SCENTWORK 101 - Make a HIDE
Gather your supplies. You will need gloves, paper towels, a plastic baggie, odor, cut swabs, glass jars and vinegar. Put the dogs in another room and give them a Kong or a Bully stick. This make take you awhile.
I like to do all my "work" in a sink in case I have a spill.
Place a paper towel in your sink. Have your vinegar handy just in case you have a spill. Open your glass jar. Put your gloves on.
If you do have a spill, wipe up with paper towels and then wipe the spill area with vinegar. Be sure to dispose of these "clean-up" paper towels so your dog can't access.
For AKC hides, place 2 drops of the target odor on each swap head.
Swaps should have cardboard stems, not plastic.
Place your "source" (swabs with odor) in your storage containers (Glass jars)
For NACSW hides, place a few drops of the target odor on the side of a container that contains a handful of swaps, close the container, and shake to distribute.
For Performance Scent Dogs, three to five drops of a single essential oil will be added to a jar of 50 swab heads. Close the container, and shake to distribute.
Repeat as needed for all target odors you plan to make hides for . Label your containers and/or jars. Ideally you would have separate tweezers for each odor (Confession - I just use the same hemostats for all)
I compete in AKC Scentwork, NACSW, and Performance Scent Dogs so I have source prepared of all different strengths, and change up in my training.
Let the swabs sit for 24 hours.
Prepare a "hide"
A hide is always in a Scent vessel (straw, tubing, tin) to prevent the essential oils from coming in contact with whatever you place your hide on and contaminating things.
Gather your scent vessels - bent straw pictured right. Straight straw, tin, centrifuges pictured below.
Using your tweezers or hemostats, place one of your swabs in a scent vessel - or one or more swabs for NACSW.
Congratulations - you now have a hide!
Place your hides of similar odor and strength in a labeled glass storage jar.
I will store source in scent vessels for just a few weeks at a time, and then discard. The essential oils will break down the plastic and can change the scent of the odor. I prepare hides in advance for convenience, so I can grab and go when I am ready to train.
Add your labelled hide jars to your storage kit. You don't have to add your source to scent vessels ahead of time, you can wait and prepare the hides when you are ready to train. I usually have both - some jars with just prepared swaps (source) and other jars with source added to scent vessels (hides).
When you are done, place your paper towel in your baggie. Wipe up any spills with vinegar on a paper towel. Turn your gloves inside out, and place in the baggie.
Place this trash in an area that your dogs aren't able to access.
Your dogs should be done with their Kongs by now, and can come back in the room.
Your source and/or hides are complete!