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.