New UKC Forum Member
Registered: Oct 2012
My dog loves this sport, and I see some of the comments here are relaying negative experiences. To present a countering point of view, please see the below, on how we've embraced this sport.
We've been training in Nosework for the past year and have had wonderful experiences. We started class in Jan, 2012. We started on the odor birch in August. We trial for an NACSW Odor Recognition Test on Sunday. So excited! So it's been six months since we started odor, and just over one year since we started this game. We feel ready.
Our class is run by an NACSW certified nosework instructor (CNWI). At class, our dogs do not have ANY contact with each other. There is no opportunity for dogs to jump on other dogs or have any contact with each other AT ALL. Our class size is 6. Dogs do not pass each other in transit to or from the search space. There is one entrance, and one exit to the search space. They go in one way and leave the other way. Dogs are crated in between their runs, and only one dog searches at a time. Crates are on hand at the school for those who don't wish to use their own. We have class each week, and for me, I've been in class with the same group for the past year! We all just liked class and each other so much. I now have 6 new great friends (5 class mates + the instructor)! Watching the other teams, is an education in itself also. The hardest part about Nosework, I've learned, is learning your dog's cues!!
Our costs are basically comparable with other dog activities I've participated in (agility, tracking and obedience). Of course conformation is cheapest, who can beat $5-7 for class? On average we pay $16-$20 a class for NW. That's affordable to me. There is very little equipment required, and practice can be done at home.
As for NACSW being just in it for the money...I cringe whenever I hear that type of comment whether it's applied to AKC, UKC, etc. These are businesses, not non for profit enterprises. I don't know how NACSW is set up as a Company, but it's logical that someone has to pay all these people to organize these events we all love to participate in. Manage the website. File the paperwork. Keep registrations accurate. Approve judges, etc. Nothing is free, do we expect these people to work for free? To fund these activities out of their own pockets? Ridiculous. Of course it costs money. For NACSW, the cost is $30 to register the dog and $30 for membership. I'm ok with that.
We got into NoseWork because I took a tracking class in the fall and wanted to continue with scentwork in the winter months. I live in MN so it's cold and snowy here at a minimum Dec-March. Sometimes it starts as early as October! Tracking, we loved. But it is a lot of work, a lot of time and uses a lot of equipment. I have to drive out to the country. Set a track. Map it. Record conditions. Let it age for an hour or so...and then track for five minutes, LOL! Nosework, I can do ANYWHERE! I can do it at home. In the yard. In the driveway. The garage. I can do it anywhere I want! And it's not time consuming. And it can be indoors...or outdoors!!! It's very flexible. I love that.
My biggest complaint about my Nosework experience is it's a 45 minute drive one way to get to class each week. But we still look forward to it each week!!!
I would encourage anyone who is interested in this sport to do some research and talk to people who are active in the sport. Hopefully that will enable others to get excited about it and think about trying it out themselves.
This is now my dog's favorite activity. He loves it more than showing, tracking, obedience...he also really likes agility so maybe it's a tie :-) My boy is a GSD.
Keeper of the Snarfer
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