My Lame Attempt at Scent Work
While casting about for something new to teach Lilly, I threw together a quick and easy scent discrimination training session. One word, my friends. HA! What seemed logical to me made ZERO sense to Lilly. But, first, here’s why I thought Lilly might be good at smells.
During a recent snowstorm, Tom ventured up to the main road to get our mail. Lilly did NOT know he was outside when I let her out, and the fog, etc., made it hard to see him if you didn’t know to look.
We play hide-and-seek all the time with Lilly in the house. In fact, most mornings, she has to FIND DADDY before she can eat her breakfast. I’m told this game is very helpful in teaching dogs to track scents. We’ve never really played outside, though.
Anyway, I let Lilly out, and I watched her — nose to the ground — follow Tom’s footsteps around our cars and toward the road. She didn’t pick her head up for a long time. She just followed his footprints in the snow with total concentration. She must have heard him at some point because she finally broke into a sprint right toward him.
In addition, the animal communicator told us that Lilly enjoyed using her nose, so I figured it’d be a fun wintertime game.
So, I put coffee, sugar, flour, and peanuts in separate baggies and laid them on the floor. My goal? To click/treat her when she sniffed the coffee. Lilly’s response? To lay down next to all the baggies and smile at me.
I waited and waited and waited.
Gigi, Claire, and I talked about it a bit at last week’s class, and I found this training sheet on an obedience scent work on the Clicker Training site, which begins with object discrimination. I guess when the mood strikes again I’ll start there.
I’d love to hear how you trained scent work or about any resources you can recommend.