Last Fall Qwerty had a laceration on his shoulder that needed time to heal. I was panicked, I have a crazy GSP that can’t run for weeks?! What the heck was I going to do for 3 weeks while he is healing? Thank goodness for our Trainer who suggested we try a new class, Canine Nose work (NACSW). I decided to try it, desperate for something to do with Qwerty that would help keep him calm during his recovery.
Now I had worked at home with the “Find it” game where I hide treats around the house, so we were somewhat familiar with how this class started. The Beginner Class we hid treats in boxes and Qwerty searched them out. My job as his handler is to look for his cues to let me know he had found what he was supposed to find. Overall I noticed that Qwerty was well and tired after just an hour of nose work.
After the beginner class Qwerty was well healed and back to his normal crazy self, but he had shown an interest in nose work, so I decided to try the next class to see if this was really something we should continue. Nose work through the NACSW trains on 3 scents, all essential oil based, Birch, Anise, and Clove. In the Intermediate class we learned Birch. Again, Qwerty seemed really into it. He seemed to really enjoy the hunt, and even when he had difficulties, he wouldn’t give up the search until he found it.
On to Advanced class, his drive heightened even more, he knew what he was supposed to do and rocked it. I am now more worried about me missing his cues! He is so fun to watch work. Not only did it help cure boredom, we bonded even more as a working team, its amazing!
I can’t recommend finding classes to take with your dog enough. Try something new, I went off a suggestion from a trusted trainer who knew Qwerty and my strengths. Figure out what your dog likes to do naturally and work with that! Find a trainer in your area you feel comfortable with and work from there, they can help you tap into your dog and your strengths!