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Before registering for the Sniffertunities Virtual Skills Challenge, please read the contents on this page in detail.

Virtual Skills Challenge—Winter 2021 Edition

Registration is now closed! Please email laura@connectingwithdogs.com to be notified of future events.

Skills Challenge Overview


The purpose of the Sniffertunities Virtual Skills Challenge is to facilitate a fun, supportive, and educational community while fostering some friendly competition all from the safety and comfort of your own home. Whether you’re an experienced scent work handler or a companion dog owner who is new to nose work, we’re excited to have you join us to stretch your dog’s scent work skills and give them some super fun sniffer-tunities to do it! Each week for 4 weeks, we’ll announce a new skill challenge you’ll work on with your dog. The challenges will focus on your dog’s understanding of the identified skill and you are encouraged to challenge yourself and your dog each week. There will also be a surprise, optional bonus challenge on week 5! There are two levels of participation for each challenge—a Foundation Level and a Pro Level. Each week you decide what level you’d like to participate in for that specific challenge and submit your video during to have judges review it. Winners will be announced each week (sometimes at random draw) to win some sniff-a-riffic prizes!




What You Need to Participate


  • A dog—all ages and breeds are welcome!
  • A target odor your dog is already familiar with; K9 Nose Work odors, human remains, car keys, tea bags, turtle poop… you get the idea!
  • A video-recording device. Most cell phones will work perfect for this!
  • A Facebook account. All challenges and communication during the series will be through our private Facebook group.




Skills Challenge Details


  • Once a week, a new challenge will be posted in the Facebook group along with the prize packages available.
  • Criteria will be defined each week for each participation level (Foundation and Pro).
    • Foundation Level: Great for those new to scent work or revisiting foundation skills.
    • Pro Level: Great for those who love a challenge and whose dog has some resilience to a bit more complicated searches.
  • A 48-hour video submission time period will be announced each week when the challenge is posted.
  • You work with your dog on the skills challenge, then upload your video to the specific Facebook thread during the specified time period.
  • Once the video submission period has closed, The SVSC Committee meets to judge the submissions. Winners will be announced a few days later!
  • Judges will include professional working dog handlers that will share feedback each week from participant videos that will help you get additional tips and ideas to continue culturing your dog’s skills.
  • You are encouraged to reward your dog, as normal, after they locate the hide/s.




Video Submission Information


  • Each week you’ll upload your submission in the Facebook group, under that specific skill level challenge. For example, you’ll post your video for week 1 in the “Week 1 - Pro Level” thread.
  • One video is allowed per dog each week (if you registered multiple dogs). You must post your video in the appropriate thread for the level (Foundation or Pro) you're participating at for that specific week.
  • Videos must be 3 minutes or less. Videos over 3 minutes will not be judged.
  • Your video should be taken using a method where we can see you and your dog. Use a tripod, prop up the camera, or have someone else video record for you.
  • You can upload the video directly into the thread as a video file *OR* post a link to a YouTube/Vimeo (or similar) video. If you choose the latter, please make sure viewing permissions are set to public/unlisted/etc. so we can see the video. We will not have time to troubleshoot if we cannot see the video.
  • Your videos will NOT be shared outside the private Facebook group without written permission from the video owner.




The Schedule (Updated 2/8/2021)


  • WEEK 1: Handler Antics—Desensitizing your dog to your weird behavior
    • Challenge posted on Monday, February 15, 2021
  • WEEK 2: Squirrel!!!—Working with distractions
    • Challenge posted on Monday, February 22, 2021
  • WEEK 3: An Abundance of Source—Multiple hides and odor concentration
    • Challenge posted on Monday, March 1, 2021
  • WEEK 4: The Periodic Table of Elements—Variety is the sniff of life
    • Challenge posted on Monday, March 8, 2021
  • WEEK 5: Surprise BONUS Challenge!
    • Challenge posted on Monday, March 15, 2021




Still Have Questions?


I'm happy to help! Please send me an email anytime at laura@connectingwithdogs.com!




FAQs


Q: How do I register? A: Click the button at the bottom of this page, or go directly to: www.connectingwithdogs.com/sniffertunities-registration.
Registration is open through 8pm CST on Friday, February 12th, 2021.

Q: How much does it cost to participate?
A: $60 per dog. Credit card payment is due at the time of registration. You are welcome to register multiple dogs if you wish! Q: How do I get access to the Facebook group?
A: Upon successful registration and payment remittance, you will be emailed a link to the private "Sniffertunities Virtual Skills Challenge" Facebook group.In order to be granted access to the group, you will be asked 3 membership questions. The third question will ask you to provide a secret phrase, which will be emailed to you after you complete this registration form. Once your questions are submitted, a group admin will review verify your answers and grant you access to the group. Please allow 24 hours for the admin to review and approve your submission. Q: Do I have to participate at the same level each week?
A: Great question! You get to choose what participation level your dog works each week. For example, you can do the Pro Level challenge for Week 1, then do the Foundation Level challenge for Week 2, and so on. Q: What if I can't participate every week? Do you allow partial registration and participation?
A: You are welcome to skip a week if needed, however you must still pay the $60 registration fee. Q: What are the payment and cancellation policies?
A: Credit card payment will be collected at the time of registration to confirm your spot. Cancellations will be honored before 8:00pm Central Standard Time on Friday, February 12th, 2021. An email request must be submitted to laura@connectingwithdogs.com for all cancellation requests. Please be sure laura@connectingwithdogs.com is on your safe-sender email list so you do not miss any important communication details related to this event.





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