Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Shyla's Fun Nosework!

I've written many times here about our progress in helping Shyla cope with her fears. Now, four years later, I truly do believe that it is "coping" rather than "overcoming". The fears still linger in her heart but she's learned how to manage them so that she do the things she loves.

Nosework has become a passion for both of us. We've done most of our basic training at home or in campsites after Shyla is very comfortable in them.  Recently, we've started taking nosework on the road a bit. For Shyla, that doesn't mean that I take her to a bustling city street and expect her to be able to do nosework (not possible yet). Instead, I take her to new places in our fairly rural area. (I can never take photos while she's doing nosework so these are just some fun new photos of her).

This week, kind friends let us have access to the many outbuildings at the historical ranch where they live. It was a perfect opportunity to see if Shyla would be able to focus on nosework when in a novel place. Six months ago, I would've thought it would be impossible for her due to the stress of being in a new place. Now, I know how she loves focusing on her "job" of searching for hidden scent sources so it seemed like a reasonable challenge.

When we arrived at the ranch, I let her sniff around a bit, away from where I'd hidden the scent sources three hours earlier. She seemed timid but okay. As soon as I put her nosework harness on her, she completely focused on her "job". I didn't see any difference in her demeanor from when she does nosework at home.

I made a video of some clips from her searching. Within each search, I had multiple scent sources hidden. Part of Shyla's "job" is to ignore any hide that she's already found and "find another". She has become awesome at this aspect of the game! Generally, my job as her handler is to supervise her and then reward her when she finds a scent source.

Here's the video which you can watch here or at Youtube.

Happy Saturday!


  1. I just love to see that wagging tail :)

  2. Amazing that she kept her focus in such a new place that must be loaded with interesting scents. Good job indeed.

  3. Thank you Shyla and KB !!! Good job! Shyla loves to do that!!!

  4. And one day soon we will hear your voice a little more, that wonderful accent that I so seldom hear down here. Thanks for your lovely words, all going heaps better, many, many ,thanks. Love the nose sniffing, Shyla looks so serious, and very happy when she finds the scent.

  5. She looks so happy when she's working!

  6. You are amazing Shyla and so darn good at that nose work!

  7. Amazing Shyla! And isn't it what we all do, learn how to live with our fears so we are not paralyzed by them? Keep Calm & Sniff On!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  8. Hi KB, I loved watching Shyla find the scents. Great job for a great pup! So I'm wondering if you are training for more than her learning to find a scent-are you thinking of search and rescue? She is such a beauty! Sending you wishes for a glorious day and an end to allergy season.

    1. I don't think that Shyla has the temperament for search and rescue (SAR). A SAR dog needs to be "bomb-proof" - meaning that almost nothing scares them so that they can go into chaotic or totally novel situations with no problems. That's not Shyla. We are mainly doing nosework for the fun of it - and to help Shyla gain confidence.

  9. WE love watching Shyla doing her nose work!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  10. So business-like and happy! What are you saying before, "Good job"?


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!