Tell me again, why did I quit nose work?

Oh, readers, I know you don’t know, since I can’t even remember.

I know why I quit the nose work class. I didn’t want to do another dog class without Rob and the only class that worked with our schedule was 8-9 pm Thursdays. It was a lot of money and a long way to drive for six minutes of practice for each of the dogs. The rest of the time they waited in the car, and during our first visit, Leo freaked out and ate the passenger seat while Mia was inside sniffing out pieces of liver in cardboard boxes.

What I can’t defend is why I didn’t continue playing a nose work game with them at home. Guess I thought it was too big a pain to put them both outside, come up with places to hide liver (now paired with a tin of a birch-scented cotton swab), then bring one dog in at a time, dress them in the special outfit that’s supposed to cue them that it’s nose work time. Sniff the stuff out. Rinse and repeat.

Did I really find that too much of an effort, compared to walking them around the neighborhood, struggling to overcome Leo’s proclivity to bark and lunge at fast-moving objects?

Using the garage had not occurred to me. Probably because it’s a mess. But that’s what makes it such a great place to hide stuff!

Two years later, the birch has lost its smell (as far as my inferior olfactory glands can tell), and I’ve dispensed with the special outfits. My doggies didn’t need the wardrobe cue. Or a verbal one. They zeroed in on the hidden liver like it was their job.

Next time I’ll shoot some video. I can’t even express how good it felt to watch them working their innate sniffing skills.

I’m on board now. As soon as we were done, I ordered some fresh birch swabs from All Good Dogs.

Our return to nose work was inspired in part by the K9 Kamp challenge to play hide and seek.

k9kamp new badge 2014

And I always like to jump in on BlogPaws’ (almost) Wordless Wednesday blog hop!


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Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

7 thoughts on “Tell me again, why did I quit nose work?

    1. Thanks! I’m not the clever one, though, it’s all them. To be perfectly honest, sometimes I treat Leo like he’s not so bright. But the boy can sniff. I need to celebrate his strengths!

  1. My husband does this with Morgan all the time! She LOVES it! They do it in different rooms of the house. It’s pretty funny, because she knows the game, and he’ll put her in a down stay in one room then go to another to hide the treats. Part of the game has become her sneaking in to try to see if she can cheat without getting caught. She likes to tease him a little before she actually does stay.

  2. Good for you! I’ve wanted to try nose work for a while now with Pyrrha, because she is very nose-oriented. I still haven’t gotten around to it, but I definitely want to. Fun to see your dogs at work!

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