Nose Work Puppy

I injured my hand a few days ago. It’s not easy for me to walk the dogs because of my stiff fingers and a swollen hand.  Today, to tire them out, I decided I’d do some nose work with each.

About a week & a half ago, I’d introduced Toka to anise.  We were playing ‘it’s your choice,’ where I’d present Toka with a tin containing anise scented Q-tips in one hand while the other hand contained cookies.  If he went for the cookies, that hand snapped shut.  If he moved towards the tin, he got cookies.

He’s played this game before, when I introduced birch odor to him, so he instantly understood ‘Go to the tin!’  We played this for 2 or 3 minutes each day for 4 or 5 days, and then I hurt my hand.  He hadn’t done any nose work (searching for birch OR for anise) since then.

Toka was snoozing by the door, so I set Kiyo on her search, and she easily found the tin, tucked into the front corner of a bureau drawer that I had cracked open.  I moved her out of the search area, thinking to place another hide in another spot.

When I walked back into the room, I found that Toka had entered the room by the other door, and was clearly ‘in odor.’  He searched intently, and then found the tin!  He took a quick look at me, then planted his nose at the tin.  “I FOUND IT! Where’s my cookie?!?”

So proud of His Redness – I didn’t think he knew the odor, or even dreamed that he’d be able to find a hide at that level of complexity for a baby beginner.  His ‘searches’ to date have been very, very simple ones (he’s been at this level:  He moves his head and oh! look!  A tin with birch scented Q-tips!’  How clever! Lots of rewards).

Looks like I have a nose work dog.



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