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MAKING SENSE OF CANINE SCENT DETECTION

Australian Pet Industry News

MAKING SENSE OF CANINE SCENT DETECTION

January 2015

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell. To explain simply, when humans smell vegetable soup, dogs smell each and every ingredient in the soup. Humans have about 5 million cells devoted to smelling, but dogs have about 220 million, as well as four times the brain power devoted to processing scents.

Canines use their incredible sense of smell to interpret the world and detect resources that have value to them and us if we teach them. Dogs can detect and alert their handlers to target odours hidden in a multitude of environments including but not limited to deep underwater and underground.

If you’re interested in how dogs use their nose to detect odours, check out the Detection Dog seminars presented early next year in Sydney by international canine detection expert, Fred Helfers. The two-day ‘Understanding Olfaction & Odours’ seminars will be hosted by K9 Nose Time at the Castle Hill Showground.

With more than 20 years experience in professional detection dog training for police officers, training drug detection and accelerant canines and their handlers, Mr Helfers currently serves as President Emeritus and is founding President of the Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dog Association in the USA. He is also a Certified K9 Nose Work® Instructor for the NACSW® (National Association of Canine Scent Work) in America.

K9 Nose Time is extremely excited to be hosting internationally recognised detector dog trainer Fred Helfers, says Marion Brand ANWI, the first and only K9 Nose Work® Instructor in Australia, and who runs the sport through K9 Nose Time in Castle Hill.

“Fred has not only actively worked with drug detection canines during his 28 years in law enforcement, but has also expanded his expertise to include training canines and handlers in the fields of insect, natural gas and accelerant detection. He is also recognised in American State and Federal Courts as an expert witness in the field of detection canines,” says Ms Brand.

“Fred's seminars offer professional guidance to anyone interested in developing their skills in the new sport of K9 Nose Work® or any form of scent detection training.”

Day 1 Seminar - Saturday, Feb 7 - is for the general public and covers how the canine nose works, breathing versus sniffing, theory of scent discrimination, factors influencing odour, use of training aids, odours and olfaction in K9 Nose Work® and more!

Day 2 Seminar - Sunday, Feb 8 - is suited for experienced K9 Nose Work®ers and anyone involved in scent training, as it focuses on skill building and handler error faults in leash handling, reading change of behavior, search patterns, cueing, considering environment and more.

What is K9 Nose Work®?

K9 Nose Work® is a fun search and alerting sport for all dogs and owners. It is already a titled sport in the United States and is now exploding in Australia with a growing number of people wanting to be instructors, says Marion Brand ANWI, the first and only K9 Nose Work® instructor in Australia and who runs the sport through K9 Nose Time.

“K9 Nose Work® involves 'unleashing' your dog's natural abilities to hunt and indicate the find, which also builds their confidence. It's excellent for shy, fearful, elderly or reactive dogs, and keeps them fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise. The sport also strengthens the dog and owner bond," says Ms Brand.

The 'target odours' that dogs are trained to find are common essential oils. When competing in K9 Nose Work®, dogs are judged on their speed and accuracy in finding and alerting their handlers to the target odour, which may be hidden in interiors (homes, office buildings, factories), exteriors (yards, parks, parking lots), in containers (suitcases, cupboards, bins, handbags) or vehicles (cars, trucks, tractors, boats), just like real life scenarios.

K9 Nose Time

The Detection Dog
“UNDERSTANDING OLFACTION & ODOURS”

-- Fred Helfers

Saturday February 7th and Sunday February 8th
Castle Hill Showground Main Building on Dog Arena

Day One Seminar Outline: Classroom only – no dogs
All-Day Seminar (8am – 5pm) $150.00

Seminar topics:
• Understanding the Canine Olfactory system- How the Canine nose works.
• Breathing vs. Sniffing
• Theory of Scent discrimination.
• The Odour molecule – Factors Influencing Odour
• Temp – Wind – Humidity – Environment.
• Definitions-Use of training aids – containment and handling
• Utilizing your knowledge of Odours and Olfaction in K9 Nose Work®
• Training Scenarios and Environmental issues
• Problem solving Workshop – Review of detection dog training scenarios.

This seminar is for everyone who has a dog and is interested in how dogs use their nose to detect odours.

Day Two Seminar Outline: Handler Error and Skill Building sessions
Morning Seminar – (8am – 12pm) $50.00

Handler Error Seminar “Identifying the 10 most common Handler Error Faults”
This lecture specifically focuses on Handler Error and incorporates both video and Power
Point Presentation. Experience has shown that by establishing and applying a consistent
maintenance training program, the areas of handler error (e.g. leash handling, detailing
skills, reading change of behavior, search patterns, cueing, considering environment) are
easily understood and correctable. The experienced canine handler will quickly recognize
that there are many situations that can lead to handler error.

Afternoon – (1pm to 5pm) $100. Working position $75. Auditors
Handler Drills and Skill Building with 6 – 8 dog teams

Contact K9nosetime@gmail.com for further information

Fred Helfers (CNWI) Biography

Fred Helfers started training and handling detection canines in 1982 while working in law enforcement.

He has actively worked two drug detection canines during his 28 years in law enforcement and has expanded his knowledge and expertise of detection canines by training canines and handlers in the fields of insect detection, natural gas detection and accelerant detection.

For over 20 years Fred operated a professional detection dog training facility for police officers, training drug detection and accelerant canines and their handlers. His passion and recognized expertise in training detection canine teams has led him to conduct detection canine training seminars and classes throughout United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil.

Further, Fred Helfers is recognized in state and Federal Courts as an expert witness in the field of detection canines.

Fred is the founding President of the Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dog Association and currently serves as President Emeritus. Fred is also the past president of the Washington State Police Canine Association.

Fred Helfers is also a member of the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Factors.

He is one of 55 national and international scientists, trainers and practitioners, developing public safety detection dog best practices. Fred Helfers is a Certified Nose Work Instructor in the Tucson - Green Valley, Arizona area.


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