At a recent K9 Nose Work trial, I witnessed competitors allowing their dog to urinate on a building within 12 feet of the warm-up boxes as well as allowing their dog to urinate at a staging area.
I wondered if those handlers thought about the consequences of that simple action. Did their dog urinating influence the dog teams that followed?
While playing the K9 Nose Work® game, your dog crosses the invisible line of odor and does an immediate head snap toward the hidden odor. She then moves her head (and nose!) back and forth until her nose comes in contact with the hidden source of odor. You have placed the hide, so you know exactly where it is located. Do you jump in quickly while her nose is still at source or do you wait until she "tells" you where the hide is? I like to pay both behaviors and I encourage my students to do the same.
From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, journey is defined as:
1. an act or instance of traveling from one place to another: trip. 2. chiefly dialect: a day’s travel. 3. Something suggesting travel or passage from one place to another.
Now that I have given you the definition of journey, let’s explore why so many of us, students and instructors alike, refer to K9 nose work as a journey. We started playing the game of nose work for different reasons.
It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose it's how you play the game. I don’t know who came up with that one but they were right. As a teen, I competed in several music competitions. After one such event, I came home empty handed and upset. I was told my instrument keys were noisy, my notes were flat and my embouchure was weak. My friends had all been successful and went home with their blue and red medals. It was a long bus ride back home.