Top Notch Toys - March 2020

THE NEXT FRONTIER SCENT WORK, by Sherye Wise B ella my Pomeranian and I have done sports since she was a pup. We started when she was six months old with Obedience, she

not pass the first time. Bella aced all three odors and passed the test with flying colors. About the time of the ORT, we heard about AKC starting their own event Scent Work. Same odors but much stronger than NACSW, so we need- ed to get exposure to the stronger scents. Bella quickly adjusted her method of hunting to compensate for the stronger odor. Dogs are so smart! We learned that the local club would be holding their very first AKC Scent Work Trial, of course I entered Bella in all four elements, all four trials that weekend. In Novice Scent Work the dogs must find one hide, the odor is Birch and once they show you the hide you call out alert! She was in her glory and had a blast that weekend, twice she looked at me like, “What are you doing?” when I alerted incorrectly. Despite my trial stress and blurt alerts she qualified 14 of the 16 and earned her SWN. To do so she had to qualify in three times in Contain- ers, Interior, Exterior and Buried. She was the first Pomeranian and Toy Breed to earn the SWN on November 5th, 2017. So proud of my Princess. We were totally hooked! When Bella was nine and a half she took a hard hit on the A-frame causing her to be sidelined for several months. She was going stir crazy and so was I. The low impact searches made this easy for her to do while recuperat- ing from her agility injury. She loved the hunt (unlike the stinky Rat on

was a bit of a wild child with an inde- pendent soul. We were able to work through that and started becoming a team. We then started in Agility, she loved the fast-paced game and tunnels were her favorite. She would bank those tunnels like a Border Col- lie. We did agility for several years and then we started in Rally as well. A friend of mine contacted me and said, “I’m taking Cali to a Nose Work class that is starting soon, why don’t you and Bella do it with me.” My first reaction was probably the same as yours, “How can a Pomeranian do this?” But I decided to sign us up and give it a try. Worst case scenario is she gets to try something new and we spend time together with friends. On April 27th, 2017 we started our classes. Bella was a natural, our instructor Terry Van Hook of Competitive Edge Agility and Dogs Sports was singing her praises from day one. She kept telling me that she was going to be so good. We continued with classes once a week for the next few months and then we heard the would be a Nose Work ORT (Odor Recognition Test) the first part of September. We signed up to take the test, when Terry asked what we signed up for I said “All three odors,” she was a bit surprised and reminded me that many people do

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