Nose Work

September 3, 2015

When it comes to dogs, it is important that they feel they have a "job" or feel that they are busy and have a purpose. Every dog responds differently to different jobs, depending on their home situation and personality. Often when dogs feel that they have that purpose and job, behaviour issues or anxiety will often disappear.

 

Roxy's job is to watch the house. As mentioned before, Roxy likes to be a guard dog and she likes to tell the cats what they can and cannot do. Sometimes, Roxy can take her job too seriously, which can be annoying to the other members of the house. 

 

I recently discovered 'nose work' for dogs. Nose work is usually thought of for only professional dogs (police dogs etc.) but all dogs can enjoy the activity! I have just started with Roxy and we are still figuring it out. Roxy is older, but her nose still works fine and she enjoys having a fun activity to do and feeling as if she is accomplishing something while helping me out. 

 

Nose work may seem difficult to teach and hard to do, but it really isn't. All you need is essential oil. Commonly used is birch essential oil or clove essential oil. First, I need to set the game up, without Roxy in the same room. I use 3-5 different toys or objects. I put a drop of essential oil on only 1 of the toys. Then, I place the toys openly (not hidden) but clearly separated

 

around the room. In a room outside of where the toys/objects are I then let Roxy smell the open bottle of essential oil and say "Find" and let her into the room with the toys/objects. When Roxy goes to the toy with the same smell I get excited, praise her, and give her a treat! Eventually, I may be able to hid the toys a little bit.  

 

At first Roxy didn't really know what I wanted her to do, with some coaching, she figured it out. I'm looking forward to doing this more with Roxy. 

 

There are different methods and techniques - there are even classes and nose work groups to join. Let me know if you know of anything different or have any suggestions! 

 

Here is a short video I found on nose work. There are tons more! Check them out. 

 

 

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