Last week, we also got our second scent kit. The scent kit we got several years ago is for the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) and has birch, anise, and clove oils in it.
|Our little tin is looking a little rough.|
|Lots of new scent vessels in this kit.|
We had planned to attend NACSW events when we first started training, but it was hard to find an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) near us--our trainer had wanted to try to get one organized for our training center, but then she got really sick and that didn't happen. We gave up any plans of competing and just enjoyed doing searches at home. That was fine with us. Our kit has traveled with us. We've used it on rainy days and during injuries that prevented good physical exercise.
I really hadn't thought about competing for a long time. Then last month there were therapy dogs on campus for a health and wellness fair. The dogs are really there for the students, but it's always one of my favorite days of the semester and there's no way I am going to sit in my office and grade papers if I can sit on the floor and pet a dog.
As dog people do, the handlers and I started talking about training. We talked about Barley's therapy dog failures, her agility classes, and her noseworks training. When I told one of the handlers that we'd never competed in noseworks, she told me that her training center--which isn't too far from ours--was holding a C-WAGS scent trial in June and encouraged us to enter. I immediately looked up the trial and the C-WAGS rules. It sounded like this was something Barley would really love, so I read and reread the rules. Then I read and reread them again. Finally, I decided that this could be something fun and different to try.
In C-Wags, you can begin in Level 1 or Level 2, but you have to title in one of them before moving on to Level 3. Level 1 is a search area of 8-12 boxes with one scent (either birch or cypress) hidden in one box and you have two minutes. Level 2 is 8-10 containers (at least 1 box), 3-5 objects, and two scents (birch, cypress, or clove) with three minutes--containers can be stacked in Level 2, too. Barley has done plenty of Level 2 type searches in her training, but I decided we'd go ahead and start at Level 1 since this will be a brand new environment for Barley.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be updated on our training progress. We just introduced the Cypress scent and Barley's caught on pretty quickly--but we'll go into more details in our next noseworks post.