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Mercy had her first Nose Work class last Saturday and she just loved it! I really think we're going to have a lot of fun with this :)

The instructor suggested that we use liverwurst as bait, since it is good and smelly. Unfortunately, Sunday morning, she had a really loose stool and the liverwurst is the ony thing that had been recently added to her diet. Are there any Nose Work people around who can sugest an alternative bait we can try?
 

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I use toy rewards for detection, but starting young pups I use the food rolls from (I think) natures balance. You can get them at petco or petsmart, in large or small rolls, slice them up, freeze or refrigerator. They make chicken, beef, and lamb, turkey too I believe.
 

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Mercy had her first Nose Work class last Saturday and she just loved it! I really think we're going to have a lot of fun with this :)

The instructor suggested that we use liverwurst as bait, since it is good and smelly. Unfortunately, Sunday morning, she had a really loose stool and the liverwurst is the ony thing that had been recently added to her diet. Are there any Nose Work people around who can sugest an alternative bait we can try?
We use small pieces of hot dogs (cooked and partially frozen). That's the same training treat that we already use for tracking, so it was pretty certain there wouldn't be an adverse reaction.

Dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell, so they can pick up a very subtle scent. When a dog first picks up picks up a scent, it's going to be just a few molecules that you can't come close to detecting.

If you are into cooking your own, there are many recipes for soft dog treats on the web. Just make sure they are relatively SOFT treats that your dog can pick up and scarf down quickly. In nosework, you want the dog to absoluely associate finding the scented object with the reward and not have to think about chewing or anything else.
 

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I use toy rewards for detection, but starting young pups I use the food rolls from (I think) natures balance. You can get them at petco or petsmart, in large or small rolls, slice them up, freeze or refrigerator. They make chicken, beef, and lamb, turkey too I believe.
If it's a K9 Nosework class they are going to want to use food, not toys. I use string cheese for Rikki
 

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If it's a K9 Nosework class they are going to want to use food, not toys. I use string cheese for Rikki
This is generally the case for the vast majority of dogs.

However, I know of at least one case in Canine Nosework training (not military or police) where a dog that had very little food motivation was rewarded by playing with a special toy.

And of course, military and police detection dogs are essentially always given a play reward for a successful detection.

So I would not say it couldn't be done for Canine Nosework. It is just very rarely done.
 

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When I had to train my dogs for scent detection for an assessment, I trained them to detect the target odour (chamomile in our case) and then used their regular food rewards when they got it right.

Not sure why so many people start the dog out detecting food, and then switch them onto the target odour. Seems easier to skip that step and get them onto the target odour from the start.

I know people who train dogs for scent detection, and have done so for 30 years and travelled all over the world to do it, and they use toys for rewards. Generally you use food for a passive indication (sit at target odour) and a toy for active indication (scratching etc).
 

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Do a search for "salmon treat recipe". Nothing stinkier. Every dog in my nosework class has figured out that the best treats come from my treat pouch, not their owners.
 

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When I had to train my dogs for scent detection for an assessment, I trained them to detect the target odour (chamomile in our case) and then used their regular food rewards when they got it right.

Not sure why so many people start the dog out detecting food, and then switch them onto the target odour. Seems easier to skip that step and get them onto the target odour from the start.

I know people who train dogs for scent detection, and have done so for 30 years and travelled all over the world to do it, and they use toys for rewards. Generally you use food for a passive indication (sit at target odour) and a toy for active indication (scratching etc).
I always wondered the same. Seems so much easier to just teach the dog to find what he is looking for to begin with.
 

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If it's a K9 Nosework class they are going to want to use food, not toys. I use string cheese for Rikki
hence the reference to the "puppy crack" rolls of food. String cheese is good too, also easy on most stomachs if you have sensitive dogs.
So what do they do with tug/toy drive dogs? All the detection dogs I have worked with would way rather work for play rewards than food
 

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I always wondered the same. Seems so much easier to just teach the dog to find what he is looking for to begin with.
In general, no it isn't. That's pretty much the view of all the trainers going back to the originators of competition nose work - who by the way are still very much active in the sport and you can contact them if you want to.

Old-school trainers loathed any kind of food rewards - not with any real theory behind it, just on 'principle'. But we don't feel that way anymore.

In K9 detection work, there are good reasons - mostly legal ones - why you don't want to use use a food reward. But those reasons have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the approach.

