Instructor: Julie Symons
There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.
Registration will begin at 11:00 AM Pacific Time.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Gold Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to post questions and videos to the course forums. Students will receive instructor feedback on written and video assignments.
Silver Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to participate in the discussion forum. Students may ask GENERAL questions about course materials and may submit two, one-minute videos for instructor feedback. Any questions specific to your dog MUST be accompanied by a video.
Bronze Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forums. Students will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.
For more details, refund policies, and answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Want to learn a new aspect of scent detection sport training? In both UKC and the upcoming AKC program, there is a Handler Discrimination class where the handler's scent is the target odor. The UKC Handler Discrimination class has 3 levels and involves searching for your scented glove in containers. The AKC division has 4 levels and involves searching for your scent in containers, interiors, exteriors and mixed elements (including buried hides).
This class will focus on competing in the various container classes in both venues where the dog learns to find the handler's scented article inside a closed cardboard box. Applying what we know from Nosework in searching for essential oils and obedience scent discrimination, we will build value for searching for our scent in various scenarios: glove/sock outside of boxes, hidden in a room, inside of vented containers and eventually closed inside of a cardboard box.
We will cover novice level distractions with another person's scent and allowed spectators. We will discuss concerns and considerations that may be weighing heavily on our minds about handling the differences and nuances in the various scent sports and classes as it pertains to handler scent versus oils.
We will also introduce scented cotton balls and swabs used in the advanced AKC levels, and take a sneak peek at what else is required for competing past the Novice level.
Come join us in this new and exciting adventure in scent detection!
- Considerations with other scent divisions/sports
- Building value for your scent on a glove/sock
- Reading your dogs change of behaviour for adding duration
- Introduction to containers
- Criteria at source / rewarding at source
- Search games
- Developing start line routine and cues
- Review AKC and UKC Handler Discrimination container level class rules
- Find scented glove/sock in room
- Introducing scented glove/sock in vented cardboard boxes
- Setting up "clean" training environments
- Adding novel odor distractors: other handler scent, non-food, food
- Reducing venting on cardboard boxes.
- Gear and Leash handling
- Mild proofing for staying at source
- Addressing False Alerts
- Working threshold hides.
- Adding multiple human discrimination scents (UKC Excellent and Advanced level)
- Play search games with cardboard boxes
- Intro to using cotton balls/swabs for scent discrimination
- Intro what's next at the advanced levels; review AKC rules for advanced Handler Discrimination classes
- MOCK test with blind container searches
- Adding more distractors; spectators; working outside
- Placing some simple interior hides with cotton balls
** Syllabus details are subject to change.
Prerequisites: Open to All. No previous nosework experience is required.
- Bag of new cotton (or mostly cotton) socks or gloves (6+). A bit sturdier the better if you plan to use it for tugging as a reward. Also, what you start on may be different what you end up competing with. Check Pharmacy stores also in the medical aisle.
- link to pure cotton socks, if they are not in stock, search for 100% cotton sock: https://www.amazon.com/Sierra-Socks-Womens-Diabetic-Cotton/dp/B013KOBIH6/ref=cts_ap_3_vtp
- link to pure cotton gloves - found them light and thin, but may work with smaller dogs: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KRY6IGY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- A big airtight jar to store your scented items so they stay nice and smelly. I ordered this, but doesn't need to be as large.
- 6-8 "Game Boxes" or open bowls . Plastic sandwich boxes with holes drilled in the top work great. Any sturdy plastic box will work well. I like these from the Dollar Tree with a soft lid (easier to put holes in top).
- Start saving/collecting small empty food/snack/creacker boxes ... cut out one end or keep the end open to allow plenty of venting. Some boxes even come naturally with an opening with the perforated opening to pull snacks out like these muffin ones (minus the muffins!) or keurig coffee boxes!!
- Up to 10 cardboard boxes - can be these "NACSW ORT" type mailer boxes with one flap tops and venting on the sides, or the 4 flap fold down shown in the AKC scent work rulebook (save those "used" shipped amazon/mailed boxes you get in the mail). You can use any cardboard boxes - as they can use any kind of boxes at trials that fit the dimension with different amount of venting.
- A few bags of cotton balls - try and get 100% cotton!
*Note: For those that do NW with oils, I would designate new "handler scent" only hot boxes.
WEEK 3-2: INTERIOR HIDE SEARCHES
We'll take a break from container work and use our sock/glove game for searching a room for our scented item. After the novice container level, the rest of the Handler Discrimination searches are outside of boxes except for the Masters class which may include containers along with interior, exterior, or buried.
Also, the scented item when hidden outside of containers will be cotton balls or cotton swabs. We will touch on the advanced skills at end of class. For now we will continue to use the scented sock/glove.
Here are some searches to get started with interior hide placement.
- First search uses cold containers as context. Place them a few feet from the hidden scented sock. If you place them too close, they can "blame" the container on odor.
- A bit of a challenge placed on a shelf. One box out for context (out of view of camera).
- Hide placed near the start to work on some "threshold" hides. Also using other cold socks for context instead of containers. This acts as a discrimination proof, not of scent but of visual/same objects.
- Next 2 searches hiding sock a bit more out of view.
Not to worry if they retrieve it. They won't be able to at a trial.
Once found, get in fast, wait for nose back and reward generously.
A sampling of what prior students have said about this course ...
I really liked her method of teaching nosework style Handler Discrimination. It was clear, methodical, yet flexible and easy to understand, even at the Bronze level. Rosemary E.
For Handler Discrimination, Julie really dug into all the facets of the material, taking relevant information from the nose work and obedience worlds to explore the area of handler discrimination scent work. Working as a team, Julie and the gold students solved problems, puzzled out the optimal mechanics for this scent work and made the process fun for everyone. Julie provides great feedback to the students, genuinely cares and responds quickly to questions and posts. Denise G.
This class helped those that were already experienced nosework teams to teams that had no experience, dog and/or handler. Every team was successful by the end of class, we are looking forward to the next level Handler Discrimination class that will be offered. Super class!!!
Renny & I had no experience with handler discrimination previous to this class. The method introduced in this class made it easy to teach her and she really has started to understand. I highly recommend this course.
I took this at bronze and had no trouble whatsoever following along without reading the gold threads and now have 3 very different dogs all hunting very nicely! Well laid out plan. Ty!
Julie did an excellent job with this class. It is new and everyone is learning about the new AKC program and I really appreciated the conversations she had with the Gold students and the insight that she had. I look forward to more NW classes.