What to expect at an ORT?


November 2011 - So Ren and I were lucky enough to participate in the first ORT in the Southeast that was held today, along with 49 other Nosework teams. First off – a huge thanks to the organizers Lisa Rodier, ANWI and Christy Waehner, ANWI. Awesome day – with lots of effort and planning involved.


We arrived at 9am. It was a little cool in Atlanta this morning, but quickly warmed up. The parking areas were clearly separated with Reactive dogs having a quieter space with fewer people and dogs going by the cars.


The vibe in the parking lot was calm and quiet. The running order was clearly posted at one end of the parking lot. I was happy to see we were the 8th dog in – pretty early in the running order. Dogs hung out in the cars, while competitors chatted waiting for registration to begin at 9am.





 Sign-in began promptly at 9am – it just took a few minutes to stand in line and sign your waiver and photo release.


The Briefing was held at 9:30am. All the details needed to have a successful ORT run were reviewed. Lisa and her team were very prepared, covered lots of details and answered questions. We then actually got to walk through the “traffic flow” from being at the gate, to the practice boxes, to being on deck, and then got to see the actual search area.


There were boxes available before and after your search. Great idea having boxes for “after” for any dogs that struggled with the search – as you could then allow them to end the day with success.





 Ren was calm  waiting in the car for her turn. Even though she was 8th in the running order, we didn’t sit around much after briefing as things moved pretty quick. Our name was called to move into the “gate” position and we did. I let Ren see me load her treat bag with some great stuff – so she knew something was up. After waiting at the gate for just a few minutes, we then moved to the warm-up boxes (when the dog ahead of us moved on) I set her up for a practice search just like I do in class. She found the birch no problem and got rewarded. After that first practice search we moved away from the boxes and just waited our turn.


We next moved to the “on deck” area – which was not too far from the entrance to the search area. I gave the volunteer manning the door our score book. We then were on “the line”!


We entered the search room – and Ren just seems to focus on the boxes from the beginning. I took almost all of the 10 seconds to talk to Ren and let her look around a bit – and then put her down on the start line and told her to search. She started walking up one of the lines of boxes (there were 2 rows of 10) and I just let her lead.



She systematically sniffed each box in one of the lines, and alerted (she uses her paw – she picked that herself) I then said ALERT, the judge said “CORRECT” and I bent down to give Ren some of the roast beef from her treat bag right next to the box. Total time – 6.62 seconds 

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