Why Nose Work?
Why Nose work
“Hi, my name is Sheena and I’m rehab’s top nose-work dog. Using my nose is a very important part of my daily routine. Many years ago, before we were domesticated, our noses were the main tool in our survival kit. We obviously had to eat and that meant finding and catching our meals. Today our attachment to man has resulted in our survival being far less dependent on our own abilities, but unfortunately our natural instincts are still very much intact. Because of this we rely on our humans to help us use our noses to get the mental release we would normally get from searching and tracking down a food source. Games where we have to find toys our caregivers have hidden or even tracking and searching for them when they have tried to hide from us, all contribute to the stimulation of those natural scent (nose work) instincts that are so vital to both our emotional and mental release.”
Well Sheena has summed up pretty well the reasons why we use nose work as a major supplement to our behaviour modification programs in the rehabilitation section. Getting a reactive dog to focus on detecting a scent often helps that dog to tolerate other dogs in close proximity to him. Hyperactive dogs also benefit from the use of nose work in their training programs.
Nose work urges the dogs to use their natural hunting/searching drive and motor patterns which is a huge source of mental release and also a good way of exhausting high energy dogs.
PS – Nose work is also great fun for the caregivers or handlers.
By Gordon, Behaviourist