day introduction to Scent Work. Learn how we’ve trained dogs of all ages, sizes, temperaments and abilities to become reliable scent dogs. No experience required. If your …

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Odor Hygiene at Nosework Competitions

Odor hygiene refers to properly handling target odor, so you know with certainty where odor is located, and where it is not located. Good odor hygiene enables more teams to succeed. It’s a really important component of holding successful scent detection trials, where every participant has a role to play. This post will outline some …

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Fear, Fender Benders and Following Your Fearless Dog

My Brittany Spaniel, Boo, and I spent our summer competing in nosework on a cross country road trip: from Calgary to California, Seattle to Wisconsin. The experience was thrilling sometimes, and punctuated with scary moments. We tested our limits, and I learned to approach uncertainty more like my fearless dog. For those of you who …

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Back to School Survey for Hunter’s Heart Nosework Classes (Starting Sept. 20, at Kayenna Kennels, Calgary)

Nosework classes resume this week and we’re going to have some fun motivating your dog to search for odor! If you’re registered, please complete this survey in advance, to get the most out of your experience: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8WMBQW7. It may take up to 10 minutes to complete. We’ll use your responses to customise the searches for your unique dog. Even …

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Join Us for Summer Nosework Fun Events, Calgary

Hi everyone, I hope you’re staying cool, and you can join us for some summer nosework events. NOSEWORK DROP-IN NIGHTS AT KAYENNA KENNELS, CALGARY Test your skills in fun, informal nosework matches, following loose Sniffing Dog Sports (SDS) rules for containers, area searches and games (except your dog does not to be registered in any …

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Please vote for Nosework!

Your support counts! Please take 30 seconds to answer the Canadian Kennel Club’s 1 question nosework poll at http://www.ckc.ca/en. Virtually every dog can enjoy scent work, and we’d like scent work grow in Canada. Now that the American Kennel Club has introduced nosework, we hope the CKC will soon follow suit, including rescue dogs alongside …

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SDS Distance Game Demonstrations

Can your scent dog search independently at a distance? Watch demonstrations with coaching as our students test their skills with the fun SDS Distance Handling Game Version 1, the game we’re playing at Sniff Alberta’s SDS (Sniffing Dog Sports) nosework competition on Oct 7-8, 2017 (Calgary): https://youtu.be/oc6mg59V1Wc We begin with a blind search at the Excellent …

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Canada’s First Sniffing Dog Sports Nosework Competition, Oct. 7-8, Calgary

Join Sniff Alberta for Canada’s first Sniffing Dog Sports Nosework Competition, Calgary, Oct. 7&8, 2017 You’ll love SDS: Save $. Only 1 pass required to title at a level. Try Before You Buy, or register with SDS now. FUN distance game #1, area search and containers (it’s easier than you think). Les stress. No pre-trial, …

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Back by Popular Demand: Nosework Crash Course Weekend, July 15/16, Hunter’s Heart (Calgary)

Take your nosework to the next level Juno’s video demonstrates strong commitment to odor in scent work. Sometimes blind searches are confusing for the handler. Juno returns to show the location of target odor repeatedly, making it very obvious where target odor is located, until the rewards appear at source. Even newbies in the audience can …

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Top 5 Scent Work Tips on Training Your Down Indication

Here’s our Top 5 Tips on proofing your down indication for K9 Nosework. Tip #1) Always mark or reward finding source. Then you can give extra rewards for the down indication. Watch what happens at 0:18 seconds in the video if you don’t reward the dog for finding source. He offers undesirable behaviors, including looking …

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Delayed Rewards Are Missed Opportunities in Scent Dog Training

From the dog’s point of view, rewards are the most important component of dog training. Sadly, many handlers are lousy rewarders and dogs are left confused and rewardless. Is your dog in this miserable majority? Has he ever shut down, or had trouble understanding a seemingly easy behavior? Has he ever found source and left …

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Patterning for Systematic Searches and Faster Times

Do you have trouble remembering where your scent dog has searched and where he hasn’t? When you’re searching large areas for scent work, it’s a common problem. Novice dogs can demonstrate a lot of frenetic activity, often skipping thresholds, frequently skipping objects or hides. Patterning trains dogs to search systematically, from the start line and around …

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Calgary Nosework Classes – Video of Keata (Border Collie) Learning to Indicate Scent

Only 6 days left! Register now for Nosework classes starting April 5, Calgary Info: https://www.kayennakennels.ca/nosework-classes This video features Keata at our Level 2 (Show Me) Nosework class. Keata (a Border Collie) still indicated the location of scent when we moved containers to a distracting new location. She ignored unplanned distractions when we introduced vehicles and …

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Scent Maze Video: Can Your Dog Find His Way to Source?

This fun scent maze challenged our advanced nosework students to navigate around gates impeding access to the box containing odor to get to source. Teams were allowed perform this blind search off leash at a distance, and ignored pork distractions near the camera. Thanks Carma, Joe, Pat, Katherine, Mike, May and Theresa for being good sports! …

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Scent Detection Terms in Scent Detection

A “hide” is the package of target odor inside a ventilated container that is hidden in the search are for the dog to find. The photo shows a very common type of hide, made from blotting paper scented with target odor inside a metal tin with magnets, which easily secure the hide to a metal surface. Other favorite hide containers include metal tins with holes, shipping labels, plastic tubes, etc..

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