Optimizing your Start Line

Sunday Oct 6

11:00 AM

Experience Level: Novice & Above

How successful your search is, is often a direct function of your start line. In order to get a dog to leave the start line in focus and searching immediately and effectively, you need to have the right combination of arousal, timing, and engagement. What you do leading up to and on the start line can affect all three of these things. In this session, we will talk about how we can optimize these components and then we will modify and craft the start lines of the working teams in this session. We will also talk about staging strategies. This session will be helpful for teams at all levels and for all drive levels.

Presenter Bio

Stacy Barnett

Stacy Barnett, an avid trainer, coach, and competitor, has been a Faculty Member at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy since 2015. As a clinician, she has taught extensively both in North America as well as Europe. As a competitor, she is currently the only handler to have put multiple Summit titles on three different dogs (as of 2023: Judd SMTx3, Brava SMTx3, Powder SMTx2… and counting) with the National Association of Canine Scent Work. Stacy is a licensed Judge for AKC Scent Work where she was also retained in an advisory position for the AKC Scent Work program for 2 years. She is the author of the popular blog, Scentsabilities Nosework, and has delivered over 200 educational webinars since 2017. Stacy also co-hosts the popular podcast, K9 Detection Collaborative with Robin Greubel and Crystal Wing. In addition to training for Nosework, Stacy is committed to Search and Rescue and is working towards certification with her Labrador, Prize, as a Wilderness Air Scent K9.

With her degree in Chemical Engineering and her understanding of fluid flow dynamics, she has a deep understanding of odor movement. She believes in utilizing Scent Theory and odor to educate and craft the highly competitive nosework dog as well as bringing enrichment to dogs using Nosework as an activity to build confidence. She prides herself in being able to bring creative solutions to build odor obedience, independence, confidence, and motivation for the sport.

Stacy’s approach to training goes beyond just setting Nosework hides. She takes an approach that cares for both the emotional and the cognitive aspects of the dog in order to help bring out the dog’s full potential, and coaches heavily on building handler clarity and development of an effective and individualized reinforcement system. Her approach is not only reflected in her own dogs’ successes but also in her students. Stacy truly finds joy in tapping into a dog’s desire to search and to communicate with the handler.

Stacy has had six Nosework partners of her own which have run the gamut between extremely high drive dogs to dogs who have needed their confidence and motivation built from the ground up. In addition to Nosework, Stacy has competed with her dogs in Agility, Obedience, Rally, Tracking, Barn Hunt, and Dock Diving. She is also actively training for IPO-R and Search and Rescue.