2021 Dave Kroyer Nosework Seminar

Dave Kroyer Nosework Seminar 6/4-6/21
See An Illustrated Explanation of Nosework

Friday, June 4 was for dogs with little or no introduction to nosework.   

In the Kroyer system of detection dog training behaviors are taught operantly while introducing variables of discriminations in a controlled setting.  The indication is taught first in isolation, creating a clear, durable and distraction-free alert that becomes the basis for all future work.  The dog learns that sound, handler movement, handler orientation and distractions should be disregarded.  The nose, and the nose alone, will lead the dog to the target source and only from displaying two learned behaviors (sit or down) will it earn a reward. Only after it has a solid indication is the dog worked in real world situations, resulting in the creation of a powerful, independent searching dog.

Learn more at www.davekroyer.com (including a thirteen-video “Super Snout series showing his method) and on @davekroyerdogs.

Step 1 – Primary Reinforcer
The dog is introduced to the scent as the handler trickles treats down the pipe when the dog places its nose in the pipe.

Step 2 – Secondary Reinforcer
Once the dog has learned to put its nose into the pipe, the handler moves to secondary reinforcement, clicking to signify a good choice and tossing the treat.  In the Kroyer method, dogs are not rewarded at the source of the odor, but go to the source, indicate and continue holding the indication until the  handler clicks, then return to the handler for  their reward.  It takes coordination to hold the pipe correctly, hold the clicker AND hold treats!

From now on, look for the clicker in the handler’s hand.  The dog must hold the indication until the handler clicks, then it gets its reward.

Step 3 – Introducing the mounted pipe
The dog is introduced to pipe that is mounted on a board so that it can be set on the ground.

Step 4 – One pipe on the ground
The handler begins asking the dog to work independently, with the handler at greater and greater distances.  The dog holds the indication (nose in pipe) until the clicker sounds, then returns to the handler for reward.  It learns to, on its own, return to the pipe to indicate again.

Step 5 – Searching a row of pipes for the one containing the odor.
The dog begins searching.

See Friday’s photos:
Page 1:  Intro and Steps 1 & 2
Page 2:  Steps 3, 4 & 5

Saturday, 6/5/21:  Novice & Advanced Dogs

Morning Work at Craftco Metal Works

Today was for dogs competing in Novice or Advanced nosework trials.  Both classes contain only 1 hide (birch for Novice and anise for Advanced), with no distractions.  The novice exterior and interior search areas are pretty small, while the Advanced areas are larger.   In Novice vehicles, the hide is normally on the front bumper, while in Advanced vehicles the hide can be anywhere on the vehicle. 

Dave set up both a vehicle search and three exterior searches for each level, all of them being a little more difficult than actual competition searches. 

Afternoon Work at the PAWSitive Training Arena

Novice Interior Search  Novice dogs experienced what a novice interior search at a trial is like.

Advanced Search:  an assortment of pipes and containers

Improving Indications:  depending on the dog’s need for help, going back to the wooden box it was initially trained on, then to containers, then to luggage or an actual search object.

Using a Toy as Reward Instead of Food  Demonstrating how to move from food to toy reward to get more intensity and focus.

See Saturday’s photos:
Page 1:  Introduction & vehicle search
Page 2:  Novice Exterior and Advanced Exterior searches
Page 3:  Advanced Exterior searches
Page 4:  Advanced Exterior searches
Page 5:  Novice Interior searches
Page 6:  Improving Indications
Page 7:  Transitions from Food to Toy As Reward

Sunday, 6/6/21:  Superior – Elite Dogs

Morning Work at Craftco Metal Works

We had specifically asked Dave for the chance to work under the new Elite level rules, in which we are not told how many hides to look for, nor distractions to be aware of.  He set up an elite exterior search and another for superior-masters level.  Handlers decided which they wanted to attempt. Also, on the superior-masters search, they could have him tell them how many hides were there or not. 

Superior-Masters search  There were 3 hides and 3 distractions (a ball and the others food).  9 dogs did this search.

Elite search  There were four hides and 4 distractions.  3 dogs did this search.

Vehicle search  All the dogs did the same vehicle search.

Afternoon Work at the PAWSitive Training Arena

Three Circles Container Search  We did not know how many hides there were, so we had to call alerts and then “Finished.”  All dogs did this search.

See Sunday’s photos:
Page 1:  Intro & Superior-Master Exterior searches
Page 2:  Superior-Master Exterior searches
Page 3:  Superior-Master Exterior AND Elite Exterior searches
Page 4:  Vehicle searches
Page 5:  Vehicle searches
Page 6:  Container searches
Page 7:  Container searches