Instructor: Julie Symons
- thresholds and corners,
- environmental considerations around airflow and weather conditions,
- aged hides,
- non-box containers,
- advanced buried (AKC)
- how to set up and work through distractions,
- how to evaluate search are challenges/approach,
- how to effectively search an area,
- multiple hides,
- advanced vehicle searches,
- building search stamina,
- combo odors,
- what to expect when trialing,
- assessing trial readiness, and
- problem solving individual team skills.
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.
- NW120 or equivalent level of training (dog is able to search for odor only)
- Odor kit with scented q-tip, additional odor for mulitple hide searches
- Appropriate harness/leash dedicated to NW searching
- Hide containers (highly recommend different types of containers made out of different materials)
- Vessels for holding qtips (straws, chapstick tubes, small sleeves, heat shrink tubing, tins, etc)
- Soil/play sand for AKC Buried searches
- Quake Hold or Fun Tak adhesives for placing hides - May be available at a Walmart or Target near you. You can also google the names and find a source.
- Fan for air movement
- Smoke matches (available online at: http://www.toolexperts.com/smoke-test-matches-air-flow-testing.html?gclid=COvru9DntrgCFcFFMgodxWAA_Q or http://k9nwsource.com/product-category/smoke-matches/
- Or, as an alternative to the smoke matches, you can try an item called a "wizard stick" or a "dragon puffer"
- Access to search areas
- Access to multiple vehicles
- Airflow/Scent Theory
- Analyze airflow/search environment conditions and predict how the search will go
- SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: Adding new odors
- SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: Use of other Qtip holders
- Increasing age of hides across all element
- Adding appropriate direction for covering an area
- Evaluating search area challenges/approach
- Effectively covering small and large search areas
- SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: Hide Placements (Accessible vs. Inaccessible)
- Introduction to non-box containers
- Prepping for and strategies for Advanced Buried (AKC)
- Unintentional Distractions
- Increasing use of Multiple hides and their value in a search area
- Adding more vehicles/novel vehicles
- Adding blind hides in your training
- Intentional Distractors
- Introduction to Inaccessible hides
- Hides in every day items
- Odor is Odor - not relying on visual cues
- High and Low hides - considerations for small and large dogs
- Extending multiple hide searches to all elements
- Combo Odors
- Extending inaccessible hides to all elements
- What to expect with trialing / Assessing Trial Readiness
- Building Search Stamina (Part 2)
- SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE: Building Search Stamina (Part 1)
- Revisit Self-Assessment
Week 3-4: Introduction to Multiple Hides
In this lecture we will introduce and cover the skills required to search and locate multiple hides in the same search area. You will have multiple hides in the advanced titling classes (NW2/3), but not every search area will have multiple hides!
For this week we will only work interiors. In week 5 we will extend multiple hides to the other elements.
This can be challenging at first when we have spent so much time teaching our dog to stay at source and that following a scent cone will lead to source. We are now asking our dog to leave source to find another one and now we may have converging odor to deal with which tells the dog that a scent cone may NOT always lead to source!! Your dog may also go back to the first hide, and we really shouldn't reward again for the same hide otherwise they will not move on to find more. In these cases you will want to verbally reward and NEVER say "leave it" or pull them off. Say something cheerful like "you found that one, let's go find more".
- The first step is to practice some back to back searches. With interiors, use two different rooms close by with 1 hide in each room. Search the first one, reward and then immediately go to the next room and search that room. This gets the dog used to finding one hide, getting rewarded and then searching again.
- The next step is to use a large area and place 2 hides with different odors as far apart as you can, preventing any chances of converging odor. (Video below)
- The last step is to place them closer together and have them figure out how to separate out the converging odors. It's very important to use different odors since having the same odors converge is the most challenging of cases. Therefore, your dog must be trained on a 2nd odor before you should do this step. (Video below)
Note: Training multiple hides that are close together is not something you should train for that often until you are getting ready for Elite level training. Scenarios where the hides are spread out enough to reduce chances of converging odor is OK to do more often, for example - a threshold with the 2nd hide placed deep into the room. Or some search areas are divided by a short wall or barrier. In one NW2 trial, 2 hides were in a bathroom/locker area. One was in the section with the stalls, and the other just around the corner on the other side of a wall in a locker.
- You will want to develop consistent phrases when you are done with a search, for example you can say "ok, all done".
- With multiple hides and moving onto another hide, you can say "ok, let's find another one", and I like to add a tactile pat on the side.
Placement and searching:
When first placing 2 hides (of different odors) in the same area, you should place one high and one low to minimize some of the scent convergence.
Once your dog has found source in a multiple hide search, you will not reward them again if they re-indicate the hide. You should give praise, and remind them to find another one - "very good, find another one". When first teaching, you should encourage them to move away from the hide they just found so that they can get to another area to catch the other scent. You should also try and prevent them from going back to the area with the first hide when first being introduced. Don't use your marker word (yes) if they repeatedly go back to hide and also don't say things like "leave it". I just say "good, go find another one" in a very encouraging voice. We never want to discourage a dog for being at source so just praise them for finding it but no reward is being paid for finding it again. You can see how confusing this can be for our dogs, so we need to be smart when starting with multiple hides.
