Your PON's nose may be as much as a million times more sensitive than
your own nose ! His nasal cavity is filled with blood vessels and nerve
endings that connect to a highly developed olfactory center of his brain,
which makes your PON the perfect canine for finding just about anything
using this highly developed sense of smell. Our PON's entire world
is mostly experienced through his nose, in contrast to our world, which
is shown to us through our eyes.
If you would like to start scent training your PON, you will need
some treats and a large grassy area that hasn't been walked on by lots
of people. It is best to take your PONS out early in the morning,
before others (dogs and owners) have walked on the grass.
Have your PON sit or do a "down," and give him a command to
stay. Bring along a few treats and ground them into the grass.
With the residue from the treat on the bottom of your shoes, walk a
straight line. Stop in six to 10 feet, and drop a treat. Continue to do
this until you are about 20 feet from your PON. Drop a toy, your shawl
or another object that he can find at the end of the trail. Now place a
treat on top of the item.
Stand next to your PON and release him from the "stay"
command. Tell him to "find it" and let him begin to sniff. If
he follows the trail you put down, encourage him with "good"
and follow him down the trail. Don't try to lead him. Remember that he's
the one with the super nose!
Please be careful not to distract your PON from his work.
Do two or three such sessions each day, continuing as long as your PON
seems to be having fun and is excited by his game. As your dog learns
the skills, increase the length of the trail, adding corners to it and
more items along the way. Place treats only on the article you wish him
to locate.. You may need to begin marking the trail so you can determine
if your PON is actually following it.
If you and your PON seem to enjoy scent training, you might wish to
consider search-and-rescue training. In general, dogs who are candidates
for search and rescue are in good physical condition and have a stable
temperament. They must have stamina, gentleness with people and respond
well to strangers.For information about search and rescue training
courses for you and your PON, and the steps toward becoming certified in
this field, contact the National Association for Search and Rescue.