Nose Work & Target Training – Useful and Fun For All Dogs

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nose work, target training, vitalvet

Last week, we saw a Facebook post that really caught our attention – a Corgi named Daisy competing in K9 Nose Work.  What jumped out was that this Corgi had degenerative myelopathy (DM) and was in a wheelchair, and her mom wheeled her around in a wagon, going from station to station to compete.   In their last competition a few weeks ago, this dynamic duo came in 9th overall! 

This is Daisy, in her wheelchair and wagon with her wonderful caregiver, C. Lepine, competing in K9 Nose Work Trials.  “This is the one dog sport that Daisy lives for and is possible in her wheels” – C. Lepine  – first seen on Living with Dogs with DM FB group

Nose work and target training are useful and fun activities for all dogs.  Nose touch targeting is a big component of Nose Work, and can be done by all dogs, even seniors and those that are physically challenged or even blind. 

Nose touch target training makes perfect sense to dogs – dogs experience the world through their noses so they can quickly adapt to this type of training.  Here are some perks of Nose Work and Target Training:

  • It forms a stronger bond between you and your dog… and isn’t that what we all want?!
  • It’s a great way to add alternative work and fitness routines for canine athletes.
  • It’s a wonderful enrichment activity for dogs of all ages and abilities.
  • It teaches your dog to control their impulses, which can certainly protect them from dangerous situations.
  • It’s an easy lead-in to teach other tricks, like ‘circles’ and ‘sit’.
  • It is a great tool for dogs that pull – it’s a force-free approach to have your dog heel and walk by your side with a loose leash (rather than having to pull on the leash).
  • It’s mentally stimulating for your dog, which also focuses and calms them.
  • It’s a great way to teach your dog how to communicate better with you.
  • It’s simple and easy to teach and no equipment or special environment is needed.
  • Dogs love it and think it’s really fun!

Beyond using their noses, dogs can be taught to target using their paws or other body parts.  If you and your dog want to get started on the fun, here’s an awesome course on targeting.

For more information on Target Training, check out these links:

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