Ready, Set, SNIFF!
It's time to take your nose work outside! Just a few notes before we start...
Make sure to avoid extreme weather. A slight drizzle or breeze should be fine, but take that in to account when you place your hide, as that might make it more difficult than you originally planned. Eventually, you will have to compete in all types of weather, but we don't need to worry about that right now while our dogs are still learning.
Be sure that your dog has been able to potty away from the search area beforehand!
If you have a safe area to work off leash, that is just fine! If you do have to work on leash (or prefer that for any reason), be sure that your dog is used to working in their gear before asking them to work outside.
Take your 4 containers outside (3 cold and your hot), and place them among some more "stuff."
Reduce the number of cold containers, keeping the hot one out there.
Be sure to try this on grassy areas, too!
Remove the containers completely, or keep some cold out there, and place your hide on an easy to remove object.
Once your dog seems to get the idea that searching outside is FUN and they are pretty well focused on their task, we are going to place a hide on a removable object that looks like it would normally be there (so the "stuff" is all gone). A patio chair is an example of a good choice, since it is a normal thing to see in that space, and it can be easily removed.
Also remember to try threshold hides! You can see in the following video that this hide right at the doorway was proving difficult. I did not need to abort my search as she did not seem to be getting frustrated, but I did walk around a bit more to help her get moving.
In this next one, Bubbles is a lot more confident!
You should now have all of the skills needed to continue to take your nose work to more places! Remember not to increase your criteria too fast too soon! One thing that I always do is to mix in more difficult hides with easier ones. That way my dogs never get discouraged, but I can still push them bit by bit!
This is only the beginning of your journey… Have fun, and happy sniffing!
Take your containers to at least TWO other outdoor locations. Your dog might not be ready to search outside without the containers yet, and that is OK! Only do two to three searches total per new location at first, utilizing your containers as much as you need to.
And congratulations! You’ve finished the course. Keep searching and let us know how your training is going.
I also wanted to say THANK YOU to my amazing students. I am so proud of your progress and I look forward to hearing all about your future progress in the community. You are now proud members of #TeamSelectiveHearing and I can’t wait to hear about your future exploits. Get out there and show the world your amazing Couch Wolves!