Another trial

More Nosework News

Is Moby ready for the next ORT tomorrow? I’m not sure, but we have our fingers crossed! He has started back with class again since Hazel had a personality switch during an 18 day dog sitting situation. She liked the new friends at first, but grew tired of their constant presence after a couple days. Hazels shift has been good for Moby. He is loving the attention!

Saturday morning, he will be taking in the sites of Brownsville OR. My biggest concern is that he will go psycho and turn into Kujo. Of course, that’s my brain dramatizing the worst scenario. He should be fine with it. It’s only one test and I personally know the site and interior space. I just need to be calm and let him show me the correct box. Maybe we can get a few photos of him searching from the photographer.

Fingers crossed! I’ll let you know tomorrow afternoon!

Hazel gets to stay home and help her dad.


Moby finds his joy!



I never thought we would be running two dogs at scent work, but here we are! Moby is totally enjoying class since it involves loads of food. He may be slow, but he’s pretty sure at what he wants. The above video was taken during one of the winter classes. At that time, I was running both in back to back classes. That’s proven to be a horrible idea since they feed off each others reactive dog responses. It also doesn’t work when I have to wrangle both dogs in and out of the building. Hazel now attends the advanced group, Moby the intermediates.

As of last week, he became an official member of the scent work world. His first odor trials are in mid May. We will be making a trip up to Washington, along the gorge, for the event. Once he passes, we will start thinking about entering his first NW1 trial. He actually stands a better chance, at this time, for successfully passing through all 4 courses. Hazel is having issues with locations and people. Much more exposure is needed for that girl!

Boxes of Scent 

Odor Recognition Trials are set for Saturday, December 3 in Oregon City and Hazel is registered for Birch, Clove and Anise. We’re still working on scent responses. Let’s fill in the background. Hazel and I have been working on scent training,which is a rapidly growing sport in the USA. The ORT’s are required to actually compete in trials. One doesn’t have to get serious about the game, just taking classes helps stimulate your dogs brain. 

To practice for the odor trials, I place 6 unmarked boxes out on the floor (or 5 as in the below photo). At the event, there will be 12 boxes (2 rows of 6 or one straight row of 12).

 One box has a small tin of scent inside (cotton tipped ear swabs that have resided in a glass lidded jar with one of the 3 scents).

Hazels job is to investigate each box and let me know which one contains the scent. She alerts me by smelling, sitting down (at the box),and looking up at me before receiving a food reward. I’m always surprised at her enthusiasm change when the treats are extra good! She plops her little butt down and looks right at me so fast! Bacon and turkey are wonderful motivators. 

This is a timed event. The dogs have 10 seconds to start across the starting line and 3min total on the course. 

We will be pushing the box searches all week. Normally I hide the scent tins in bookshelves, under chairs, on chairs, taped to the walls, and even some closed drawers. Her skills and focus continues to increase and I’m trying to keep up with her. The next round of classes start on December 6th! Below is a video of her searching boxes outside during a rain break. 

Toy Test: Wild Thang


Toy: Wild Thang Bungee Tug

Company: Genuine Dog Gear

Dog Response: Four paws up from Hazel, Moby, Zeek and Reggie!

Price: around $25

Description:  2 strips of 16″ hide with fur sewn onto sturdy nylon webbing. Nylon handle with bungee tug portion attached to the hide at one end. Well sewn and assembled to last hours of tugging fun.

Downside: Your dog will have tufts of fur stuck in their teeth. Your house will also have small clumps of dark fur appearing during play. Your dogs will want YOU to play with them!


I happened to be in Bend, Oregon last weekend visiting a dear friend and her two Doodles, Zeek and Reggie. We made a trip to her favorite pet store (Pet Express) in search of harnesses for the boys. I had to check out all their cool toys and found a new one to test. What dog could resist a buffalo/sheep skin tug toy? None of our 4 testers turned this toy down.

Reggie was tester #1 and he would NOT let go. We played for a solid chunk of time with him almost pulling me across the hardwood floors. Zeek even got excited, which was surprising! I almost felt guilty for taking the toy away. They were enjoying it so much.

At home, Hazel took to the toy immediately and I’m considering using it as a reward after a successful scent work run. Moby also grabs this toy and plays tug with Hazel. He’s not been a big tug toy dog and this is the first toy we can really do this with thanks to the solid construction.


Moby and his new Wild Thang toy

Destructibility: Could a dog chew this toy apart? Yes they could, especially if you leave it out unsupervised. I suspect the first part to go would be the nylon handle/bungee section. The hide/skin portion is pretty tough, but any determined dog could certainly chew through it as well. The company states “Workmanship & materials, 100% guaranteed. Totally washable, drool & drip resistant.” Notice it doesn’t say chew proof, so don’t trust your dog.

