Was wondering if anyone else here was involved in the sport of K9 Nosework? We got involved about 2 yrs ago, and it's been maybe the best thing I could ever have done for my two dogs. For those who don't know what it is, it's scentwork based on the same techniques detection dogs use - dogs following their noses in search of a target odor, handlers following and supporting their dogs. The sport was founded by detection dog handlers, altho thankfully using essential oils: birch, anise, and clove as the target odors (and not bombs or drugs). All dogs work alone during each search, which has proven to be fabulous - as all dogs can compete in this sport. This has been amazing for Makena - she definitely needed an outlet for her abilities, and this has been perfect. Alfie is my 'special needs' guy, and altho I don't compete with him, he does well at it. He does a lot of the same searches Makena does - sometimes he's successful, sometimes I help him a bit - but he always has fun, and that's the only important thing. One of the things I love most about this sport is that all the competitors are so supportive of each other (as opposed to some other dog sports, which can get very competitive). Everyone wants to see every dog/handler team succeed. We do have to trust and rely on our dogs, and train/practice hard - but we also have to remember that we're a team and we (as humans) do play an important role. We have to assist our dogs sometimes - they may forget to search areas, they have to search some elements on-leash and may keep going round and round - it's up to us to reverse their 'circle' (so to speak) so they possibly can catch odor from a different direction, we know when time is running out (they don't nor care), etc. We're totally the supporting cast - but we do have to be there for them and support them when needed. It's also proven to be a big confidence builder in shy dogs. Yes - it has. I've seen this one myself, and heard others involved in the sport attest to it. Perhaps it's because shy dogs can finally find something they feel they're really good at - who knows? (If only they could talk, huh?) Seems this has been just an amazing sport for so many dogs with 'issues'. I've seen Makena's (dog) aggression greatly reduced since beginning Nosework. Yes, she's always a work in progress - but overall, she's a much more confident dog now, and doesn't seem to have that need to 'lash out' like she did for so long. So - on July 21 we'll be driving to Salinas (about 150 miles) to try for our NW2 title. I'm a bit nervous, but trying not to be. We're training hard. She's doing a great job. She's got a great work ethic, she works hard, loves nosework, and I've got to trust her when she's working - and trust her when she 'alerts'. Here's hoping we're successful!! Here are 2 links if any of you want to know more. The first is from Karen Pryor's site - it's a pretty good overview on what it is, all the levels, etc.... http://www.clickertraining.com/node/3276 And this one is about the first GSD to title in Nosework. Barbara and Landis have since gone on to complete their NW3 title - 3 times, which means they now hold an NW3 Elite (one of only very few dogs) - the highest title one can hold. They received this at the trials when I volunteered just a couple weeks ago. It was such an honor to watch them work!! Barbara has been such a fabulous mentor to me, and I've learned so much from her. She and Landis are such an inspiration and I could only hope to be that good some day!! http://www.k9nosework.com/featurestories/landisgsd.html I'd love to know if anyone else on the forum is involved in Nosework, classes are springing up all over - I've never heard anyone else mention it. Anyone out there???