Dagon is a five-year old Beagle mix rescue from the Humane Society Of Southwest Missouri who has been coming to Camp since February of 2015. While he loves the Camp life and romping around the yards with his sister, Echo, Dagon is not your average Camper!
When Dagon was a puppy and adolescent dog, he walked in front of his owner, Michelle, pulled on his leash, and had his nose to the ground all the time. Michelle wanted to find something to encourage this, since it came so natural. Dagon needed a job!
In the summer of 2016 Michelle took a nosework class at Springfield MO Dog Training Club. They train you to train your dog to detect different odors. The odors can be hidden on vehicles, in a container, an outside area, an indoor room or buried in dirt. The sport is modeled after law enforcement and military detection dogs. Dagon’s body and puppy brain get exercise at the same time. It’s great for high energy and high drive dogs!
At a trial, the judge puts scented oil on a q-tip or cotton ball and hides it. The judge tells you where your search area is before you go in with your dog. Your dog has to tell you where the odor is and you have to tell the judge when your dog finds it, but you don’t know where the odor is – You have to trust your dog!
Searches are timed. Teams that find the odors within the time frame are given a qualifying ribbon, additional ‘bonus ribbons’ are awarded to the top four fastest search times. Teams must earn two qualifying ribbons to title and move up to the next level!
UKC (United Kennel Club), AKC (American Kennel Club) and NACSW (National Association of Canine Scentwork) sponsor trials, and your dog has to be registered with the kennel club or NACSW before you enter. Mixed breeds and purebred dogs can enter trials!
Michelle will be the first one to tell you that this sport saved Dagon by increasing confidence and reducing anxiety. And more importantly, Dagon loves it! It’s also great for Michelle as the dog owner because she gets to meet other people who share the same interest in their dogs. Even though the trial is a competition, she cheers for other dog owners and their dogs, and they want TeamDagon to succeed too!
We love hearing about Dagon’s competitions. Dagon comes to Camp between competitions to socialize and get out some extra energy. We are proud he is a part of our Pack!