Got Reinforcement EVENTS??

Octopus at sunset

Today in sniffer class we discussed how to make rewarding our dogs exciting for the dogs! Not all dogs find food more reinforcing than chasing lizards or squirrels. Some dogs are just fine with hunting for all kinds of things during a search instead of finding odor! In no particular order they will find: the pistachio shell in the corner, the odor, the scent pad of the last handler, where the lizard ran across the path, saliva from the previous two dogs, the mostly dead bird under the shelf and the bread under the window. We want the dog to be excited about finding odor! So much so that they give up on hunting for other stuff! 

Any sniffing sport is a team based sport, the dog is doing the finding of whatever it is for YOU! I hope you are excited and proud when they find it! You should act that way with genuine gratitude! 

You might be able to find other ways to make the reward process an EVENT! You could feed better treats for longer (like steak, chicken or cheese)!! You could have the dog chase your hand for the treat! You could try a toy or a food toy to invite some prey drive! You could incorporate super fun tricks at source! You can try whispering in your dogs’ ear or petting them on the chest! Every dog is different so every dog/handler team will have a different party together. 

You want to avoid ho hum! Unless your dog is already floating in the clouds with excitement, then they may need some WOOT in their life. Help your dog find the JOY in using their nose! 

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