Sourcing Odor with Stacy Barnett

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla and Stacy Barnett discuss sourcing. They cover what sourcing is and all you need to know about sourcing and nose-work. 

What is sourcing?

  • Dogs driving to the highest concentration of odor
  • It isn’t ONLY the moment of the dog finding target, it’s the entire components of the dog’s drive as they search for the scent

Overview of the components of a search

  • A large component is your dog not being in odor all of the time
  • The dog has to seek out the odor, driving to the source, getting to the source, and alerting to the source

What does sourcing LOOK like in our dogs?

  • Look for the “aha” moment
  • Look for an emotional shift
  • If they understand the game, they will get excited 

How to handle our dogs to help them (without creating MORE problems)

  • Reinforce the “aha” moment and put emphasis on driving to the source. After that, you can start adding the final response/the alert 
  • It’s more important to focus on the sourcing, rather than the final response, because once you learn to read your dog’s sourcing body language, you won’t necessarily need a final response
  • Allow your dog to work independently, don’t help too much 
  • Try to teach your dog to not pay attention to your behavior and focus on sourcing
  • Consider what you’re doing with your body pressure
  • Be mindful of human precision vs dog precision
  • Don’t underestimate your dog

 Exercises for building a dog’s ability to source/drive to odor

  • Set your exercises up for success
  • Thermal puzzles
  • 3-dimensional searches 

Links Mentioned in the Episode

Where to find Stacy Barnett:

Stacy Barnett is a top nosework competitor and trainer, being one of only a handful of teams with multiple Summit Level (SMTx3) titles in the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) with her dog, Judd. Stacy has been a faculty member at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy since 2015 and is an international clinician for seminars around the world. She is a licensed Judge for for AKC Scent Work where she was also retained in an advisory position for the AKC Scent Work program for 2 years. Stacy is the author of the popular blog, Scentsabilities Nosework, and hosts weekly educational webinars.

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, confidence, drive, and motivation for the sport. Her mantra is CONFIDENCE, MOTIVATION, SKILLS and STAMINA.

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