Dog love to sniff! Dogs NEED to sniff! And yes there are lots of things they can sniff for! (Google is your friend with this!)
The sport of NOSEWORK or SCENT WORK is a very cool activity for all dogs! I started with Jake, by default actually, when I was having my knees replaced and needed to entertain him for a few winter months. After researching the sport, I started taking online nosework classes from the Fenzi Dog Sport Academy and was immediately hooked on the training. Jake's 5 year journey from zero to UKC Champion and AKC Master Elite and Detective is documented on his website, Rock Star Jake.
Naturally, because I love the sport, I plan to teach it to Mookie. The 3 venues we will start with are:
I've revisited the beginning classes I took and we are well on our way. Below the photos, I'll document (in reverse order) the monthly progress of this adventure!
AKC Scent Work titles: Scent Work Novice (SWN)
UKC Nosework titles: Novice Nosework (NN)
2022 November - This will be the last month for trials until spring! When spring comes is always a question but most likely our first trial will be in April.
- Our first trial this month was an AKC Scent Work trial at the Cudahy Kennel Club. They offered only container and exterior searches so Mook had 8 total searches over 2 days and qualified in all of them!! This earned him a Container Novice (SCN) title!!
- So now Mookie just needed to get an opportunity to enter a trial what was offering buried hides which is where the odor is buried in sand for novice. We entered 2 trials locally but they filled the first day so no luck there so we decided to drive to For Your K9 in Elmhurst IL that was offering them and YAHOO he passed 3 of the 4 and got the Novice Buried (NB) title and which gave him the overall title of Scent Work Novice (SWN)
2022 October - October continued our nosework/scent work journey with 2 trials.
- UKC Nosework trial, Wausau WI. Here we earned the following titles: Novice Exterior (NE). Novice Container (NC), Novice Interior (NI), Novice Vehicle (NV), Novice Nosework (NN). Out of the 8 trials in novice and advanced we passed 6 of them.
- AKC Scent Work trial, Greenfield WI. Here we again passed 6 of 8 struggling (as did 60% of the novice dogs) with 2 container searches on grass in the rain! Titles he earned at this trial were: Scent Work Interior Novice (SIN), Scent Work Exterior Novice (SEN)
We practice scent work during the week or we wouldn't have gotten the titles listed above! Mookie thinks it's the greatest thing to do! He loves searching almost more than telling me where the hides are so we're working on that by being super happy when he alerts and having a party in his honor!! He's getting faster and is no longer just so stinkin' cute when he alerts but also more efficient!
2022 September -
We entered our first UKC Nosework
trial at For Your K9
this month and he got 3 of 4 novice legs. During the exterior search, Mookie was sourcing the odor in concrete blocks and I decided to let him figure it out to tell me FORGETTING how little time there is in novice so we timed out. Bad handler! That was the last time I did that and we got the interior, vehicle and container searches!
2022 August - Our journey continues and Mookie gets better and better! And, MORE IMPORTANTLY, he LOVES it! We go out and about and train by ourselves or with others at least 5x/week. Sometimes, we are just passing by a place and I stop and put a few hides out for him. We're looking forward to the AKC and UKC trials in September and October that we're entered in.
2022 June-July - We started SCENTWORK and he is good on birch, anise, clove, and cypress (tins and boxes) in my garage and basement training area. We expanded our training to other places a bit and work on exterior searches at parks and the outside of the dog club! I'd say we average 5 of 7 days each week of training. Best place to see progress is in the photo and video links!