One of the great challenges for most Nosework teams is sourcing odor on grass or in places where a lot of dogs have marked. Parks are excellent examples of these types of places. That makes them excellent places to practice nose work challenges!
During a seminar, with a group of handler teams at all levels of experience, we met at a park and our final search experience of the day was odor in grass.
The handlers were freaked out. The dogs, well, they were dogs and embraced the challenge.
Out of fifteen or so teams, only one dog piddled in the grass. All the rest found the source odor hides rather quickly (just like they seem to do in other settings.)
In general, it seems the dogs figure out rather quickly that they have a job to do. They gear up and do the job. It’s the human at the other end of the leash that so often gets in the way.
My advice, start simple (for you.) Place a hide on a bench or a picnic table. Place a hide in a sidewalk crack with bushes on one side or the other (or both.) Work up to hides in the grass.
I’ll share my favorite grass exercise in the next post…share your favorite park hide in the comments below.