Sunday, 14 July 2013


I started some fun training for nosework with Riley recently.  He loves tracking and searching and this is a good sport to work his brain without to much stress to his body.  It has been lots of fun getting back to working my boy and we have both really been enjoying it.

There are a few different ways to teach this sport.  Our instructor is a member of  NACSW and uses the method which first teaches the dog to hunt for food and then begins to pair the food with the required scents to participate in the sport.

Alternative methods use the scent right away and teach the dog to target the scent and then reward.  Honestly that method makes a bit more sense to me based on the other training that I have done with my dogs.  The food/scent pairing seems to me that it could be a distraction later on when distractions would be introduced but it has the benefit of being easy to teach and understand.

Our instructor is great and very passionate about the sport.  The food/scent method is working well for Riley and the instructor does have us fade the food quite quickly.  I'm not sure what method I would do with Stella as we are working on not sniffing the ground so I would worry that having her search for food would not be beneficial for our obedience training.  I probably will wait a while before I do this sport with her anyway as I am enjoying "Riley time".  She would love it and we will do it in the future but we have lots of other stuff to work on for now.

Here is a video of Riley working.  This is at a campground a few weeks ago.


  1. That is just great that you are doing Nose Work with Riley. We've done a bit of it, and all my dogs love it. We were taught the same way, food first, then food pairing, then fade out the food.

    We did not get to the higher levels before we had to take a hiatus (finances) so I can't tell you if it caused a distraction down the road.

    But I did wait until Toby retired from Rally before teaching it to him, because he is very food oriented and I was afraid it would distract him too.

    That said, Meadow has toggled between Rally, then NoseWork, and now she is doing obedience. She does not seem confused by the switches, but we have not worked the sports simultaneously either...

    I think doing just what your doing, one thing at a time, is the way to go anyway. Then you can really focus on one task before switching it up.

    And I bet Riley is loving the "mommy and me" time too. :-)

  2. I need to find a nosework class for Luna. I know she would do amazing. I have done hunt training with her but we are done with that probably. And she plays hide and seek with a special bumper too. I started her on tracking back in the day but never finished. Just wondering what the best method for her would be. I always joke that I am going to teach her to sniff out drugs, so when I have kids she can search their rooms lol.
    Glad you are enjoying this outlet with your pup. Looking forward to hearing more.