In competition nose work training, you start working with food alone for two reasons: (1) to familiarize the dog with the concept of a container search (which is the first search taught and which many dogs have never encountered); and (2) to determine if the dog is highly food motivated. As far as (1) is concerned, we do see that a lot of beginner dogs have no clue what they are supposed to do when presented with the array of boxes. They play with the boxes, pick them up at random and carry them back to the handler, pick them up and try to run around the room with them - all kinds of undesired behaviors. We don't use any commands and very little guidance of any kind when training (except for a 'starting' command), so it's important for the dogs to figure out on their own to smell out the special box and "indicate' on it with as little intervention from the handler as possible. The find also has to be as self-rewarding as possible - especially so at the beginning level. If there is no food in the box, how can you do that? Very difficult and using food makes it so much easier.

Once the dog learns what it means to do a container/box search, you very quickly move to pairing the food with the hide and then to the hide by itself. Once the dogs learns the container search, the other searches come fairly easily. I can tell you from experience that the dogs do NOT develop a food dependency and quickly pick up the idea of what they are doing.
 

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Do a search for "salmon treat recipe". Nothing stinkier. Every dog in my nosework class has figured out that the best treats come from my treat pouch, not their owners.
I've made these for her. She loves them, but they give her an upset tummy too. :-(
 

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In general, no it isn't. That's pretty much the view of all the trainers going back to the originators of competition nose work - who by the way are still very much active in the sport and you can contact them if you want to.

Old-school trainers loathed any kind of food rewards - not with any real theory behind it, just on 'principle'. But we don't feel that way anymore.

In K9 detection work, there are good reasons - mostly legal ones - why you don't want to use use a food reward. But those reasons have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the approach.

In competition nose work training, you start working with food alone for two reasons: (1) to familiarize the dog with the concept of a container search (which is the first search taught and which many dogs have never encountered); and (2) to determine if the dog is highly food motivated. As far as (1) is concerned, we do see that a lot of beginner dogs have no clue what they are supposed to do when presented with the array of boxes. They play with the boxes, pick them up at random and carry them back to the handler, pick them up and try to run around the room with them - all kinds of undesired behaviors. We don't use any commands and very little guidance of any kind when training (except for a 'starting' command), so it's important for the dogs to figure out on their own to smell out the special box and "indicate' on it with as little intervention from the handler as possible. The find also has to be as self-rewarding as possible - especially so at the beginning level. If there is no food in the box, how can you do that? Very difficult and using food makes it so much easier.

Once the dog learns what it means to do a container/box search, you very quickly move to pairing the food with the hide and then to the hide by itself. Once the dogs learns the container search, the other searches come fairly easily. I can tell you from experence that the dogs do NOT develop a food dependency and quickly pick up the idea of what they are doing.[/QUOTE
How do you train without food in the box, as soon as the dog reaches the scent, you drop the ball, tug with perfect timing. Party, and set up the next problem. Again as soon as he is interested in scent, ball appears.

You can do this with scented balls, tugs, or towels, if starting a very young dog. You can also give a food reward, but it has to come from the handlers, as you sure don't want to search a vehicle and have the dog self reward on an old mcdonalds cheesburger , or scratch to get a cooler of ham lol.

Same with cadaver, you can't have the dog pick up the bones, or chew on anything.

Or last certification test, the rubble pile had a distraction of ground beef or turkey. The dogs had to walk over that to find the buried human remains.
Or the recent search, a collapsed pizzeria. Lots of food distractions in there.

So in nosework classes, will the dogs leave a distraction, say, a pack of hot dogs, or is that tested?
]
 

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hence the reference to the "puppy crack" rolls of food. String cheese is good too, also easy on most stomachs if you have sensitive dogs.
So what do they do with tug/toy drive dogs? All the detection dogs I have worked with would way rather work for play rewards than food
"K9 Nosework(r)" is basically a detection "game" rather than Real life. I get a lot of the "how they want it trained" from one of my instructors who is jumping through all their hoops to get certifiedand been to several workshops and worked several tests. Since the sport is just reaching our area, she has to travel a lot to do this.. Something to realize is that these are mostly "pet" dogs, not detection dogs. And not Malinios or other high energy working dogs. Many do not tug or play with toys in a specific way. Many don't even know how to be motivated (nor do their owners). They have to learn to stick with a task and be excited by it. For most (not all) food will be a more direct motivator than toys. The dogs learn to stick with the task and be excited by it by working for a primary reinforcer (food), then pairing it with an essential oil (which I suspect is reallty over-kill as the oil is so strong) then rewarding with food for the find of scent alone. Rikki is still at the "pairing" stage, but a few of our people who were able to travel to Colorado already have passed their Odor Recognition test. (Which is required to trial)
 

