When I decided I wanted to learn more about nose/scent work – I was thrilled to learn that past ATA podcast guest Sarah Owings was running an online learning opportunity called Cyber Scent with her colleague Helix Fairweather!
Cyber Scent is set up as a – learn at your own pace – (perfect for me) monthly subscription service, for people who already have clicker training skills and where you get drip fed course instructions based on your progress!
I am not quite at the end of my cyber scent journey yet … however, this week we had my dog – Fibi – doing her first little mini searches! And I got so excited I just had to share some of the awesomeness from my Cyber Scent experience so far!
So here are 5 of my favourite training videos of mine and Fibi’s scent work adventure.
Video 1 – Classical conditioning!
In this video you can see Fibi and I pairing the odour we will be using with high valued food items. The odour is located in the bottom of the bowl under a Colander. We did MANY repetitions of this so that when Fibi smelled the odour it would be associated with good things/feelings.
Video 2 – Adding movement with Fibi targeting the odour
Here we have added a verbal “eyes on” cue to the behaviour of Fibi targeting her nose over the odour (Still in the bowl under he Colander). And you can see I am starting to add the distraction of – me moving- whilst – reinforcing her for keeping her head in the bowl.
Video 3 – Different containers & Me in different positions
By this stage Fibi is offering a small duration nose target with the odour hidden in different containers! And she is also doing this with me being positioned in lots of different places around the room!
Video 4 – Fibi targeting odour up high.
In this video we have moved the odour up of the ground with a few distractions in place! Fibi is showing some of her first signs of actively sniffing out the odour!
Video 5 – Fibi does her first little mini search
In this video we have moved the odour onto objects in the room! The first time I put it up on the heater is one of the biggest searches Fibi had done up until that point! LOVING this so much!
This is fast becoming one of my favourite things to do with Fibi and I am just totally in love with everything I am learning at the moment from so many amazing trainers and instructors!
I highly recommend the Cyber Scent course if you already have clicker training experience and are looking to learn more about getting started in scent work yourself. I know I have absolutely loved my experience with it and am looking forward to learning even more over the coming whilst form other great minds in the industry! Especially Steve White who will be in New Zealand later this year! EEEEEP!
We were also totally lucky to have Steve join us at ATA a few months ago to present an amazing web-class called “Reading dogs scenting behavior” where he taught us – MacKenzie’s eight scent-work indicators (with video examples for all 8):
- Nose Height
- Tail Carriage
- Head swing (Nose anchor)
If you missed this class when we did it live and are interested in seeing the replay you can do so in the members area on the ATA website! To gain access here is your exclusive $1 ten day ATA trail membership >>> https://www.animaltrainingacademy.com/2019-membership-trial/
What about your nose/scent work journey? Leave a comment below to share with us your experiences!