It’s me, Nelson, the nose work rock star according to my family! Sunday, I did my first NACSW Nose Work Trial. You may recall I passed my Odor Recognition Tests last fall, so as soon as I turned one I could start entering trials. Mom says it is not always what you do, but how you look doing it, so I spiffed up for the drive to my trial. It was cold and snowing on and off, but Mom and I were super excited to start the Lime Green Sniffing Career.
NW1 has fifty dogs in a trial. On the drive over Mom told me Madison was number five on Saturday and it was a good number. She also said it would be a real bummer to be dog number fifty in an NW1. Guess what? Yep, I drew number fifty. Mom said it might not be soo bad, as it is just like the number five only with a zero after it. Humans say they save the best for last, so why not let it be me?
Mom was kind of cold all day but I was energized. An NW1 Trial has four searches, each search has one hide. In this trial, Exterior, Interior, and Vehicles gave us three minutes to find the hide, Containers two and a half. Being young, I get distracted easily. If I smell odor, I know exactly what to do and I go get it and tell my mom. If I don’t catch it right away, I play around until I stumble across odor. There is a lot of waiting in this sport, which is also tough when you are young, but I do pretty well.
If you want to see me in action, we put together a video of all four of my searches. Mom has a GoPro strapped to her chest. Sometimes her hands get in the way, but most of the videos are pretty good. In the first search, my exterior search you can see around forty seconds where I catch the odor and I work my way down the wall to the actual hide.
At the end of the day, I passed all my searches and earned my NW1 Title on the first try. Out of all fifty participants, thirty two dogs earned their title, and I placed fourteenth. I was the youngest competitor at thirteen months. Mom and I are super happy but we also know we need to work hard to get to be an even better team. Why am I a nose work rock star? Well, no other dog at my house ever passed on the first try! Emma needed two trials at eight years old, Bailie two at two years old, Madison two at twenty three months old, and huge surprise, Olivia three tries at nineteen months old! Mom says I’m not an Olivia, but I will be a good boy to sniff with. Olivia has a special talent but she took some time to mature.
Now we will practice, practice, and enter an NW2 one of these days and see how that works out.