MOVING TO USING SCENT – BEGINNERS SCENTWORK Our next move is to introduce your dog to finding a scent. But first we must create some scented cloths. We use cloves, just like you use to cook with. First cut an old sock - see photo Then get a clean glass jar and add about 12 cloves in together with same number of pieces of sock. Give it a shake and seal. Leave in the sunshine for at least 24 hours.
LESSON ONE Today we start to introduce scent to our dogs. Get your boxes you used last week for finding the ham Lay out two or three and put a piece of scented sock into the flap of one. Make sure your dog can see it but not get to it. Firstly send your dog over to the boxes saying FIND IT Curiosity should attract them to see what that strange thing is. As soon as they sniff at it, get in there and reward by giving your dog a jackpot treat from your hand. Take your dog away and then send them in again for a second go, reward again when they get it and repeat a third time. Make sure you reward them as soon as they sniff at the box where the scent is. You probably will have to be right by their side but be careful not to have the treat in your hand or they will take the shortcut and go straight to your hand. Help them work it out for themselves. Now we are going to try and get them to find it on a chair or table leg. (See photo) Tie a piece of scented sock onto the leg of the chair and then tell the dog to FIND IT As soon as they sniff at it, say yes and use your great to lure your dog away toward your hand. Reward Repeat this twice more before adding a second chair and do it again three times. That’s it for today. Reward your dog with a few treats thrown onto the floor or on the patio for free. See you tomorrow for the next stage. Oh, you will need your luggage tomorrow.
LESSON TWO For the next part of the learning, we reintroduce our dog to searching boxes and luggage. Arrange a selection of these – at least 3 boxes and pieces of luggage across the floor in a random pattern. This time put a scented piece of sock on to a piece of luggage – if you have a handle, tie it to that or if you have a pocket, you might be able to tuck it in the zip with just a piece showing. As before, send your dog in to search the article. Make sure you say FIND IT As soon as your do sniffs the article, you should reward your dog with the treat in your hand. If your dog has the idea, try luring them away and reward a little way away. Do this three times Now do you remember the AIRPORT LINEUP? We lined the luggage and the boxes along a wall, or if you are in the kitchen, you might like to line up around the kitchen cupboards. Do this with the same boxes and luggage you just used. Keep to the same item with the scent, but this time keep moving it around the line. Do this three times, moving the scented article to a different place each time. Put everything away – BE SURE TO REMOVE THE SCENT FROM THE LUGGAGE. Now tie the scent to a chair and put together with another chair and a table. If you have 4 chairs altogether, use that. Send your dog into search – Remember to tell them FIND IT. Do this at least three times and reward after each find. Try and resist the urge to show your dog where it is. Let them search using their noses – it is the searching that helps your dog to relax. After each search, move the chair to a different position and then send your dog in to look for it. If your dog is getting really quick, then try doing it without them watching. Before you finish, remove the scent and clean the area with a kitchen cleaner. Finish off with a jackpot search of a few treats on the grass/patio or kitchen floor. Tomorrow we go outdoors!
LESSON THREE Ready? Without your dog watching, put some articles out on the patio/lawn – at least 12 – 15 items. Choose one item as your article to scent. Tie the cloth to the article, so that your dog cannot grab it and run off with it or even worse, swallow it. Get your dog and send them in to search – if they are getting good, then hide the cloth a bit. If they are struggling, make it obvious. As soon as they sniff at it, reward with treat from your hand and tell them YES. If you have a clicker, you may like to start using this to mark the fact that your dog has found what you want. Put your dog out of sight, and move the article. Now repeat again with your dog Do this once more! Now you need to move all the articles. If you have used the patio and you have some grass – use that. If you have already used the grass, maybe the decking or the pathway. Make up some different patterns and each time you use the same article but put it in different places. Do everything three times and have fun. You have almost got your search dog! Finish by cleaning up the article with a kitchen cleaner. Throw away the scented cloth – in a bin your dog cannot get to. Reward your dog with a jackpot sprinkled on an area they haven’t searched.
LESSON FOUR Today you are going to get your dog to search for a scented cloth tied to something in your garden. Be imaginative – use your furniture, flower pots, wheelbarrow, fencing. Decide what you are going to do and set it up before your dog comes into the garden. Send them into FIND IT. Do this three times.
Now thinking about how a search dog should work: A search dog is used as a tool and will be sent into an area to make sure it is clear and clean before the handler can enter the area. So, we are going to start teaching our dog to work a bit on their own. Set up your boxes and luggage in your indoor area. Carefully hide your scented cloth in one item. Get your dog and then send them in to search making sure you say FIND IT. Stand back and watch – video it if you like so you can watch later. As soon as your dog identifies your item that you scented, mark this with YES or click and then call your dog to you for their reward. (You may need a big reward for this, for the first few times) Repeat three times and enjoy. Clean thoroughly and put everything away. Jackpot your dog by throwing some treats out on the garden for your dog.