Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend Storm and Nose Work

A stormed loomed all weekend, giving me and Kona two cool days of overcast running.
The rain didn't come until late last night, and blew East by the time we headed to the trail this morning, leaving us with clear skies.

Despite a weekend of activity, Kona bounded with energy.
On the Training Front
Yesterday, Kona started her level II Nose Work class. In the last series, Kona practiced sniffing out treats and then learned how to find a specific odor.

This class is different from other classes we have taken because the dogs work one at a time and leave the building in between turns. This means that Kona spends a good deal of time in the car by herself and has to walk across the parking lot several times. (Kona finds parking lots especially scary.)

I gave Kona a dose of Rescue Remedy before we left and put lavender on a bandanna to leave in the car to help relax her while she waited.

When we arrived, Kona shook and whined. By the time I went back to the car to get her for her first turn, she had stopped shaking and was laying down "normal" in her crate. (Kona lays down in her crate when she's scared, but she'll make herself into a tiny ball in the very back of the crate.)

Kona worked without a problem. She wasn't bothered by the other people in the room and even did fine during an off leash search where the odor was hidden among turned over chairs, cones and other odd items. Her pupils were huge and she slinked around a bit, but for Kona Dog, that wasn't too bad.

So far, so good with this class. I think we start vehicle searches in this level, which should be interesting with Kona's parking lot fear. It could either be really helpful for Kona or just not work. We'll see!


Barb said...

I'd like to be running the trail in your second photo! It's so interesting to learn about Kona's training. Keep us posted. Have a good week.

MurphyDog said...

Good Job Kona Dog! Sounds like the rescue remedy & lavender helped a bit.

Sounds like a fun class!

wags, wiggles & slobbers

Sam said...

Nose work sounds so interesting. There's been a lot of discussing about it on the Shy-K9s e-mail list. People say that it works for a lot of dogs, fearful ones included.

I wish that my club had something like that - it would be interesting to try.

Sara said...

Wow, that nose work class sounds fascinating. I'd love to try it, just out of curiosity to see what my dog's abilities were like.

I'm glad Kona was able to calm a bit in the car. Fingers crossed that this will help with desensitizing her to parking lots.

I thought I had oreo on a nice calm leash in the vet parking lot today....until a scary lion (aka cat) jumped into our way...then Oreo wanted back in the car! Oh well, maybe next time.

Kathy said...

wow, I have always wanted to learn how to teach nose work, that just sounds awesome and YIPPIE for Kona, sounds like she did so awesome, you have to be proud!

LauraK said...

That class sounds awesome- I bet it's really interesting. I wonder if we ever have something like that in our area. I'm glad Kona was able to calm down in the car, I'm sure she'll be crossing parking lots with ease in no time!

KB said...

I need to talk to my trainer about doing scent classes. That would be really fun!

Are the classes designed to prepare for competition (I hear that there are starting to be scent competitions) or are they just for fun?

Either way, as for the vehicle search, you never know until you try. Good job Kona!