Janine Folliard and her 3 year old Goldendoodle, Nellie enrolled in the K9 Scent Work class at Paws-A-Tive Choice at the Dripping Springs, TX location. This story about scent training is from Nellie's perspective as told to Janine Folliard (Nellie's owner).
What is a dog to say about scent training with Ms. Kathy? I gotta say that the best part about it is all of the treats, treats, treats and more treats. During my first scent training class, I was unsure what I was supposed to do. I got to roam around in a partitioned area (first with a leash and then without a leash!) There were some other dog owners watching me explore and boy did I love all of this attention. There were lots of rectangular brown things (boxes) in the room. Then I started to walk near a certain rectangular brown thing (box) and smelled that there were some goodies hidden in it. Ms. Kathy wrote "Food" on that one box but after a little bit, I got really good at sniffing to find that box. (My owner thinks that I learned how to read. I just couldn't break it to her that it's just that I quickly learned how to smell for treats. The nose knows.....)
After the first week of class, I totally looked forward to going back to scent training class. As my owner and myself drove to class, the closer that we got to Ms. Kathy's training facility, the more excited that I got. My tail would wag quicker the closer that we got to her property. If my owner had a tail, I'm sure that hers would have been wagging too.
As the scent training weeks went on, there began to be new strange objects placed in the training area like cones, a small trashcan, a mop bucket, dog bowl, paper shopping bags and so forth. On a typical day at home, I would have been afraid of these unidentified objects. (Underneath all of my fur and big nose was a real fraidy cat. Don't tell too many people that I was the type of dog that startled and then barked at new things in my environment.) However, I learned that these new objects were fun to search because the humans would tuck away yummy treats in some of them. I'm not as scared as I used to be and have become what humans would say as "more confident".
Don't get me wrong. The scent training class was work. Using my nose required quite a bit of concentration. I was completely exhausted by the time that I got home from class. As my "smart" owner tried to tell me, the mental challenge was healthy for me and my brain. After getting home from class, I would go right to sleep right next to wherever my owner was sitting.
I think that this scent training class has made me even closer with my owner. I am so grateful that she took me to this class. My owner is pretty awesome and I gotta thank Ms. Kathy for organizing this class for us and for making it so much fun!! I still can't quite figure out why Ms. Kathy threw a party for me every week.
The scent training class made me happy, and also made my owner happy. The other people in the room looked pretty dog-gone happy too. The scent training class was great but let's just keep it a secret. There's not enough room in this world for very many smart, confident, and happy dogs like myself!!