Solve it! Scent Puzzles to Strengthen Sourcing Skills

Friday Oct 4

1:40 PM

Experience Level: Novice & Above

Setting up puzzles is a fun way for our dogs to build confidence sourcing hides. Sourcing a hide is all about problem solving and it’s our job to present appropriate and educational challenges. We can build their sourcing skills with purposeful hide placements that require dogs to push deep into areas or to puzzle out what the visual context might NOT be telling them!

Most dogs love to problem solve and thrive with the challenges. This lab will showcase many of my drills including mazes, use of airflow and setting up contrasts to build confidence and clarity. Dogs learn that the most relevant and salient component is the target ODOR!

Prerequisite: Dogs should be proficient on all 3 odors (Birch, Anise, and Clove).

Presenter Bio

Julie Symons

Julie Symons (she/her) has been involved in dog sports for 30 years and prides herself on the versatile accomplishments she has earned with her dogs. She has earned HITs across four different sports with four dogs and earned Championships in Obedience, Conformation, Agility and Nosework. Her passion for dog training grew out of the incredible journey she shared with her first performance dog Rival. She was her Novice A dog and together became the first CH OTCH MACH Belgian Tervuren.

Through their journey, Julie learned how wonderful the bond can be with our canine partners and all that was possible to accomplish together. After the thrill of earning a TDX and immersing herself in Nosework with her next dog Savvy, Julie’s love for scent sports intensified. She has been coaching Nosework teams since 2014, is a co-creator and judge for the FDSA virtual NW TEAM program and is a retired AKC licensed Scent Work judge.

Along with being a faculty member at FDSA, Julie is owner of Savvy Dog Sports, Inc where she teaches in-person Foundation, Nosework and Agility classes. She is a consummate learner, an energetic instructor and skillful at problem solving. Julie brings a wealth of experience to her students; her success across multiple sports is built on solid foundation skills and effective communication.

Julie currently shares her life with 3 dogs:

  • Savvy, 16 yrs young, has earned a CH, ELT-CH, MACH2, UD, TDX, VCD3 and many other NW titles.
  • Drac, 8 yrs old, has earned his ELT-CH, MX MXJ HSAd TDX and many other NW titles.
  • Moxie, 5 yrs old, has earned her CH, ELT-CH, AX AXJ HSAds TD and many other NW titles.

In addition to the joy in reaching her competition goals and those of her students, Julie is most content when out on a trail hiking with her dogs and spending time at home with her husband and son.