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Nosework with Anne Lill Kvam (photo essay)

The International Dog Trainer Education (IDTE) with Turid Rugaas is being hosted in the United Kingdom for the first time this year. PDTE Secretary Karen Webb and her husband Alan have put together an engaging series of weekends at Durham University for students completing the IDTE. This weekend Norwegian nosework expert Anne Lill Kvam travelled to Durham to talk about the ultimate canine ability - their sense of smell. Several PDTE members attended, either as students or helpers, and we thought we'd share some of the highlights. Beautiful weather in Durham meant Anne Lill could teach students in the sunshine.

Motivation will always be higher when you get to choose the object you would like to find.

The Christmas chicken it is!

It's easy to forget that with around 125 – 300 million scent receptors (compared to our measly 5 million), dogs 'see' with their noses. Students try to empathise with this world view by identifying objects with only smell and touch.

Equipment is key! Long leads and comfortable harnesses help dogs feel more relaxed.

Nosework can be enjoyed by all dogs, regardless of shape and size.

Teaching fun games that are also useful. Finding the right set of keys.

Fia takes it all in on a well earned break.

Searching for treats from all angles.

And all heights.

Linking items of clothing to the right person - excellent detective work.

Anne Lill discusses a number of concepts and ideas to engage dogs in a positive way. Training should be fun and calm, not stressful or scary. Natural curiosity and choice are key.

All good work deserves payment. Chicken is generally acceptable.

Tracking humans through the undergrowth.

Found it! Kai locates the treat bag and receives some congratulatory hot dogs.

Rest is essential. Using the nose and brain is tiring, and getting enough sleep allows dogs (and humans!) to process what they've learnt.

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