Odors can be placed relatively close together at a trial, for example it's legal to have 3 hides on one vehicle in NW3 but rarely have I seen or heard them doing this. The COs (Certifying Officials) are really fair and also very knowledgeable about hide placement and scent theory. At this level in your training you will not want to add this type of challenge. We want to maintain their stay at source behavior and their ability to hunt for a single odor. Advanced level searches will still have single hides, and often they are combo odors. So when teaching single hides for the advanced levels, use combo odors for those searches to add more challenges.
- Practice a few back to back hides but in different areas. Many of you have probably already done this in some of your training sessions.
- Use two separate odors. Don't combo common odors, like one anise/birch and the other birch. Use just Birch and then just Anise (or Clove), for example.
- Come up with a consistent release cue such as "ok" or "all done" to indicate that you are done with that hide and it will no longer pay.
- Come up with a consistent cue to let them know there is another one to find, such as “let’s go find another one".
- To maintain your stay at source behavior, keep your reinforcement rate high and don't be in a rush to move on to the next hide.
- If your dog returns to a previously found hide, praise them, but do not reward. Encourage and cue them to find another hide.
- When placing hides, set one high and one low.
- Let the dog figure out the scent puzzle between the two hides.
- Don't train this often, maybe 2 or 3 times out of 10 searches.
- The majority of your training should be working on single source (or combo) hides that are challenging like corners, new areas, thresholds, etc.
Examples of # of hides in NW2 trials:
- One trial had 2 hides in the exterior, and 2 hides in one of the interior rooms. Only 1 hide in containers, vehicles and the other interior room.
- Another trial had 2 hides in containers, and 1 hide in the rest.
- And another had 2 hides in vehicles and 2 hides in one interior room, and 1 hide in containers, exteriors and in the other interior room.
You can see that the majority of the searches had 1 hide and when 2 where used they were placed with enough distance to minimize any major challenges.
Many times when starting multiple hides, they can feel painful and uncomfortable!! Do what you feel comfortable with and you will find that your dog will catch on pretty fast and learn to move on and not re-indicate.
Here is an example of Julie's dog caught between 2 scent cones - this was her first week doing multiple hides in the same area. See how she starts to zig and zag between odors around 18s? All in all (with lots of feeding at source), this 2 hide search took almost 6 minutes to finish! It was hard for her!
Here is an example of a large area room search with two hides:
Here are examples of working closely placed hides:
This homework requires that you are already working on a 2nd odor.
Back to Back interior room search:
- Place 1 hide in 2 different rooms that are close to each other. Age for at least 15 minutes.
- Search the first room and reward.
- Immediately go to the next room and start the 2nd search.
Large area search:
- Use a large area and place 2 hides with different odors as far apart as you can. One high and one low.
- Bring your dog into the search area, letting them work off leash.
- After finding the first hide, reward generously and then say your phrase, for example "all done, let's go find (search, hunt) another one"
- If they stay at source, praise them and repeat your phrase to find another one.
- Feed generously at the 2nd find. No proofing or much duration. Get that reward in for a job well done!
Small area search:
- Using a familiar place that you train in, place 2 different odor hides about 15' apart. One high and one low.
- Repeat the same search sequence as above.
Do not jump to challenging/elite level type multiple hide placements. You have lots of time to work on more challenging multiple hide scenarios later.
You do not have to work on them yet if you still have other exercises to do and want more experience on single hides.
When you do search multiple hies, let your dog make the decision on which hide they will hunt first.
See if you can tell when your dog is caught between the 2 scent cones.
Follow up a multiple hide search with a simple single hide search!
Please work at your dog's level for this homework assignment. If you are not ready, please wait and save it to train later.
A SAMPLING OF WHAT PRIOR STUDENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS COURSE ...
I loved my class, not only did I learn a lot about myself and my dog, from my instructor, but learned from the other students also.
Every time I take a nose work class my dog and myself come out ahead. The instructors are awesome, they make you want to work your dog to the best they can. 5 stars from me. Nancy Steinbrecher
The instructor provided prompt, detailed analysis and well reasoned and tailored recommendations for each student. She definitely wanted to see her students succeed in whatever phase of nosework they were doing - so she provided very helpful suggestions for preparing for various upcoming trials.
I was only Bronze, but did all the exercises and followed all discussions and homework. I gained lots of helpful tips and information, definitely got my money's worth!
This was a perfect advanced course. I got a lot out of it, and really enjoyed all the discussion topics and the homework videos.
Your classes are great because my schedule is constantly changing and I can practice on my time. Your videos make everything crystal clear and so easy. My dog passed his ORT first try in 13 sec. Thank you. Carol C.
Excellent lectures that provided us with helpful guidance and insightful ideas. Great course! Cheryl M.