Puppy Nosework

I have decided to start L'Ox on some nosework exercises. Here is a video of him today finding his treats hidden in a box. This was his third search today so you can see him really check out a couple of the boxes before he finds the right box. Those boxes he spends more time at are in the place that the treats were on his other searches though those boxes have never had treats in them. There is one box that is the "food" box and is the only one that food is ever put into.

That is really cool. I'm going to have to try this. How was the cheese hidden in the box?

At the start it is just in the box where they can self reward when they find the right box. After they have built success and confidence with self rewarding you start hiding their treat bag in the box and then rewarding them in the box when they find their treat bag.

If they develop the habit of sticking their heads in every box, the best "cure" I have found is to move the boxes further apart so it just takes too much time to check them all out, then they start to really use their nose to get to the treats faster. This is a little hard to do in my kitchen and right now it is bit too wet outside to work in the backyard but hopefully we will get some dry weather this week so I can work L'Ox outside a bit this week.

I will try to be good and update each week so if you want to follow along you can.

The things that you need is at least 5 boxes, one that should be labeled "Food" and is the only box that gets food in it, so the others aren't cotaminated with the food scent, treats that your dog really loves, and some different areas to work in.

The first week the boxes are all in a line. Before I set L'Ox down to work, show him that I am putting the treats in the treat box then I do a "shell game" with the box, tapping it against the other boxes in the line and usually saying things like, "Where's your treat? Is it in this box? Oh, look at this box it looks so good." etc, and at some point switching the food box with one of the other boxes so that he doesn't just cue into the last box I was at and has to really work to find the treats. We do 3 searches in a training session and our goal for the week is to work in 5 locations. Mine will probably be the kitchen, the living room, the backyard, the school down the street, and at a friend's house.

It makes things much easier if you have someone to help you but you can work by yourself using a tether or baby gate.

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