I took Liam to a Noseworks seminar yesterday in Hudson MA. I had a little understanding of what noseworks was going in. But had no idea how cool it was going to be to watch dogs work at something that is so natural and intrinsically motivating that actually keeps them mentally challenged with little expense and training!
Each dog started in the ring with a spot of food hiding in a box. The box was then put among a bunch of other boxes. The idea is that the handler shuts up, and lets the dog work to find the food. Once they find the food the handler rewards like crazy. They increased the difficulty of the 'course' by adding more novel items and removing boxes.
Each time we went in the ring Liam would get more and more excited. Watching him work a course was like watching a fish in water. That long beautiful nose of his finally found its calling! The other nice thing I liked about this sport is that I can easily transfer what I have learned to the shelter as part of the enrichment program.
I am really determined to hit the obedience ring this year with Gimli. We joined our pals in Rally last week and I forgot how much I love the structure of a class. I got some great tips on how to keep him engaged in heeling (our biggest challenge), so we were able to work on our new lessons today in between my puppy and family dog class.
Owen continues to fascinate, humor and sometime frustrate me. Puppies are hoot!