Instructor: Melissa Chandler
Nosework is the popular new dog sport that is sweeping the nation, and you can get in on the fun! Our nosework classes are taught with the method used to produce the nation's top drug and bomb detection dogs! This backchaining method is effective on almost all dogs, from insecure and unfocused dogs to highly driven and intense workers. The proof is in the pudding; dogs going through only one or two levels of our courses are earning their ORT and NW titles in record time! Even if your dog has failed using other methods, we can help you succeed!
This is the second course in our nosework series, and continues on where NW101 left off. If you have not completely caught up with everything in NW101, that is okay. We will just progress from where you currently are. In general, we begin with the assumption that your dog has or is close to having the skill required for an ORT. We will work through each of the four elements required for the NW1 title - interior, exterior, container, and vehicle search - while looking at the unique challenges each poses. We'll also discuss handling techniques that you can implement to help support your dog in his search.
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 11:00am PDT.
For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.
SILVER LEVEL PILOT PROJECT - In addition to asking GENERAL clarification questions about the class lecture materials, silver students will now have the opportunity to submit two short videos, one minute each, for critique and review. You may submit two questions. Each question MUST have a one minute video attached so the instructor can actually answer a question that they can see. The question must relate to a topic in the class and the video must be a demo of the question. Please see the discussion forum for a detailed explanation - feel free to sign up at bronze, read the explanation, and then come back here to upgrade to silver if that interests you, and if space is available.
Week 1: Foundation / Self-Assessment / Baseline
- Supplemental: Review of foundation games
- Supplemental: Review Intro to Interiors
- Supplemental: Acclimating your dog to crating for trial prep
- Self-Assessment and Baseline video
- Introducing food and toy distractions
- Introducing your dog to different qtip holders
- Musical Chairs
- Introduction to Airflow and how it impacts hide placement and search results
Week 2: Interiors
- Hide Placement: What makes a hide Accessible and Inaccessible
- Cluttered Room
- Interior search in a new but familiar area
- Interior search in novel area
Week 3: Intro to Exteriors
- Importance of the value of the reinforcer
- Exterior considerations
- Use of Warmup boxes
- Small area exterior in known environment
- Small grass exterior in known environment
Week 4: Exteriors Continued
- Expanding the search area in a known environment
- Assessing the difficulty of novel locations
- Exterior search, small area in a novel, easy environment
- Exterior search, larger area in a novel, easy environment
- Intro to Buried hides
Week 5: Intro to Vehicles
- Vehicle Search, Introduction in known environment
- Vehicle Search, using smaller hides with different scent vessels and common placements
- Vehicle Search, easy novel environment, known vehicle
- Vehicle Search, easy environment, novel vehicle
- Vehicle Search, known environment with adding cold car
Week 6: Putting it all together
- Aging Hides (Containers)
- Developing independent start lines
- Building search stamina
- Introducing additional odors
- Revisit Self-Assessment
Prerequisites: NW101 (Introduction to Nosework) or equivalent. This class would also be appropriate for dogs needing to revisit search element foundation skills. NW101 is running now, so if you are new to Nosework then that is the appropriate class for you.
- Video camera/access to YouTube upload (Gold only),
- Birch oil (or whatever odor your dog will be searching for)
- scented q-tips
- Metal tins with holes (see picture below of more types of "qtip containers" we'll be using).
- 2nd and 3rd odors for Week 6 lecture on introducing new odors (Anise and Clove for NACSW).
- http://www.paws4fun.net/ (Target Odor Kit -or- Complete Odor Kit)
- http://k9nwsource.com/ (Student Starter kit or Starter Kit Plus with "snap" tight container)
- http://www.thek9nose.com/ (starter travel kit or Deluxe Scent kit)
- http://www.allgooddogs.biz/ (Student Kit with single odor or Travel Kit Starter),
- Fun-Tak, Quake Hold ,or glue dots (to stick tin to surfaces, available online or in some department stores),
- White cardboard boxes (ORT standard), 10-15 cardboard boxes (various sizes). ~ 11x8x3 or 11x8x4 is a good size.
- game boxes or tupperware type boxes with holes in the top, see below for buried hide supplies
- sand for buried hide searches - a 50 pound bag will fill up 4 containers roughly 12x8x6.5 (6.5 qt). You can reuse your game boxes if they are about 6" tall, otherwise you might want to purchase a few more - think shoe box size.
- a vehicle to search.
- tasty treats that don't fall apart,
- Also, rule book for the trial you will be training for. NACSW is available at: http://www.nacsw.net/trial-information/trial-rule-book
We will start using other items to hold the qtips in for hide placement other than a tin. Here is a picture of some of the items we will be using. One of my favorite items to use are the flat heat shrink wrap tubes that you can get at your local hardware store.
Space required: None specified. Some people have asked about working outside in winter. We will cover exteriors and vehicles. However people in previous courses have found creative ways to introduce those elements in less than ideal conditions. This class, like NW101, is ultimately about obedience to odor - just work on getting that strong for the elements that you have access to and you aren't likely to have any trouble with the others!
In Nosework, you will hear terms Accessible and Inaccessible. These terms are often misunderstood. All too often new handlers will confuse “visible” to be “accessible” and “hidden” to be “inaccessible”.
