Tonight was a blast! The class was held at an awesome local pet boutique, Petutopia. The owner, Margie, is wonderful and in conjunction with the store does so much for our area pet needs from rescue to training to nutrition. The class was taught by Joyce who owns a warm-water swim center for dogs (Unsinkable Dogs) and does private training in addition to nose work. There were 7 dogs in the class this evening. Only one dog was allowed in the store at a time. In talking to us at the beginning of class, we learned that the normal process of teaching a dog nose work is 1) Search for food; 2) Search for a novel scent paired with food; and 3) Search for a novel scent and reward with food. As we learn more through my researching and practicing on our own (until we can take a more extensive class) I'll explain more. What makes this a lot of fun is that it works with all dogs' natural instincts. They all sniff out their surroundings. We talked a bit about watching for signals, etc, but that's something mostly you would learn with time.
We had three "Find" opportunities during the 90 minute class. During the first one this nice young man was kind enough to take some photos for us. The third find someone else videoed for us. I apologize that the video doesn't have my usual captions at the beginning and the shakiness cut out. Since the video was taken with my BlackBerry, it's not as good as it would have been otherwise. Plus, when I opened the file in the program I normally use and trimmed it then saved it, it lost the audio. The audio is kind of fun because you can hear the cheering when Vegas finds what she's looking for. This is a very positive motivating environment - the dog needs to be successful no matter what.
And with that, I need to get some rest and will try to update tomorrow night after our agility trial .