dog nosework

Dusty Putting His Nose to Work

A few weeks ago, I signed Cora up for a nosework course today at Superdog Central. However, last night, Cora started throwing up and having diarrhea (sorry for the details, but dog people talk about this sort of stuff!), so I decided I shouldn’t take her to the course. Fortunately, with two other dogs to choose from, I wouldn’t lose the money I’d spent and could still attend the course.

Lucy loved getting attention between her turns.

Since I’ve been taking Hogan to weekly agility classes, I decided to take Dusty for this one. And, of course, when it comes to sniffing, Dusty’s a natural, so I thought it’d be a great adventure for him. I was sad, though, not to be able to take Cora since I’d enrolled her thinking the course would help build her confidence.

Dusty during one of our breaks







In hindsight, it’s probably for the best that I went with Dusty rather than Cora. There were a lot of people and some barking, and Cora would’ve probably been too nervous to let her instincts take over. But now that I’ve learned the basics, I can set up some containers at home and let Cora put her nose to work, too.

Finn, a classmate of Hogan's in his beginner agility course, was a classmate of Dusty's.

Dusty was really well behaved for the most part. When we first arrived, he barked a lot because he wanted to play with the other dogs, but he seemed eventually to start to understand that play wasn’t the purpose (as he ultimately did in his obedience training at TAGS). Because the instructor wanted each of the dogs to be able to focus on the nosework without distraction, between turns, we had to crate our dogs or remove them from the room. Dusty behaved quite well in the crate. But he did get antsy awaiting his turns. He just wanted to be doing something, so I felt a little bad for him that there was so much downtime.

During his turns, though, Dusty excelled at finding the scent (liver)—whether the container was without lid or with—as demonstrated in the video below. And he seemed to really enjoy the activity, so I just may enroll him in the advanced course next month. However, first, I want to try to figure out how I can make the between-turns time a little easier on both of us. Neither of us is very good at just sitting and waiting!