Berakah & Spirit Searching Vehicles

Photo Shoot of Berakah & Spirit Doing Vehicle Searches

I got a call one night from the person in our nosework training group who gets permission when we want to work on vehicles at TTT Auto Sales.  She mentioned that she’d had a call from the owner.  My first thought was that somehow we had left a hide on one of the vehicles.  It wasn’t that at all.  When we had worked there earlier in the week, a friend of Todd’s had been having supper at Wendy’s, across the street from the car lot.  He had seen us working and called Todd to let him know that people and their dogs were over there fooling around with the vehicles.  Todd told him, no, that we had permission and that he was excited that for the last several years we had been training there.  He then called Marlene to see if we’d be willing to take some photos of our dogs working, with their sign in the background, and write up an explanation of what were doing so that they could post it on their Facebook page.

Of course we were!  So the following Sunday, when the lot was closed, we took Berakah and Spirit down and took a few photos.



Here’s what I wrote up for them:

Nosework is a competition dog sport that is a spin off from narcotics dog training. Instead of drugs, nosework dogs search for essential oils. Competition consists of five different levels and dogs compete in four different elements – exteriors, interiors, vehicles and a set of cardboard boxes called containers. In both exteriors and interiors, the beginner class, Novice, involves a small area and only one hide, which is birch. Advanced dogs search a larger area for one hide, which is anise. Superior dogs search a still larger area for two scents – clove and either birch or anise, and have to ignore one distraction which can be either food or a toy. Masters level dogs search an even larger area with three to four scents – myrrh plus any of the previous scents and one or more distractions. Elite level dogs search a still larger area for vetiver plus up to three of the other scents and two or more distractions.

In vehicles, novice dogs search three passenger vehicles which are all facing the same way, and the hide will only be on the front bumper of one, the scent placed no higher than 2’. Advanced dogs search the entire vehicle, still a set of three facing the same direction and still no higher than 2’. Superior searches involve four vehicles, three of which must be passenger vehicles, set in a line but can face any direction. Scents may be placed up to 3’ high on the vehicles. Superior searches involve 5 vehicles, three of which must be other than passenger vehicles, and the vehicles may be in a scattered arrangement. Masters searches use five vehicles, two of which need not be automobiles, in a scattered pattern with no specific orientation. Scents may be placed up to 4’ high. Elite searches need 6 vehicles, two of which are not automobiles, set in a scattered pattern with no specific orientation. Scents may be placed up to 5’ high on the vehicles.

Berakah & Spirit are German Shepherd dogs belonging to Cel Hope. Berakah, age 10.5 years, has been competing in nosework since 2014. She competes at elite level in all elements except vehicles, where she competes in masters due to the few trials which have offered vehicle competitions. Spirit, who is 4.5 years old, competes at the superior level in exteriors and novice level at the other three elements, including vehicles. We have 2 trials a year in our area. One element is offered each day of the trial. The spring trial offered interiors and containers; the fall trial will offer interiors, exteriors and vehicles.