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I haven't taken online classes, but we started NW about two years ago taking two six (eight?)-week classes with an instructor working on NACSW certification. Those were all food-only searches and he gained tons of confidence. We took a break from all classes and started back up last summer. So none of this is really new to him.

We've done fast, easy, fun searches both in class and at home. I think the instructor really wants to expose us to a variety of things that we could encounter (and maybe some things we won't) so that the dogs are comfortable searching in different locations with different set ups. She also wants us to know what our dogs look like when they've found odor and are following it to the source.

Tyson is eager to work; to me he seems very serious about it. I have no idea if he's high drive. Today was the first time in quite a while that I've noticed his being nervous. But, we did have the neighbors' dog barking at us as we left, he watched the puppy class on break while I unloaded the car, and then the dogs in class were usually barky and whiny. I've also been trying to let him watch the other dogs in class to - I hope - increase his comfort level around them.

I would say that he's more frantic at class than normal, but he has the same sort of enthusiasm for NW at home -he's just not pulling me along behind him.

Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate your perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
You are doing awesome! I had it in my head that you were in an entry class and that was just a big misunderstanding on my part.

I wish your class was in my neck of the woods. I'd be in there playing too!
 

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Class this morning and we did ok: first search (interior set up like a classroom, three paired hides) was great, second search (single semi-paired hide hanging from the ceiling) was good, third search (unpaired ORT-like set up) was ok.

I think I've figured out the method to what seemed like handling madness. I know what I did wrong with the third search and think I know how to fix it, so that's positive.

Tyson watched most of the dogs; I only covered his crate when the dog right next to us was out and nearby. There was one woof when there was a dog a foot or so away from the crate, but otherwise he was good. He's learning odor and how to be around other dogs. :)
 

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I am doing an ORT (birch only) in a couple of weeks. Magic has been spot on with practice runs, but I'm afraid he's going to be distracted and I'm going to be nervous and miss any indication he gives me. We're signed up for a workshop in May for tracking, nosework, and barn hunt, so at least I figure it will show me where we are when we go into the workshop. It's not something I thought I would get into much, but I really like it.
 

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I am doing an ORT (birch only) in a couple of weeks. Magic has been spot on with practice runs, but I'm afraid he's going to be distracted and I'm going to be nervous and miss any indication he gives me. We're signed up for a workshop in May for tracking, nosework, and barn hunt, so at least I figure it will show me where we are when we go into the workshop. It's not something I thought I would get into much, but I really like it.
Me too! Lancer's ORT is on February 19th :D Also just for birch LOL. I'm not planning on continuing with him after a NW1, but I just want to make something out of it now that we've already put in the effort for birch. Good luck to you! I'm also afraid of being nervous and maybe affecting his game because of it.

That's awesome that you guys are starting tracking and barn hunt. I wish there were actually trainers for that where I live.
 

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Yikes, the new nose work trainer we tried out with had very different training methods/ideologies than my last trainer LOL. My guts tell me to trust our last trainer though, since she actually trains detection dogs (both narcotics and bed bug detection) and does search and rescue. This new trainer has only done the sport of nose work. Argh

Why will you quit after NW1?
Sorry I just saw this! Just a few reasons mixed together haha. Main reason is that Lancer is not really "my dog", because he's also my dad's dog and likes spending time with my dad more than with me LOL. :p So my heart isn't as into him as I would be for my next puppy I'm getting in hopefully just 5 months, which would be living only with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Yikes, the new nose work trainer we tried out with had very different training methods/ideologies than my last trainer LOL. My guts tell me to trust our last trainer though, since she actually trains detection dogs (both narcotics and bed bug detection) and does search and rescue. This new trainer has only done the sport of nose work. Argh
Personally, if I had to pick between and instructor who was actively competing in the game of nosework or one who was doing narcotics/real-life work, I would train with the sports instructor. Just me.

How were they different?
 

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Personally, if I had to pick between and instructor who was actively competing in the game of nosework or one who was doing narcotics/real-life work, I would train with the sports instructor. Just me.

How were they different?
I failed to mention, the first trainer is a NACSW trial judge and certified instructor of course, so it's not that she only does real-life work! She does both.

Main thing that got me was the 2nd trainer wasn't firm about rewarding at source, which is very important based on what I learned. Another aussie in the class found the source, and then ran back to her owner to get the reward LOL. Among a couple other things like just wasn't sensitive about the importance of timing of a toy reward, which is what I'm using with Lancer. She also was apparently unfamiliar with using a ball reward, because she was coming up with how to do it on the spot, I could tell.
 

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I failed to mention, the first trainer is a NACSW trial judge and certified instructor of course, so it's not that she only does real-life work! She does both.

Main thing that got me was the 2nd trainer wasn't firm about rewarding at source, which is very important based on what I learned. Another aussie in the class found the source, and then ran back to her owner to get the reward LOL. Among a couple other things like not very sensitive about the timing of a toy reward, which is also really important based on what I learned.
Wow, that's really interesting! I've also thought (even before taking the FDSA class) that rewarding at the source was pretty crucial in having the dog stay at the source. I am very curious to hear why this instructor would have the dog take the reward from the owner. From a 'normal training' perspective I think a dog can still learn how to do nosework and FIND odors. But how useful is running-to-owner as an indication?

