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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Where's That Smell?

"Find It"

Nose work is fascinating.  I have been working with Chance and Blaze since discovering the game "Find It."  Putting a treat in a plastic jar or container and having them "find" by successfully getting it out of the jar.

Recently, I upped the stakes by placing the the treat in a toy and then hiding the toy in a room while they stayed in another.  I then rub the treat on my hand, ask them to smell my hand and tell them to "Find It."  Chance's nose is strong, especially when it comes to food.  Blaze takes a while to warm up, but she is also a slick and will go back and forth between looking for the treat and staying close to Chance in order to snatch it out from under him when he finds it.

I have done this in the house a couple of times, the results were something like this:

The first hide, easy out in open:  They each find toy with treat

The second time, this time out of plain sight:  Chance realizes he not going to just 'find it' and his nose turns on so loud you can hear him sniffing hard.  Blaze is also aware she can't just see and find it and keeps close tabs on Chance for any indication he is close to treat.  Even so much so that she will slide up by his side and grab the treat at first sign he has found it.

The third time, toy is place inside something or up high:  Chance is wearing down and Blaze takes advantage of this as her nose begins to warm up.  They each find a treat.

After the third time, Chance looks like someone bonked him on the head with a silly stick.  Blaze seems no worse for wear.  She is proud of herself for her slick moves and outmaneuvering Chance and is ready to go again now that Chance is wearing down and feels she has the upper hand. 

ZONK!!

The whole event was hilarious and fascinating.  I was intrigued the most when Chance realized he had to use his nose and 'work' to find the treat.  When he begins to comprehend this, his entire demeanor immediately changes to that of sheer concentration and focus.  I'm sure that using both dogs together helps to spur on the competitive nature of the game.  Chance is about following the rules and pleasing me.  If I ask him to find it, he is going to do everything in his power to do that.  For Blaze it is about beating and outsmarting your opponent.  She isn't doing this for me, she is out to prove how her wit and clever intelligence will win the game.  And it is all about winning the game. 

Each style is unique and compliment the other. I have praised both of them for the strength and skills.    Although if I was ever lost in the woods, I think I'd rather have someone send Chance to find me!

Are you sure about that?? 
He couldn't last more than three rounds!
 

9 comments:

Gail said...

Fun training exercises. Sounds like everyone enjoyed it.

jen said...

I love when Sherman uses his nose! We play hide and seek with his toy and I tell him to FIND IT and he goes crazy with his nose to the ground!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

That is such a fun post to read. Mom likes to hide our toys or treats and make us find them too. Good way to keep us entertained when we can't some outside exercise.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Sam said...

I will have to try that with my boys!

Sam

Sarah said...

I need to start that back up. Hurley drools over everything but it's so much fun to watch him go!

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

What a great game. I keep wanting to try it but I forget by the time I'm home with the dogs! I am not sure if their concentration is up to it--but only one way to find out! Thanks for the inspiration and outline!

Emily said...

Way too cool! I love discovering hidden talents in my kids and the different "learning styles" or techniques they have with training. It can be insanely frustrating, lots of fun and totally fascinating!

houndstooth said...

Ha ha ha! I know that dynamic so well! Hawk would work to get treats out of a puzzle cube and Treat would wait for them to fall out and grab them before he got to them!

I wonder what each of them would do if they got a chance to play the game on their own!

Kenzo said...

It is truly fascinating. And so much fun. I couldn't think of anything they like to do more than use their noses :)