Tag Archives: Barb

Nose Work 1 Trial

After so much training for nose work, I knew I was ready for the big nose work 1 (NW1) trial yesterday.  Mom had some questions about my work with containers, but that was silly because I have my super sniffer.

Yesterday after Mom fed me, she made me get into the jail in her car so we could head up to Citrus Heights for the NW1 trial.  When we got to the trial site, it was a church and Catholic school.  Mom got a great parking spot with some chickens on the other side of the fence.  It was cool and foggy which is the perfect weather compromise (I prefer snow, and Mom prefers cool but sunny).

Mom got me out to stretch my legs, and she was watching me sniff.  I was thinking I had found the perfect place to post something, but Mom told me I wasn’t allowed to post or send pee-mail on a  cross.  She said that was disrespectful, so I didn’t post there.

After what seemed like forever, I got to go check out the exterior search.  It was super easy.  I crossed the line, sniffed the bench, and within 15 seconds, I had showed Mom where they hid the odor.  That was easy peasy!  Next we went to check the vehicles.  There were three of them, and Mom said the wind was swirling which meant the odor could be confusing and harder to source.  I checked the first car, and there was nothing.  I went to the second car, and I could definitely smell the odor, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it, so I took Mom to the third car.  I went to the farthest side, and it wasn’t there, so I went to the side closest the the middle car, and sure enough, it was there, so Mom called it, and we were 2/2.  It took me a little over a minute to find it, but we had three minutes, so I was speedy enough.

We waited around for a L-O-N-G time before it was time for me to go sniff again.  My next search was in a classroom.  I love classrooms. They always smell like food.  I hate for Mom to get too confident, and I knew the classroom would be something I could do off-leash, so as soon as I started, I sauntered in, then ran across the room to the *opposite* side from the odor and then decided I should check out a basket with stuff in it.  I could tell Mom thought that maybe I was working on some odor, and I didn’t think she’d call it, but just in case, I decided I should move along to the actual odor.  I went back near where I started and showed Mom, and in under 90 seconds, we were 3/3.

Last were the containers that Mom hates.  There were three rows of them!  We went in, and I didn’t want Mom to be stressed, so I went up and a row, then skipped a row and went to the third row and showed Mom.  That took 24 seconds, and we had done it!  We were 4/4 which meant I got my NW1 title.  I did all four searches in a total of three minutes.  That’s pretty fast!

Mom was really excited, and I was, too, because I knew that meant I could keep using my super sniffer and getting to compete and now work to get ready for NW2.  She says it will take some time to be ready, but I did get to bring home a big ribbon, and I know my favorite nose work teacher, Barb, was proud of me.  She even posed for pictures with me!

Mom says if it weren’t for Barb, we’d never have been able to get our NW1 title because she’s the one who taught Mom what to do.  I guess that’s true.  I am pretty sure *I* could have gotten the title, but you are required to take a human with you, so Mom did have to learn what to do.  So thank you, Barb, for training my Mom!  I know she’s not as good at this as I am, but I think she’s getting the hang of it.



Sniffing in the Dark

I have a big trial coming up this Saturday.  It’s a Nose Work 1 (NW1) trial, and I have to be on my A-game.  To pass, I’ll have to find the odor hidden on a vehicle, in an interior room, in an exterior space, and in one of many containers.  That is four correct alerts in one day  (one per element).  Obviously I have a super sniffer and am completely capable of doing this, but I still practice.  Honestly, I think it’s so Mom can learn more about all of this stuff.

This past Saturday at my class with the best nose work instructor, my buddy, Barb, I’m not sure what was going on.  She made me wear a glow stick around my neck.  It was purple, and that is my favorite color, so I was okay with that, but it was still strange.  Next we went into a room for me to do a search, and Barb turned off the lights.  What in the world?  Clearly I don’t need to be able to see to use my sniffer, but it was a little disorienting to do that.  Besides, with the lights out, am I still as handsome?  How could Mom know?

I still managed to find the hides in the dark, so clearly I have some mad skills, and I think Mom was supposed to be listening for changes my breathing, but it makes me a little self-conscious to think she’s doing that.  I mean, really, admiring me in the light is normal, but stalking my breathing in the dark is a little like something out of that show “Criminal Minds.”

Still, it was a fun class, and I think Mom is a bit more prepared for the NW1 this weekend because of the fun class.  For the record, I’m not wearing a glow stick ever again.


This Boy is on Fire!


Last night it was time for my nosework class again.  It was SUPER windy.  I mean the kind of wind where my fur was flying off and Mom’s hair was blowing everywhere.  Of course, that means Barb thought we should do searches outside.  I thought that was fantastic!  I love cool, blustery weather.   I like being outside in that weather. It’s a little spooky when the doors or windows rattle.

Anyway, Barb thought she’d be super sneaky and put our new odors (anise and clove) out in the super windy weather.  We were doing blind hides which meant that Mom had no idea where the odor was hidden, and she had to rely on me.  We were running last after my friends Seamus and Abby.  My friend Callum had to stay home because his mom didn’t feel good this week.

