Saturday, February 6, 2016

more nosework!

Indi and I have been practicing nosework off and on this winter and are having lots of fun! It's such a good way to use up doggy energy when the roads are icy or the trails are muddy.
I'm hoping we'll get to enter an Odor Recognition Test in the next few months. It would be the first of its kind in Boise. The ORT is the pre test to show that your dog can find each of the three odors before being allowed to move on to competitions.
Just last night I broke down and ordered this:

I was tired of my little lip balm tins that you can't open and my baby food jars whose lids don't shut. Also, my anise oil smells suspiciously different than my friend and training partner's anise oil...Super excited!
For the ORT Indi will have to identify which of 12 boxes contains the scent of birch oil, clove and anise oil, in three separate tests. We will have 3 minutes. Eek!
Indi does very well finding the scent most of the time. There are a few times that she hasn't found it right away or hasn't found it at all. She definitely doesn't lack enthusiasm for the search but we find that boxes are hard!

Here is the first training session of the day using boxes. She seemed to hit on the incorrect box the first time and I think I should have stopped to open the box and show her it wasn't that one, but I didn't.

This is the next session after moving the boxes around. She got it right away this time.

The scent (clove oil for this one) was on q tips stuffed into a piece of plastic straw about an inch and a half long, then placed in the box. I open the lid to let her smell the scent better so she knows she was right and the scent was in there and then reward her close to the scent with cheese!

And some pictures to finish this post. Here is Indigo doing a vehicle search on our car. She found it!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Through the woods

My sister's dog, Loki has become like our second dog. We take him on hikes with us and he stays at our house once or twice a week. Such a fun dog! He and Indi are around the same age and get along so well. They have similar energy and play styles. He doesn't have that "space bubble" like I've noticed in a lot of border collies, (at least not when it comes to playing with other dogs). He doesn't mind being moosed around by Indigo, who is much larger than him. My sister has problems with him growling when she moves in bed and disturbs him!
Today we took them for a run by the Boise river.

They run and chase and wrestle.

Indi jumped into the river. It didn't seem to phase her (it is VERY cold in January!).

Loki does his border collie thing...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and then he pounces.

Such good friends!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rye February 14th 2001 to August 27th 2015

We always said he had such a big heart. Such a loving boy. He wanted nothing more than to make us happy. I gave him his birthday, Valentine's day, since I didn't know the exact date. His heart disease had advanced to the point where his heart was very large and working so hard. He was taking Pimobenden, Furosamide, and Enalapril since June which did help him for a while. He wagged his tail til the very end. Even when I was following him around the house begging him to eat. 
Rye, we love and miss you so much, sweet boy! 
Rest in peace. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

K9 Nosework!

Indigo and I have recently discovered a very exciting new sport. K9 Nosework! We took a course through our local kennel club and had so much fun I just had to share.
Our teacher provided the first odor, Birch and a small tin with holes in the lid to keep the odor in. After a few weeks I made up my own kit and ordered my own oils on line. If you look around a little you can find the best deals but you can also buy already made kits for nosework online. I thought I could do it myself pretty easily and cheaper too.
To start with you will need your first odor which is Birch, botanical name: Betula Lenta. It is a lovely smelling essential oil that your dog will soon be crazy for!
I took home pill bottles from work to keep each bottle of oil in as you don't want any scent to escape and confuse your dog when you're not working with it.

You will also need a few small glass jars to keep scented q-tips in and separate jars to keep your tins with odor in. I used baby food jars that I had in my cupboard and they work ok to keep the scent in but I will tell you that the lids are a little hard to screw on. I need to get different jars. The size is just right though!

The tins I have are smaller so I had to cut my q-tips slightly smaller than just in half. Fill the jar 3/4 full with the cut up q-tips then add 1 or 2 drops of Birch oil to the lid of the jar, close the jar and shake it up. This will scent the whole jar of q-tips magically!

I had some old tins of Burt's Bees lying around so I cleaned those out thoroughly and drilled holes in the tops of them. These tins will hold your scented q-tips.

You only need a few scented q-tips in the tin. Each week at class our teacher refreshed our q-tips with new, smellier ones from her stash so the odor would be strong. You have to use tweezers to transfer q-tips as you don't want the scent on your hands, obviously.

Ok, now let's teach your dog some nosework!

Take your tin with Birch scented q-tips inside in one hand and some good treats in the other closed hand. Hold your hands out to your dog and wait for them to stop slobbering up the hand with the treats in it and notice your other hand with the TIN. When they sniff the tin, even briefly you will give them a treat from your other hand. The reward must be given directly on top of the scent tin to create association with the odor. Warning: your hands will become very slobbery! Give lots of small treats, one at a time over the top of the tin.

Here is a video!

Do this over and over and over and in different parts of the house, outside, all over! Then, when your dog is really starting to understand you can put the tin on the ground, or hold it up high, play around with it but always reward right on top of the tin and don't try to make it too hard right at first. You don't want to overwhelm your dog.

Have fun and happy sniffing!

Thursday, April 30, 2015


We competed in a Nadac agility trial last weekend and had tons of fun! We still don't know what we're doing but we haven't quite given up yet! Tunnels are THE BEST!!!!

I was committed to running faster, being ahead of my dog and giving her the information she needed before each obstacle. I did not always achieve that goal...
It seems like I'm stuck in my old handling ways and can't get out! I forget to talk to her and I forget to RUN. I still can't lead out, that is bad, I know. But she is oh so much fun. I do so love my beasty girl!

Here is a Jumpers course with one knocked bar. I was rushing her on the last line of jumps causing the bar to come down.

And here was a Regular course that worked out well! We had another Regular run where she took out a hoop and then one more where she took out a whole jump, but was not hurt, thankfully!

Do you think someday we will get it together? In the mean time I will enjoy each run!

Also, I am training my sister's border collie!