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Monday, February 20, 2017

Shyla's Nosework - Great Progress!

Shyla and I have continued our nosework training. Some of you may remember that I partly started this to help build her confidence.

Although I still get discouraged sometimes about her sensitivity, she has truly gained the confidence to work independently through nosework. One instructor suggested that I get rid of a leash for a while to build even more confidence.

Right now, we are working on "inaccessible hides" - which means that I put a small source of scent (a few q-tips in a container) in a place that prevents Shyla from getting her nose directly on the odor source.

She's doing great with these puzzles. I'm going to include a short video of her searching for: 1) A scent tube hidden above her reach on our rock chimney; 2) a scent hidden down below a big pile of wood so that she couldn't get down to the scent source; and 3) a scent hidden in a metal cage that was 2' wide.

In these "inaccessible hides", she needs to somehow point out where the scent source is without being able to touch it. For a high hide, she goes up on her hind legs and jumps toward it. For the wood pile hide, she acts excited with her nose above where the source is on the ground below the wood pile. For the metal cage, she "brackets" the hide, meaning that she goes back and forth with her nose, getting as close as she can from more than one side to show me where the hide is.

All of these "indications" have evolved naturally as she's done more and more of these inaccessible scent puzzles.

Here's the video. I hope that you enjoy it!

PS We've been dealing with the flu here. So far, my case is fairly mild but I'm still not at my normal energy level. I hope to get around to my favorite blogs soon! Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday!


  1. Looks like she is making terrific progress. Really fun to watch her in action.

  2. Hope you feel better soon. Shyla sure is a great student.

  3. The wood pile is a super place to search! Think of all the critter smells in there! I love the chimney search the most watching her find the edges and work back. She is awesome and so focused! Bailie has an elements trial on Sunday, we are excited for that. Level 1 interiors and containers. She should do well, but one never knows! Keep on sniffing! Such a great sport!

  4. The wood pile, what glorious logs there!!! ( looks like our log splitter would get lots more work there ) Shyla is getting so clever at her nose work. And the crunchy snow as you walked, the cold doesn't seem to bother her at all.

  5. Great idea to practice nose training in the wood pile. Feel better soon.

    Aroo to you,

  6. She's going very well with the scent training, and looks like she really enjoys it. Hope you are feeling fit again, soon.

  7. Shyla is doing great. She is a smart dog. Some of us smart dogs can be sensitive like smart humans can be sensitive.

  8. Shyla you are awesome! Hope everyone feels better soon!

  9. Way to go beautiful Shyla, you're doing great and sure having fun!

  10. I love the nose work videos! I hope you feel better soon!

  11. That is AWESOME! Love watching Shyla work! Hope you are feeling better real soon!

  12. You look like you're having so much fun, Shyla! You are one smart girl! We hope you're back to 100% soon, KB.

  13. We haven't been doing nose works for a while, and this makes me miss it! It also makes me look forward to when we start up again, and all the new elements to it that we have yet to try.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  14. Amazing work! I know Sam would look at me with the thought bubble saying "You hid it...YOU go find it!" Pawsome job, Shyla. Hope your mum feels better soon.


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