Normally, Seamus is the man in nosework.  He just goes from odor to odor and finds things like a speed demon.  Last night, we waited for a few minutes during his search (which we couldn’t see).  Then it was Abby’s turn.  She took several minutes as well.  Then it was my turn.  Mom told me to go find it, so I RAN to the first odor (which was hidden in the dirt).  Yep!  Reward!  Next I RAN to the odor that Barb hid on the hinge of a door. Yep!  Reward!  Then I ran sniffing all that odor in the wind.  Quickly, I turned around and ran to one of the areas near a speed bump.  I sniffed the ground, and Mom called it.  Barb said, it was under a piece of wood, but Mom said, “Nope, no wood, Mozzie found it.”  Reward again!  I did all of those finds in under two minutes.  That was my first run of the evening.

I stayed on my sniffing pace all evening, and Barb declared, “Mozzie was on fire tonight.”  I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself.  I really do LOVE to sniff, so I like that Barb noticed I’m good at it.

Mom says the American Kennel Club (AKC) has added nosework for 2017, so I’m looking forward to more opportunities to get titles in something I love as much as sniffing.  I do have a super sniffer!

I’m resting up today because I know I’m going to get to go work on agility and obedience again tomorrow since Mom has the day off of work.


Loading Dock Sniffing

Yesterday I got to go back to my nosework class.  My friend Barb teaches Mom how to not trip over the leash, and I go find fun smells.  My friend Seamus comes with his dad, Mike, too.  There’s also a little dog in our class named Abby.  She’s cute but what Atlas calls snack size.  Only three of us were there last night, and it wasn’t raining (finally), so we went to a loading dock to practice.  I like field trips, and sniffing outside is extra fun!

My friend Seamus is really good at nosework.  I think he’s an auditor or something because he’s very, very thorough.  He finds all the hidden odors in no time at all.

On our first run last night, there were seven different places to find odor and three different odors (birch, clove, and anise).  Barb is very sneaky about where she hides the odor so that we get to really work.  I like that because it’s a lot like solving a puzzle.  For example, if  I smell something on one side of the fence but I can’t find it, I know it means I need to go to the other side to find it.  Last night the hides were high (above my head), low (on the ground), and in the middle (below my nose, but not on the ground).

I had 17 different hides to find last night.  I found all of them, of course.  Toward the end of the evening, there was a hide near a tree in a divider near the loading dock.  When I got up there, I thought I might need to do some extra sniffing for fun before I got back to looking for the odor.  Luckily, Mom knows me REALLY well because I faked out everyone else.  I was sniffing a tree as a short break, and Barb was thinking I was going to send pee-mail, but Mom told her, nope, that I was on a short break and would get back to work.  I figured I probably should, so then I went straight to the odor.  Barb was surprised, but she shouldn’t have been.  Mom and I can practically read each other’s minds.

I know Mom knew I was having a great time, so she made arrangements with Barb so that I don’t have to miss class when I am super busy with agility in March and April.  It’s good that Mom is looking out for me.  I don’t want to miss the chance to use my super sniffer just because I’m busy defeating the teeter.


Sniff and Go


Today was my first time ever at something called a “Sniff and Go.”  To be honest, I was really excited because it sounded a lot like going on a walk and sniffing to find trees to send pee-mail.  It turns out, that is not what it is.

We got in the car and went to the Competitive Canine Gym where we practice nose work and agility.  We’ve never gone there before 7:00 a.m., but today when we got there, several cars were already there.

Mom went in and came back with a number to tape to the car, so this was definitely not my normal routine.  Mom hung out with me for for about 30 minutes, but then some guy called us to stand in line.  A few  minutes after that, we were walking into a room for me to search to find the odor.  The first room was a bathroom, and I’ve searched there before.  I did some sniffing, and I was really interested in this little trash can in there, but Mom didn’t call alert.  She told me she knew there was something over there, but she wasn’t clear where.  I wasn’t absolutely sure, and it turns out it was in the roll of toilet paper in the dispenser right about the trash.  That was pretty sneaky, but I was close, and I’ll bet I would have found it if I had more than 90 seconds.

The next room was the kitchen.  I went in there, checked it out, and then went right over the one corner of the table underneath it.  Mom called, “alert,” and the judge said, that’s correct, so I got some yummy turkey treats.  That didn’t even take a whole minute even though I had two and a half.

The third room was a classroom.  I wasn’t really sure what was going on in there.  Mom let me search, and she sort of stood in the corner most of the time.  I sniffed one area above my head, and Mom was pretty sure I was telling her that the odor was behind me, but we ran out of time.  As it turns out, Mom had been standing in front of the corner where the odor was hidden most of the time.  Not much I can do if she’s blocking the scent.  Mom needs more training for sure, but I love her anyway.

The fourth room had lots of windows.  I did have to stop and admire myself in the glass, but then Mom reminded me to go sniff.  She figured out I was telling her the odor was on the fan on the floor, so she called “alert,” and then she let me find the specific spot.  More yummy turkey treats for me!

Next we walked around the building to the back where there were three cars lined up.  I saw my buddy Barb, and she told Mom where to line me up.  We started, and I walked by the first two cars and paid some attention to the third one.  Mom wasn’t sure, so she asked me to walk by again on the other side.  It wasn’t interesting at all, so we went back down the first side, and I sniffed, sniffed, sniffed at the wheel well on the back side of the car.  Mom called, “alert,” and the judge said yes, so there were more treats for me!

As we left, Mom told Barb she hoped that we hadn’t embarrassed her.  Making her proud might be a stretch, but at least we didn’t fail to find the odor in all five spots which Mom said was something she feared might happen.

It was a a lot of fun, and I hope to do more of this “sniff and go” stuff as well as something called an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) in November.  I really do like sniffing, and taking Mom with me when I do it is even more fun.