Sunday, May 15, 2011

Intro to Odor - Birch

Leo's done some nose work in the past at home searching in boxes and and random places in our downstairs, but I'd not done searches aside from food. Well today we got together with our friend Pam and her "sniffing dogs," Gigi and Jewel, and used a friend's wide open concrete space in an out building. There were TONS of choices for hiding things and though we had the roll up door open, there was no breeze but we had the benefit (er, challenge?) of potential cross breezes, etc. Each dog got to do three total searches, each with four finds. I'm proud to say Leo did really well, even when I hid things in semi-complex locations for his skill level. The most difficult thing for Leo is his uncertainty about the noises things make, etc. For instance, there was a hide in a cardboard box but he didn't pursue it because the box was closed. I had to wait until he came back to it and then kind of help him by opening it up. I also have to encourage him to stand up on things that are over his head. He also can get a little bit distracted, particularly by another person in thinking they might have something for him. I'm feeling a little less confident on my directions working with the dogs now that I'm not in a class and Pam is being taught some things a bit differently than I was. I'm sure it'll all work out but in the meantime, Leo is doing good. In fact, I think the greatest accomplishment I saw in him today was his enthusiasm for getting in there and working plus his ability to start to detail when he really gets in odor. He's doing a great job and I think I will keep moving ahead with him on it, too.

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