A FUN NEW SPORT! NOSE WORK OR AKC SCENT WORK by LEW OLSON T his is one of AKC’s newest competition sports. Similar programs are called Nose Work and the oldest group your dog’s natural instinct and is trained with positive training methods, includ- ing praise, treats and a lot of patience (important!) as the dog figures out the ease of using their own scenting abili- ties to find the desired target.
Dogs must be registered with each of these clubs to participate in their trials. Since the dogs work on their own and not in a group, this is a great sport for dogs that may be shy, anxious around other dogs or simply do best working on their own. It is also a quiet sport and allows the dog to focus on one task, which is simply finding the scent. It can also build confidence in shy dogs and lead to better performance in the conformation ring or skill building for other working events. Scent work can also be continued with related events, such as Tracking, Search and Rescue or simply adding fun games for the dog and owner at home by hiding scents around the home for practice. This is fun and is rewarding for both the dog and owner. I can’t encour- age everyone enough to try this fun sport and I think you will be delighted how easily your dog will learn to detect the scents and have the opportunity to earn some AKC titles!
in this sport is the National Associa- tion of Canine Scent Work (NACSW). The United Kennel Club started tri- als in 2015 and AKC will be offering Scent Work trials and titles in October of 2017. This is an excellent performance venue for Toy breeds, as the dogs work alone, one at a time. The training is done using the dog’s natural instinct and scenting ability. Advanced obedi- ence skills are not needed; your dog follows their natural instinct to find the scent! The training for Scent Work can be done in a class at your favorite dog training school (it is catching on every- where!) or can be trained at home. Dogs really enjoy this sport and it quickly can become one of their favorite games. It involves working with their natural abil- ity to use their nose to find the desired scent. This is rewarded and reinforced with a high value food or toy. It engages
The scents used in Nose Work are essential oils. The first level starts with the dog identifying the correct card- board box containing the target scent. Training is often done by using a very desirable motivation for the dog, such as a favorite treat or toy placed in the box with the correct scent. There are three more levels offered in AKC. These are interior (scent hidden outside), exterior (scent hidden out- side) and last, buried. The four scents used are birch, anise, clove and cypress. For more information on the AKC rules and information, visit: http://www.akc. org/events/scent-work/getting-started/ UKC Nose Work, Rules and Events: https://www.ukcdogs.com/nosework National Association of Canine Scent Work: https://www.nacsw.net
“SINCE THE DOGS WORK ON THEIR OWN AND NOT IN A GROUP, THIS IS A GREAT SPORT FOR DOGS
THAT MAY BE SHY, ANXIOUS AROUND OTHER DOGS OR SIMPLY DO BEST WORKING ON THEIR OWN.”
60 • T op N otch T oys , J une 2017
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