Is the instructor encouraging owners to do this, or is she just not being picky about where the dog is rewarded?
 

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Wow, that's really interesting! I've also thought (even before taking the FDSA class) that rewarding at the source was pretty crucial in having the dog stay at the source. I am very curious to hear why this instructor would have the dog take the reward from the owner. From a 'normal training' perspective I think a dog can still learn how to do nosework and FIND odors. But how useful is running-to-owner as an indication?

Is the instructor encouraging owners to do this, or is she just not being picky about where the dog is rewarded?
She eventually corrected, but just not picky. From everything I learned though, rewarding at source is super crucial, at least in the beginning stages of learning any kind of scent work.

"But how useful is running-to-owner as an indication?" The reason is that it creates a situation where the dog will smell the source itself and "know" where it is, but run away from it before the handler knows exactly where it is, especially if the handler missed any tiny indication LOL. It also can eventually teach the dog to alert on just trailing/residual scent, but not where the scent is strongest.
 

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"But how useful is running-to-owner as an indication?" The reason is that it creates a situation where the dog will smell the source itself and "know" where it is, but run away from it before the handler knows exactly where it is, especially if the handler missed any tiny indication LOL. It also can eventually teach the dog to alert on just trailing/residual scent, but not where the scent is strongest.
That's... Not as useful, right? Maybe I'm missing something here :D I'd much rather my dog stay at the source and develop a strong indication where the odor is strongest.
 

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That's... Not as useful, right? Maybe I'm missing something here :D I'd much rather my dog stay at the source and develop a strong indication where the odor is strongest.
Yeah not very useful at all haha! Sorry I didn't mention that LOL

I'm kind of laughing, thinking back, because it must have been super obvious that I was judging the 2nd trainer the entire session pfffbht T__T
 

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I had Michaela in a beginning Nosework class (just finding food in boxes and other items) and she did really well. Unfortunately, this was an adult education course attached to a community college and the next level is at an earlier time. I just can't, logistically, get home from work, grab Michaela and get to class in time. There's nobody else within driving distance doing nosework classes either. I'd like to see if Michaela would do the scents. Do you all think it would be possible to do this at home? I don't really care about competing with her, I just want her to have something to do that she likes.
 

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It is absolutely possible to do at home! My dog has never seen a competition ring or a nosework class, and he has a solid understanding of this game. You can get all the supplies yourself, too. I would recommend taking Denise Fenzi's NW1 course if you need a starting point.
 

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LANCER GOT HIS BIRCH ORT IN 13 SECONDS, YAS YAS YAS. Dang smart good joyous dog who just wants a ball.

And then I come home and check and there aren't any NW1 trials local-ish to me for the rest of the year for now. :clap2: LOL. But there's an L1 Interiors and Exteriors trial in 2 months, so I think we're just gonna do that. JUST DOIN IT.

I had Michaela in a beginning Nosework class (just finding food in boxes and other items) and she did really well. Unfortunately, this was an adult education course attached to a community college and the next level is at an earlier time. I just can't, logistically, get home from work, grab Michaela and get to class in time. There's nobody else within driving distance doing nosework classes either. I'd like to see if Michaela would do the scents. Do you all think it would be possible to do this at home? I don't really care about competing with her, I just want her to have something to do that she likes.
Definitely! I've also heard good things about Fenzi online courses.
 

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I had Michaela in a beginning Nosework class (just finding food in boxes and other items) and she did really well. Unfortunately, this was an adult education course attached to a community college and the next level is at an earlier time. I just can't, logistically, get home from work, grab Michaela and get to class in time. There's nobody else within driving distance doing nosework classes either. I'd like to see if Michaela would do the scents. Do you all think it would be possible to do this at home? I don't really care about competing with her, I just want her to have something to do that she likes.
Yes, you absolutely can train on your own. We learned the way it sounds like you started: search various locations and items for food, start pairing the food with odor, and then just use odor. I've heard good things about the Fenzi course, but I think the method is a little different.

LANCER GOT HIS BIRCH ORT IN 13 SECONDS, YAS YAS YAS. Dang smart good joyous dog who just wants a ball.

And then I come home and check and there aren't any NW1 trials local-ish to me for the rest of the year for now. :clap2: LOL. But there's an L1 Interiors and Exteriors trial in 2 months, so I think we're just gonna do that. JUST DOIN IT.
Congratulations!
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Congratulations! That's great!

And I have never taken an in-person nosework class in my life. I trial with 3 dogs and they're all holding their own.
 

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Yes, you absolutely can train on your own. We learned the way it sounds like you started: search various locations and items for food, start pairing the food with odor, and then just use odor. I've heard good things about the Fenzi course, but I think the method is a little different.



Congratulations!
Congratulations! That's great!

And I have never taken an in-person nosework class in my life. I trial with 3 dogs and they're all holding their own.

Thanks guys!! Also trainingjunkie, that's awesome. For me, I had to take at least a few, because I learned ton of training know-how just to begin with. For example, I wouldn't have known the important of rewarding at source/how to teach the dog to stay at source (especially since I started using a ball reward), and nothing about scent theory either unless I knew to google it.
 
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