The Scent of a Hot Dog

Scenting class last weekend was very fun, and Cabana did well. She LOVED getting a few hot dog or sausage pieces that were used as bait in the class, quite out of the ordinary fare for her.

The great thing about scenting is that any dog can do it. It's a total obedience-free zone, so even if you have a dog-aggressive or unruly dog, they can still participate in this sport. It's great mental and physical stimulation for them, as well as not too hard on their joints.

We started with easy exercises, similar to what I had done with her in our backyard. But by the end of the class, the instructors made it much trickier by putting the box with treats up on a chair. The dogs were so used to finding the box on the floor that it took all of them a lot longer to find it on top of the chair.

The video below shows Cabana's last search. It takes her a LONG time, meaning almost 2 minutes. She was much speedier on her other searches. The interesting thing is that scent gets blown around, and it was very windy that day and drafty in the room. Also, scent travels down and pools underneath. The box with treats is on the last chair to the left of the screen, and they placed another empty box underneath the chair to help catch the scent.

The laughter in the video is because I made a joke in the middle of Cabana's search because it feels like she's taking so long. The class was supposed to end at 5:00, but the instructors said it might go overtime, until maybe 5:15. So I joked, "5:20, 5:30?", meaning we might be here even longer because of Cabana.

Near the end, you will see Cabana's nose go up as she catches the scent higher up. Previously, she'd been sniffing at ground level. That's the cue that she's got the scent and is about to find the treats. It's pretty interesting to see the cues that the dog gives.

JackDaddy  – (April 13, 2011 at 1:54 PM)  

I wish I could find a scenting class for Jack. I think he'd be great at it... especially if baseballs were involved! :)

Beth and Alfie  – (April 13, 2011 at 2:22 PM)  

Love it, love it!! Scent can be so tricky...especially when it does just that, gets blown and "pools" in one location which isn't necessarily the source. Cabana's doing an awesome job!

Martha G  – (April 13, 2011 at 2:30 PM)  

I love watching dogs do scent work. I think Cabana loves it too, judging by how her tail was wagging the whole time.

Cassie & The Dogs  – (April 13, 2011 at 2:57 PM)  

Note to self: do not mutter to yourself while video taping! Ha! Cabana did great!

Becky  – (April 13, 2011 at 8:04 PM)  

Love all the different activities Cabana enjoys. She is so happy!

Amber-Mae  – (April 13, 2011 at 8:32 PM)  

Nice job Cabana! My nose isn't very good, sometimes, I sniff right pass my tennis ball in the grass. And I mean like 5 inches away from my ball. My nose is hopeless. I will never be a good scenting dog but I totally would love to try this sometimes! I love hot dogs.

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