In NW1, all of your hides will be “Accessible”. This means that they will be sourceable by the dog… or rather that your dog will be able to access the highest concentration of odor coming from the hide (from within 1-1.5 inches away). It doesn’t actually mean that your dog will be able to get his actual mouth on the hide. The hide will be hidden from view and you will need to time your Alert call on the dog’s indication that he is at source. You will NEVER see a hide at a trial.
"Inaccessible" simply means that the highest concentration of odor is not available to a dog. Picture a drawer with a hide in it. As the hide is aged, odor concentration will build up inside the drawer. This is where the concentration is the highest. Odor will also seep through the cracks to the outside of the cabinet. The concentration of odor will be less at the point of seepage than it will be inside the drawer. During the search, the dog can only get his nose to the cracks where odor is seeping and therefore cannot access the point at which odor is most highly concentration. That means that this example of a hide is Inaccessible. A hide placed 4 or 6 feet high, will be inaccessible for most dogs and moreso for small dogs! There are varying degrees of "inaccessibles". Some inaccessibles, my dog will alert just like an accessible if it's placed in a locker or cabinet. She'll source it to the closest she can get and keep her nose there. If the hide is elevated above her head she can only bracket and not be able to get at source. However, if we were to place a straw with a Qtip in the seam of the drawer, the area of highest concentration of odor will be at that seam and will be accessible by the dog. Also, that drawer seam hide will indeed be hidden from view.
Using my definition of an accessible hide, a box could be considered a lesser degree of an “inaccessible” hide. Your dog cannot get to within 1-1.5" of the source, but the entire container is hot and has odor and can be accessed on all sides so your dog can indicate anywhere on the container. But not everyone considers boxes to be inaccessible hides. Non-box containers used in NW2/3 like bags, purses, suitcases, the odor can be on the "outside" in a pocket, wheel, or handle so those would be "accessible". Other non-box containers will have enough venting so that the odor is not so "contained".
Your dog’s indication in a non-container search will likely be different than in a container search. Their indication will develop over time and your job as a handler is to recognize A CHANGE OF BEHAVIOR when at source. You will learn and are ALWAYS learning to read your dog’s body language so that you can identify when your dog has reached source. You won’t be able to rely on seeing a tin or a straw. Your dog might nose the area strongly or perhaps touch the area with a nose or paw and then look at you, or your dog may do something else entirely. Every dog is different!
Here’s a video of some dogs with different alerts.
In this class we will be dealing exclusively with accessible hides during our searches. As your dog starts to learn and you start to place hides, you need to make sure that the hides are accessible. Accessible hides build confidence because the dog builds a strong belief that he can get to source. Inaccessible hides won’t be introduced until NW130 and then will be worked on extensively in NW230. It is VERY important that your hide placements at this point in your training are NOT inaccessible.
Here are some examples of accessible hides. Notice that these hides are also hidden! When placed well, these hides will also not be retrievable.
Something to note… in NW1, you can have hides up to 4 feet high. If you have a little dog, these hides will automatically be inaccessible to your dog. We will work on elevated hides in NW130.
Notice how in this picture, this hide is accessible to a small dog:
However, this hide is inaccessible to a small dog:
When you start training, make sure that your hide is within an elevation accessible to your dog. In the beginning, the dog should not have to put his paws up on anything to get to source. Also, make sure your dog can access all sides of the item where the hide is placed. This allows the dog to work source from all angles since airflow could affect where the scent cone is and how the dog can more easily work it to source.
Take 5 pictures of Accessible hide locations and post on your Gold thread with a description of the hide.
When you add your images to your post, you select the Add file button and then you need to select insert to add it to the post!
A SAMPLING OF WHAT PRIOR STUDENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS COURSE ...
Before this course, my dogs were excited to search for odour and could easily do a simple box search. However, their alert behaviour was too destructive and I was unsure how to progress their skills beyond simple boxes. Both issues were addressed in this course and I am so happy with the results. My dogs can now successfully do interior and exterior searches and their alert behaviour is a beautiful nose-to-source indication without mouthiness or pawing. I would definitely recommend this course for anyone interested in working on nose work skills.
This is the second nosework course I have taken with Fenzi. Both courses were excellent. Material was useful, practical, detailed and thorough. I have taken other Nosework courses before. None have come anywhere near to matching the quality of the Fenzi courses and the credentials, obvious expertise and supportiveness of the course leaders. Thankyou. Lesley M
I love that videos of dogs of all skill levels are included. It helps emensely to see video of a dog at the same level as the one you are working, so you know what can go wrong, and what a dog just starting out looks like. The lecture material is well organized and laid out. The number of lectures and exercises was just right, not overwhelming but also enough to keep you interested and on your toes with something new.
Lecture notes are clear and very helpful. Video's are always very pertinent and show good examples of lecture topic.
I am not able to take local classes because of my work schedule, so tried the online Nosework class for the first time. It is a super value; I got more from this 6 week auditing than I did from the prior 6 months of in person classes. I feel that my dog and I are really well prepared for our first trial next month.
Once again, I'm amazed at how much progress can be made in only 6 weeks. This class was a great introduction to each of the the NW1 search elements.
The lectures were very detailed and helpful, and released at a good rate...not too fast to be overwhelming, but enough that a ton of information was crammed into the 6 weeks. The videos provided with the lectures were good examples of the exercise.
I was so pleased with this course. I was able to understand exactly what I needed to do, and my two Beardies picked it up quickly, thank you! Sherry M