Monday, August 25, 2008

Olfactory Olympics

I was recently fortunate enough to attend the Inaugural Fun Nose Work Competition held at spcaLA in Long Beach. Fun Nose Work is "the next urban sport for dogs" and builds on the same techniques used to train bomb and narcotic sniffing canines, using progressively more complex searches for Q-tips scented with birch or anise oil (at least so far). It's amazing to observe another consciousness negotiating an entire sensory realm about which our species has only the faintest inkling. Above, Dieter (AKA Spike) nails the vehicle search.

This is a brand new recreational dog activity that has sprung up in the LA area under the auspices of Fun Nose Work, founded by former K9 police dog trainer Ron Gaunt, spcaLA Director of Behavior and Training Jill Marie O'Brien, and and independent trainer Amy Herot. Above, Ron marvels at Nigel's near-record of 13 seconds in the box search.

All was not fun and games though, as a ravenous chupacabra slunk along the facility perimeter as dusk fell. There were no incidents, however. Nigel finished on the 1st place team and Dieter was on the 2nd. The complete results and more pictures are available on the Fun Nose Work website.

No comments: