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Old 01-31-2013, 09:47 PM
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With my first three dog's, sniffing as never an issue, so I never paid attention. With Flip, it is an issue, and I have to stay on top of him all the time. When I go training Saturday I plan on putting a sheet down in the ring with some treats underneath it and having him do his articles and retrieves on the sheet. That way I can explain once again that sniffing isn't allowed.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:10 PM
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..... when we are listening to our instructor, I generally am sitting down on the floor and Jacks knows he's "released" from working. So he can sniff the floor if he wants. He generally flips on his back and rolls around and smiles up at me while I scratch his belly. Or I keep him occupied a little by play "tap-tap" games on the floor. Or I'm roughing him up a little and playing with him while listening. Or sometimes lately he kinda naps out there and I let him.

When it's time to get up and work again, I just give a reminding tug on the leash and he knows the "ignore everything but me" rule is back on.

With Bertie it's a work in progress, because he's pretty much a baby and learning everything... but I'm handling him the same way. If he's sniffing while I'm walking with him, I'm going to reach down to gently squeeze his nose (like you would squeeze a baby's nose) and tell him "no sniff".

It's not that much different than when I'm on the side with people I train with. Our dogs all grew up together and like saying "hi" and so forth. That behavior is OK when they are not working. When we are working and giving them commands, they know what the rules are.

Now if the training floor is set up like a ring and we are actually going in formally for a run (like fun match or we are doing run throughs), then from the time I enter the ring until the point we leave the ring, I'm using all of the cues I can to let Jacks know that we are working. That's tone of voice, posture, commands, etc....

So I guess what I'm saying is that - if your dog is a sniffer, it's not a HUGE deal. Just make sure they don't do it when you are working. Having a good "no sniff" command and correction will help polish that up.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:43 PM
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I agree with the "no sniff" training. I was worried about sniffing at the BN trials we went to, especially because they were outside, but fortunately it turned out not to be an issue. At one of the trials there was a spinoni who had it's nose down for half of it's recall and then stopped to take a pee. You just never know what might happen.

People have suggested to me that for a trial you should get there at least an hour ahead of time to acclimate yourself and your dog to the venue. For run throughs and matches you probably don't need that much time. I think it does make sense to warm your dog up a bit before entering the ring.

I learned the hard way that you want to control your warm up and keep the dog quiet before entering the ring. At a match last fall we were hanging out at ring side waiting for things to get going. A woman who claimed to be the best of breed judge was hanging out by the obedience ring, supposedly so as not to see what was happening in the breed ring. She was amusing herself by interacting with Zoe, encouraging her to jump etc. Well we were called by the stewards to enter the ring first . . . and it was a disaster. Zoe was very unfocused. Lesson learned the hard way.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:35 PM
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Well, I enforced "no sniff" at class today. I'll take the word of you guys with all the titles on your dogs, and stick with it for a while, but she wasn't too thrilled about it! Even when we've done training outdoors, she doesn't sniff the ground. However, on our casual walks, you'd think she was a Bloodhound at times. I can see how it could be an issue, though, depending on the smells that might be lingering in a new venue.

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Old 02-01-2013, 04:41 PM
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Sniffing out the ring?

I too teach a "no sniff". Recently wee were at a new venue, when I was walking in the crate area, I let her sniff if she chose to. Once we walked near the ring area I said "no sniff" and she behaved. I can set her in a down and say no sniff and she lust lays there. I have done this since a pup because I knew it would be a tool she needed.

When you take her for walks does she sniff? If so apply a "no sniff" command move on and treat. In obedience that head up watching helps a lot. Agility it's much harder. Just anytime when you can correct it use the command. Be sure to treat and praise when your dog stops sniffing without any additional reinforcement from you. Teach your dog you are the source if confidence. Look to you.


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Old 02-01-2013, 05:02 PM
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Sniffing out the ring?

I will practice "no sniff" on walks. Thank you!


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Old 02-01-2013, 06:03 PM
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This is interesting. I had my boy Reilly in class last night. In the past I had not minded about the sniffing, but you really have a point. I do find my dogs acting like hoovers looking for treats on the floor. I know when they are doing that, they aren't paying attention to me! So last night I tried keeping Reilly on track. But since I've let him sniff in past I had a very hard time last night getting him to stop. I guess once your start, it's hard to stop.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:47 PM
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Casper isn't a big sniffer. In fact, we think he has a terrible sense of smell. He does have a Go Sniff command. There are a couple of corners on our walks where he really loves to sniff. He tended to try to drag me to those. Now I make him Sit when we get there, and then release him with Go Sniff as a reward. That about covers it for us.
Many years ago, when the only dog we had for training was my husband's bloodhound mix, I took that hound to dog school. His nose was glued to the floor for ten weeks. He didn't pull so much forward as down.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:12 PM
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Training Treats on the Floor....

I have trouble with Piper when she is off-lead and sniffing the floor, as so many people drop bits of training treats in the previous class. Her nose is on the floor all of the time. I should keep her on a lead in class then until she is ready to start. She just wanders with the trainer and I as we walk the course, sometimes using the "walk" obstacle, which I had to stop her from doing. Thank you. Vicki
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