Conclusion: Well worth the investment! Happy dogs and a happy owner!

Toy Testers: Reggie and Zeek are both 75 lb labradoodles. Moby is a 79 lb German wire/short hair pointer. Hazel is a 17 lb Cairn terrier mix. 




Nosework Fun

Hazel has been progressing quite well through her classes. So well, the vet was totally surprised by her change in personality. Such a different dog from 6 months ago! No more massive barking and distrust of everything! She’s gone through 2 nosework courses and one reactive dog class. We still have a long ways to go…

Below are two YouTube videos of Hazel and I working through a course. The first is from last week, second from this week. We’re getting trained in all three scents (clove, anise, birch) and she is now recognizing scents not paired with food! I’m learning to get out of her way and keep her moving forward to new scents.

Nosework has been great for teaching her to connect with me, plus trust new environments. We’re signed up for our third class. More videos to come….

Sharon Gakstatter is the instructor and narrator of the video. Wonderdogs is the training facility.



The big dog

Hazelnut here! It’s been a full week since joining the house and life is getting better. I’m finally friends with Moby! Granted, we don’t sleep together, but we do play some. Outside he chases me around the yard. Inside I attack and bite his head. I’m still figuring out why my new family doesn’t like me biting their hands and jumping up in their face. So perplexing! All I’m trying to do is give them attention. If I can bite moby’s face, why not theirs? 

Tuesday I tried to fly. Mom was down below poop scooping the yard, I was on the deck and decided to take a shorter route down. Who wants to use the stairs when you can jump? So I did and landed on the muddy ground. Mom freaked out and checked over my entire body. She watched me like a hawk until bedtime. I’m fine, but have decided that route might not be attempted again ( plus they’re putting up chicken wire to keep me from forgetting).

It’s Thursday and rainy! I’m not super thrilled with going outside and Moby hates the wet. Looking like another indoor day. 

Ta ta for now!


Getting a new home 


My name is Hazelnut and I’m taking over this blog. I just moved into my forever home Thursday  after being in the system since September. I used to live in New Mexico until they moved me to the wet and rainy Oregon on December 3rd. After 5 days in the new digs, a lady came to visit after I had surgery. I wasn’t one bit interested in her since she didn’t have food, but she did sit with me for an hour. The next night a man with a fuzzy face came to visit. I liked him right away. Then the lady showed up again with a huge spotted dog. They had FOOD! I loved them right away! They stayed with me for a while then left. The next day the lady came back and put me in the car. I was super worried and whined the whole way to the first stop. She took me to a place filled with many yummy things and nice people. She tried different collars and harnesses on my skinny body until she was satisfied. I got to eat lots of treats! Then we went on another car ride home. That big crazy spotted dog was there! His name is Moby and he’s the boss. There’s also a cat and she really is the queen of the house, which is more important than boss according to Moby. She scares the collar off Moby! I’ve not formally met her yet, but she has hissy fits when she sees me. I don’t think we will be friends.

  After being in my new home for a day, we took a trip to the V-E-T. Me and Moby went into a room together and I barked my head off at the strange ninja people who came in the room. It scared the pee out of me! They had cookies, but I didn’t trust them. My new dad showed up and I felt better.  Moby was overjoyed to see him and his barking stopped. I kept going because I had to protect everyone from those evil ninjas dressed in black! They even had evil black tools to look in my eyes and ears! How rude! Then they played with my knees and it hurt!  One of the ninjas took me out and weighed me. They said I’m 3lbs underweight. That’s why I’m so skinny. I also have bad sounds in my lungs and icky eye goobers. Life hasn’t been too good for me, but now I’m looking forward to eating lots of yummy food and sleeping on comfy couches. 

My parents talked a bunch with the vet lady. They used words like “surgery, TPLO, therapy, upper respiratory infection, and behavior problems ” .  What behavior problems? I bark to protect my family! They bought me some tasty stuff called medicine that is supposed to make me feel better and take away some of the pain. We went back home and Moby bit my ear when mom went outside to get my crate in from the car. It smarts! Mom had to clean it and try to hold on to my ear. When she would let go, I would shake it and restart the bleeding.  It was fun and then she gave up. It did stop bleeding after a bit. Moby was kinda sorry, but I was pestering him bunches. He doesn’t like to share space or chew toys. 

Today is pretty nice. I’ve been cuddling with mom, had breakfast and those yummy meds. We’re going outside every couple of hours and I’ve not had any accidents inside. I really thought the indoor soft carpeted pee area was too good to be true! Right now I’m drifting off to sleep on the couch with Moby. I think I’m gonna like life here! 

Keep stopping by to see how things turn out! 


Hazel  (formerly Dove)