I participated in a very interesting dog training class called Nose Work. If you wonder what bomb sniffing dogs go through, this would be similar.
Silke Wittig taught the class. She was offering it to the public for a reasonable fee of $120 for 6 classes. She was unable to fill the class so she offered to teach the class to SPCA dogs and volunteers.
You had to be there to appreciate the experience. We had six SPCA dogs with different personalities. But once you get one in the room and start focusing on the job they do best-smelling-that is all they could focus on. You could see the dogs relax and get into tracking a scent.
I am not going to do justice to explaining this class. But I have a little Chihuahua in my office. She is totally and completely attached to me. If I leave my office she barks non-stop. NON-STOP. Just ask my staff. When I walk into my office she is all over me. Give her a little nose work to do and she completely ignores me. I'm serious. She went from attached at the hip to 'I don't hear you'.
It is a really cool class. The dog is introduced to treats in a box. The dog devours the treats. Then the boxes with treats move around. The dogs need to use their nose to find the treats. It is fun to watch, and you can tell the dogs have fun too.
You really need to observe a class to understand how fun it is for the dogs. Visit Silke's website at Herocanineconsulting.com. I'm sure she can do a better job of explaining it than I did. Or better yet-observe a class. We will be doing another class at the SPCA on Wednesday. I bet if you watch one class you will want to try it with your dog!