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Old 01-04-2013, 12:48 PM
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Default Scentwork people- when to focus and when to search?

Yesterday we went to agility and it was freezing so we ended up inside working on foundations and weaves. I really wish we had a full indoor setup instead of a small room... And we ended up not getting the heater to work anyways so it was still just barely above freezing.

Anyways, this room is where we've been doing our indoor nosework. The last few weeks we've been doing outdoor searches but our container searches and room searches have been in this room. I get in the room and she starts clearing her nose and getting excited whining. I know she's anticipating to get to go search the room. So we get ready to go do the weaves and I let Mia off her leash and she bolts and starts canvassing the room. She's searching all the agility equipment, all the kennels, the walls, etc for the scent. She is very very good at it and very driven for it unlike any other sport we've tried. It's surprised me a lot. I wish she was bigger honestly, I think she would be an awesome dog to really work behind.

Anyways, once I got ahold of her and set her up and pretty much baby stepped her through the weaves it was like her brain went off and she realized 'oh, we're playing THIS game, not that game.'

So anyone who does scentwork, how well do you get the dogs to differentiate between 'we're going to search' and then 'pay attention to me, we're doing something else'? They say nosework is an obedience free zone and we do have a search word.

I think the real issue was it just being the same room she's used to searching.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:54 PM
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I'll be curious to see responses on this - someone I know told me a bunch of people at the local club have been training their dogs to do nosework and it has ruined their agility work because the dogs are constantly sniffing now. BUT many people at the local club never really had phenomenal agility skills anyway, so I think it's more a comment on their abilities as trainers than one game ruining the other...

One idea that comes to mind is different gear to indicate to the dog when you're playing which game. This was suggested to me for Payton, buy a particular "conformation" collar and leash which is clearly different than anything else he wears so he knows when that collar and leash come out we are playing confo versus doing agility or anything else. I have yet to try it though (LOL show dog not trained to show yet LOL.)
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:58 PM
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So far I haven't noticed any issues when we've been doing agility outdoors, even though we've been doing outdoor searches. It's really just been this one time and once she realized 'oh... it's agility time' she stopped trying to search. The bad thing is that at a trial or somewhere the dog is going to have to know from the get go which game they're playing that day.

We do have a search word but on nosework days she's raring to go, trying to start searching well before we get to the threshold. I'm not sure she even pays attention to it.

The other dogs in my class don't do agility at all so my sample size is just one. Not very helpful.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:59 PM
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I wonder if I could get her a harness or something just for nosework. That sounds like a potentially good idea.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:41 PM
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I'd use a cue before you enter the building, one means agility, (wanna run, wanna run) and one means scent work (find it, find it) Do it enough, and she knows what's coming before you hit the door.

We do bite work, scent work and OB in a building all the time. They know what's going on soon enough. Just takes a bit of work and the clarity is there
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
I'd use a cue before you enter the building, one means agility, (wanna run, wanna run) and one means scent work (find it, find it) Do it enough, and she knows what's coming before you hit the door.

We do bite work, scent work and OB in a building all the time. They know what's going on soon enough. Just takes a bit of work and the clarity is there
I agree with this.

Backup has always had trouble differentiating tracking and OB on grass, everywhere else he can do it but Sloan seems to transition pretty well.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:27 PM
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We do Rally in the same building that our Nosework classes are in. The only time I had a problem was after our first Nosework class. Once Caleb realized we weren't there to do Nosework, he was fine (although, one night he kept alerting on one of the windows while I was cleaning up). Not sure if this has anything to do with it, or not, but I do tell Caleb if we're going to Nosework or Rally at some point during the day of class, too. It's more of a conversation thing, tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I wonder if I could get her a harness or something just for nosework. That sounds like a potentially good idea.
That was going to be my suggestion. For awhile I was using the same harness for Nosework and hiking, and that wasn't an issue. The reason I got a seperate harness for Nosework was because I was afraid I'd forget to put it back in the Noseworkbag after our hikes, or forget to put it in the hiking bag before one (we have seperate bags for Nosework, Obedience and hiking).
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:36 PM
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Thanks guys. I've been trying to differentiate between 'wanna do agility?' and 'nosework'. She knows agility although I think maybe agility just means go to the training place to her.

It may be that we ended up doing nosework there Weds night and then agility there Thurs night. We usually have a night off in between the two.

I'm sure she'll get it given enough time.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:51 PM
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We've used different equipment from day one here - I think it's really helped, though Aeri, Snipe, and I are still very much newbs and haven't gotten the behavior as ingrained as you have. Ramsey also has a very specific way he starts each session that cues his dogs.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:02 PM
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Same here, use a different collar. Just before the dogs are told to search/seek, the collar is snapped on. The click of the collar with an immediate release to start searching. We do both agility, obedience and nosework in the same building and so far no problems.
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