Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Nose For Competition


So yep, he made mom proud! What's an ORT you ask? It stands for Odor Recognition Test and all dogs have to pass them before they are eligible to trial for K9 Nose Work. It's all very exciting business you know :).

We are waiting to enter the ORT location for our turn!
Bourbon is sporting his red bandana which alerts the world
that he is dog reactive and needs space (as per the K9 Nose Work Rules)!

See it's official - it's in the score book!!

In my Nose Work post last week I covered moving outside of boxes once your dog understands the game and incorporating the surrounding environments. We spent a lot of time on that stage, as we thought it was the most fun! But eventually we moved forward to adding the target odors into our game plan. Nose Work trials cover three essential oil scents - birch, anise, and clove. So far we have only worked with birch and anise.

The odors and carrying case I got from the official Nose Work store.

Different tins I use for 'hiding' the odor. Also ordered from the Nose Work store.

When I started introducing a target odor, I went back to the box basics, pairing Birch Oil (our first target odor) with the dog's reward (food in our case). Going back to boxes is also helpful because boxes are used in ORTs! In an ORT, twelve identical boxes are lined up in two rows of six with one box containing the target scent. The dog has three minutes to locate the target box and have the handler call alert.

I put together a Mock Odor Recognition Test using Birch Oil for the target scent so that you could 'see' what it is like. Although, please note my boxes are not identical (because I just use whatever I can find instead of ordering specific boxes). So you'll have to imagine the identical box part, LOL.

After passing the ORT, a dog is eligible to compete in a Nose Work Trial, beginning at level NW1. NW1 is the entry level for K9NW and is where every dog starts competition. This level only covers the birch scent and each level after adds a scent (so NW2 covers birch and anise, and NW3 covers birch, anise and clove). Maybe this fall we will be ready for NW1!! :)

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