Drac does ORT boxes!

I’ve been continuing to build Drac’s value for odor, alternating between simple interior hides and containers. I recently introduced him to vented cardboard boxes and was using them in simple searches with just a few containers.

ORT stands for Odor Recognition Test and is the test used by the NACSW organization to verify that a dog can recognize odor. In order to enter a trial, you must pass the recognition test for each level of titling. The ORT requires that your dog search 12 closed cardboard boxes, correctly identify the box with odor, and that the handler can read the dog’s indication for location of odor.

We had a unseasonably warm day today – in the 60s which is a heat wave for early March!! So I couldn’t resist setting up some box searches outside.  After a few searches with the hot box vented, I did 2 with it completed closed! Super excited with his work and especially his first time working outdoors.

I’ve done a few things differently with introducing the ORT boxes. I used to spend more time using a tin with scented qtips in the box. At a NACSW ORT test, 3 qtips are taped under the lid in the box. The odor really permeates the box when set up this way, especially on the top. I did first acclimated him to cardboard boxes using a tin in an open/vented box and then quickly went to taping the qtips in the box and AGING it for an hour+. Aging is key for “contained”/closed containers so that the odor can really fill up the container.

Here’s our video session from today. You’ll notice that Drac is not wearing a harness. This is because we are still working on our “putting on a harness” skills. Not his favorite thing! Not wanting to add that into this picture yet – we run on his collar or off leash. My favorite part is at 1:30! Love that he is respectful of the boxes and not plowing through them or having any unwanted behavior/antic at the boxes.

Having so much fun with the little active guy!