PDA

View Full Version : beginning "nose play" with your dog



TomF
01-20-2014, 10:15 AM
Just started to do some very basic scent training stuff with our little pooch ... cross cocker spaniel and poodle. We're having fun - pulling a treat across the floor to leave a scent trail to where it's hidden, then bringing her into the room to "find it!" She's got a good nose, and like most cockers has a pretty damned strong food drive ... so she's really liking this game.

She's too little, really, to do tracking - or at least, so I've read. In high grass etc., small dogs apparently can get confused when the scent's as much above them as around them - a trouble larger dogs don't have to deal with. But maybe Clara will surprise me, and we can learn some tracking together. At least at a basic level. Someone told me that the key trouble isn't getting the dog to recognize a scent, it's getting the dog to understand clearly what you want her to do. Any of us could take our finger and follow an orange crayon line among other coloured loops on a page ... if we knew what we were asked to do. That makes our progress in this scent stuff at least as much my challenge as hers ...

Surely to God there are folks here on the forum who've done scent training with dogs. Resources you'd point me towards? I'm finding it really fun to see her exploring a bit with the stuff which is maybe close to the "essence" of being a dog, and the boys are on board with this too.

Paul Girouard
01-20-2014, 10:36 AM
Keep it short and sweet , make it fun for the pup, never make it work. She'll be interested in what you're interested in , try not to scare her with live birds busting out of cover, that could scare her OFF the scent. I did similar things with my coon hounds years ago, it's more about working a bond between you and the dog than "real" training IMO at that age. Some consider it a waste of time until a hound was say a year old , IF she's a gun dog another thing is introduce loud noises when you feed her , bang on the bucket or metal pot you might mix food in while she eats , way less likely to be gun shy if she's introduced to load bangs associated with you and good things , like food.

G/L.

TomF
01-20-2014, 10:51 AM
Thanks Paul, I appreciate your comments.

t

Bobby of Tulsa
01-20-2014, 10:56 AM
What ya training this doggy for? Hunting or rescue or just for fun? The noise thing is right, just don't start off to loud and scare the pooch. Oh, the poodle part will willing do what ever you want it to. The cocker part will look at you and say. I aint doin that till ya tell me why.

TomF
01-20-2014, 11:07 AM
Mostly for fun. While there's a lot of good bird hunting 'round here (woodcock, grouse), I don't see myself having the time to really spend learning how to do it, other commitments being what they are. And I'd owe that to the birds, eh? Rescue would be interesting work, but I'm not sure that a dog which tops out at just over 20 pounds will be big enough to have the stamina, or tall enough to follow scent well in high grass etc. But it would be a whole lot of fun to find out.

Were she a purebred something, there are various tracking trials and field awards we could work towards; as a cross, the kennel associations won't allow her to do the tests.

So mostly, I think it's gonna be for fun. To see how far we can take this together and help me find out how to get inside her head. And if we discover she's got a real aptitude (and I've the commitment), we'll see.

Bobby of Tulsa
01-20-2014, 11:17 AM
What you are wanting to do comes natural to those dogs, Just let her know what scent you want her to follow, lots of rewards and lots of praise will do the trick. Those silly dogs want to please their humans more than anything.:)

bogdog
01-20-2014, 11:25 AM
We use duck wings, goose wings, and pheasant wings in the house for scent training our guys. They're all quite keen for their chance at it. And it's good rainy day exercise. Good pick-up dogs are worth it to any of the upland hunt clubs I've dealt with. They're not particular about the breed. Free pheasants for a morning of fun for a dog are worth it too.

I think the AKC has possibly made provisions for kennel clubs to invite mixed breeds to compete in some AKC events. I don't keep up with the AKC so my info may be dated but I think mixed breeds can run in agility, obedience, and rally. The AKC also has microchip registration for any brand microchip your dog may have.

Paul Pless
01-20-2014, 11:28 AM
We do all of our scent work, which is mostly 'detection' oriented - drugs, bomb, and cadaver (cadaver more than anything else) - through a toy, usually a kong. The key for us is finding a dog that is absolutely addicted to playing with a kong. That's really what the dog is looking for. Then we play hide and seek with the kong, gradually adding a scent to the kong. When the dog is in the field looking for its toy, its important to have a kong in our pocket to give the dog the instant it finds the hidden scent.

Paul Pless
01-20-2014, 11:28 AM
I think the AKC has possibly made provisions for kennel clubs to invite mixed breeds to compete in some AKC events. nope

TomF
01-20-2014, 11:29 AM
Lots to think about there - thanks guys.

bogdog
01-20-2014, 11:34 AM
nopeActually yes, they just do more than I recalled. But it may be up to local kennl clubs, I have no idea about that. https://classic.akc.org/mixedbreeds/index.cfm

Paul Pless
01-20-2014, 11:38 AM
i stand corrected

sorry for the misinformation

TomF
01-20-2014, 11:50 AM
Can't find a similar page on the Canadian Kennel Club's website, but it may be there somewhere. I'll contact them, and see what may be possible. I did find that the New Brunswick/PEI chair for tracking trials through the CKC lives here in Fredericton, which is encouraging.

t

bogdog
01-20-2014, 11:53 AM
I have a friend in Wales who raises cockers and does field work with them. His dogs are fairly small but they have great stamina and are wonderful in thick cover. A few of the guys we hunt with have Boykins which aren't much heavier than a large cocker and they're hard workers too. Both breeds are great water dogs, I would think a cocker/puddle mix would be good in the water too.

Steve McMahon
01-20-2014, 11:58 AM
Congrats on the new pup TomF.
I cannot offer anything with regards to training your dog, but I would bet my dogs could offer some advice to your pup on properly training her humans.

bogdog
01-20-2014, 11:58 AM
Can't find a similar page on the Canadian Kennel Club's website, but it may be there somewhere. I'll contact them, and see what may be possible. I did find that the New Brunswick/PEI chair for tracking trials through the CKC lives here in Fredericton, which is encouraging.

tI believe the CKC does allow mixed breeds.

Gerarddm
01-20-2014, 12:03 PM
The only kong I know of is King Kong?

bogdog
01-20-2014, 12:06 PM
The only kong I know of is King Kong?Here's one of the Kong types my guys like. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81k79K13c-L._SL1500_.jpg

Steve McMahon
01-20-2014, 12:06 PM
We need pictures TomF. You can't just announce you have a new pup and not include pictures, it's against forum rules!

TomF
01-20-2014, 12:38 PM
Weeeell... i've not corrected a misconception, as it seemed unimportant. Clara's 4, just me who's late to this game.

But I should still be able to find pics, recent and when puppy-like. She was actually a Christmas present to my youngest, and we've got a brilliant pic of the actual surprise on first meeting.

Great little dog - with huge personality.