Sniffers at work

Yesterday we worked hard – very hard! 

A few of us, including our friends – Barnaby and Coco were at Scent Training Class.

You would think I would be a champion sniffer but alas, my sniffing is focused only on food. Everything else, well, was hard work.

We started with playing. Play with a toy? I don’t do that any more so it was rather odd that Mummy wanted me to play. How about tug-o-war?C’mon then, let’s see who wins.Heh! Heh! you can’t get it off my gripNow you’re getting me excited!Next we were given mice to play with, i.e. knitted mice infused with catnip. We had to play with cat toys!!! What?!?!? I didn’t know what to think if it. “Get it,” Mummy told me. 
I didn’t want to.
I am not liking this very much, so I wandered off to see what George was doing.Hmm, George was quite into it.He even begged for it when Joanna took it away from him.He’s engaging. Me, not.George has never worked with a clicker before – he was singled out to try it. And he learnt quickly. Have to say, it wasn’t difficult.

I personally don’t really like the sound of the clicker – too loud, scares me a little.Click! Treats – c’mon Mummy, where’s the treat? She needs some training with that! LOL!She was a bit discombobulated!

Even Joanna was slow with the treats! LOL!This time Louise asked me to “find it” with a tin of catnip. If I touched it with my nose, she clicked and I got a treat.

I know how to “touch” so it was quite the same thing. As the level of training increased, Mummy was having problems telling me to “find it”, click and then treat. LOL!But it was the next stage that I realised she wanted me to smell it, not just touch it.See that little tin can on the metal legs of the chair? I was supposed to smell it and touch it. But I didn’t;t get it immediately so we sat and looked at each other for a long time.

George was also wondering what he was supposed to do.But he did it! Well done George!The hoomans are always so surprised when George learns something quickly.  Poor chap. Hoomans should realise he is quite a smart little guy.

And now the ultimate test. I had a play with one of the toy mice. Then Julie took me out of the room. Four of the hoomans sat in a row hiding that toy. Then I walked in with Julie to try to sniff out the toy. I did it three times. The first time it took me a little while but I found it. This was my second go at it.

And the third time I didn’t find it. Maybe I was tired, maybe it was a long two hours and then maybe because all four hoomans had hidden the toy and they all have the smell.

Louise kept saying they will be so tired. She was right! 

Barnaby was asking when we will be leaving.At the end of it, we all had a certificate for our efforts. They called us by name, but there was none for George!!! Alas, once again, Ink Blot has been “forgotten” – he had to pose for the group photo with Freddie’s certificate. 🙁

But Georgie didn’t mind – he’s always a good sport. I think he was glad just to be there with us and not left behind. The Sniffers – Curly, Barnaby, Coco, George and moi!

May’s comment: Scent training by Louise Taylor of Surrey and South London Dog Training and Behaviour

Interesting process. And like everything else, it takes practice and patience.

With Darcy, she is so driven by food that her sniffing is distracted by her end goal!

George, we expect so little of him so he surprises us each time he learns to do something.

Thank you Louise for a stimulating evening. Dogs were knackered and so was I! 🙂

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