Our Nose Work training is broken down into three phases. In general, your dog can complete all three phases in ten private Nose Work sessions. The Nose Work training will be taught to accommodate each dogs pace; meaning, some dogs could take a bit longer to accomplish all 3 phases and some dogs may rapidly excel and will be able to do even more advanced Nose Work by the third phase.
Introduction to NoseWork (Phase 1):
In Phase 1, tasks are kept simple and this is the phase where the dog and the handler is taught how to PROPERLY search for a scent (treats or toys only are used in this phase of Nose Work) and how to properly cue the handler that the scent has been targeted. The handler and the dog will also learn how to properly teach the dog to be independent in their search and not to look for cues from the handler. Initially, searches are limited to only a certain number of areas, and using boxes on the ground and other containers. Over a couple sessions of this course, we gradually add environmental objects, increase the amount of space used for the search, change locations (inside the facility) for searches, introduce stairs, and all the while ensure that the dog's desire to hunt or search is triggered and increased. By the end of the course, dogs will be strongly working and targeting in "box work" (container searches).
Introduction to Odor (Phase 2):
In Phase 2, the dogs will repeat the basics of Box/Container Searches, Interior and Exterior searches while adding ("pairing") the search odor (Birch, Clove, Aniseed) with their rewards. By building the search on primary rewards, the dog does not look to the handler for cues or help in finding the odor and does not try to please the handler. We want the dog to trust his nose and be a believer that his reward will come from the source of odor. The dog is then highly motivated to pursue the odor. By returning to the basics, the dog's focus and drive will remain high (or regain the level) by pairing the new scent with the now familiar - and fun - search. After the basics have been repeated, adding additional elevation and beginning to consider situations that handlers might confront in real-world environments will be addressed, including practice of blind hides.
Searching for Odor (Phase 3):
In Phase 3, in general, the dogs will learn to conduct their searches just searching for the odor. They will be searching and targeting on the odor in interior and exterior. They may also begin vehicle searches if they have accelerated to that point in training.
**Some dogs may rapidly excel at nose work and do even more advanced searches in the sessions and some dogs may need more sessions to complete the curriculum. Nose Work is all positive and training is conducted at your dog's learning pace for optimum results and to ensure the dog is conducting thorough and accurate searches.