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"K9 Nosework(r)" is basically a detection "game" rather than Real life. I get a lot of the "how they want it trained" from one of my instructors who is jumping through all their hoops to get certifiedand been to several workshops and worked several tests. Since the sport is just reaching our area, she has to travel a lot to do this.. Something to realize is that these are mostly "pet" dogs, not detection dogs. And not Malinios or other high energy working dogs. Many do not tug or play with toys in a specific way. Many don't even know how to be motivated (nor do their owners). They have to learn to stick with a task and be excited by it. For most (not all) food will be a more direct motivator than toys. The dogs learn to stick with the task and be excited by it by working for a primary reinforcer (food), then pairing it with an essential oil (which I suspect is reallty over-kill as the oil is so strong) then rewarding with food for the find of scent alone. Rikki is still at the "pairing" stage, but a few of our people who were able to travel to Colorado already have passed their Odor Recognition test. (Which is required to trial)
Thank you for explaining. I can see now how that would be easier to start with food, as most love it. Without the high hunt drive, it would be difficult to really motivate them.
So they aren't concerned on proofing off of food I would guess.

This seems really great, and an awesome way to work and train the dogs . I really wish we had options closer to me, I would love to get involved. From what I read, its basically the same as detection training with just a few differences.
 

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"K9 Nosework(r)" is basically a detection "game" rather than Real life. I get a lot of the "how they want it trained" from one of my instructors who is jumping through all their hoops to get certifiedand been to several workshops and worked several tests. Since the sport is just reaching our area, she has to travel a lot to do this.. Something to realize is that these are mostly "pet" dogs, not detection dogs. And not Malinios or other high energy working dogs. Many do not tug or play with toys in a specific way. Many don't even know how to be motivated (nor do their owners). They have to learn to stick with a task and be excited by it. For most (not all) food will be a more direct motivator than toys. The dogs learn to stick with the task and be excited by it by working for a primary reinforcer (food), then pairing it with an essential oil (which I suspect is reallty over-kill as the oil is so strong) then rewarding with food for the find of scent alone. Rikki is still at the "pairing" stage, but a few of our people who were able to travel to Colorado already have passed their Odor Recognition test. (Which is required to trial)
Thanks for explaining it so much better than I did.
 

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omg, i know what you mean about jumping through hoops to get the certification. i just got my paperwork of all the things i need to do for my certification.... WHOA.... need less to say i wont be certified for a while lol.
 

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"K9 Nosework(r)" is basically a detection "game" rather than Real life. I get a lot of the "how they want it trained" from one of my instructors who is jumping through all their hoops to get certifiedand been to several workshops and worked several tests. Since the sport is just reaching our area, she has to travel a lot to do this.. Something to realize is that these are mostly "pet" dogs, not detection dogs. And not Malinios or other high energy working dogs. Many do not tug or play with toys in a specific way. Many don't even know how to be motivated (nor do their owners). They have to learn to stick with a task and be excited by it. For most (not all) food will be a more direct motivator than toys. The dogs learn to stick with the task and be excited by it by working for a primary reinforcer (food), then pairing it with an essential oil (which I suspect is reallty over-kill as the oil is so strong) then rewarding with food for the find of scent alone. Rikki is still at the "pairing" stage, but a few of our people who were able to travel to Colorado already have passed their Odor Recognition test. (Which is required to trial)
I went to a Nosework 1 trial a couple of months ago, just to help out and learn. I saw some "pet" dogs, but also plenty of high-drive working dogs. And one Mal. Most of their owners seemed to understand basic the principles of dog training (such as how to motivate a dog and when to reward). However, the sport originated on the West Coast (where I am), so most of the people I see at a trial are taking classes from certified instructors, same as me. Many of them probably haven't done too much with their dogs besides nosework.

There's an ORT here in July, and even though I'm 100% sure we'd pass, I'm thinking I'll skip it. I'm just not that excited about trialing in this sport. Unlike agility, I can do nosework on my own without needing to jump through their hoops and pay ridiculous sums of money. For the same reason, I'm unsure whether I'll continue with classes when they start up again (Fall). But Kit and I really enjoy doing it on our own and I'll definitely keep that up.
 
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