Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fascinated by Police K9 Work?

If you are (and I certainly am), then you may be interested in a new up and coming sport, K9 Nosework. Like tracking, this allows dogs to use their phenomenal scenting ability. But unlike tracking, it doesn't involve tramping around fields laying tracks and then running them. Instead, K9 Nosework is a lot more like "junior police" training.
By the way, did you know that there are several kinds of "police" dogs? I don't mean German Shepherds versus Belgian Malinois. I mean that there are sniffer specialists and there are patrol generalists. The sniffer dogs find drugs and/or explosives and possibly evidence, but they don't track suspects and they don't go into buildings ahead of officers. We have had both kinds in our local departments, but now they have all adopted the generalists.
Anyway, K9 Nosework has various levels of scentwork. In the first level, the dog has to find a scent amid a line or two of cardboard boxes. So that would be the sniffer dog police dog sort of work. In higher levels the dog has to perform a car search for a scent, then a room search for a scent. And there are different scents that are used.
You can google K9 Nosework to read more about it. Scentwork has been rising in popularity, and this avoids a lot of the walking that seems to keep some people from taking part in tracking (well, and some people just don't have an appropriate place available to them). You can do this sort of scentwork in any decent-sized room or outdoors.
You really should take the opportunity to let your dog use his or her nose. Dogs seem to delight in the activity, and it can be quite eye opening for the human part of the team.
K9 Nosework is having a seminar in Seattle in January, and that's near enough for me to make the trip!

No comments:

Post a Comment