Ep. 116: Spotlight - Foster Dog Sniffer School

Jul 5, 2024

In this Spotlight Series episode, we have the distinct privilege of speaking with Lori Timberlake of Do Over Dog Training regarding her amazing Foster Dog Sniffer School program. This is an incredible program designed to help shelter and foster dogs within Lori's community by providing them an opportunity to enjoy all the benefits Nose Work has to offer.

Lori recently offered a webinar where she went into more detail about how this type of program works, Nose Work: Perfect Activity for Dogs in Rescue Webinar.

If you are an instructor looking to offer a similar program for your community, schedule a Zoom consultation with Lori here.


  • Dianna L. Santos
  • Lori Timberlake


Dianna L. Santos (00:00):
Welcome to the All About Scet Work Podcast. In this podcast, we talk about all things Scent Work that can include training tips, a behind scenes look of what your instructor or trial official may be going through and much more. In this spotlight episode, we speak with Lori Timberlake of Do Over Dog Training regarding her Foster Dog Sniffer Program. So before we start diving into the episode itself, let me do a very quick introduction of myself. My name is Dianna Santos. I'm the Owner and Lead Instructor of Scent Work University. This is an online dog training platform where you provide online courses, seminars, webinars, and eBooks, all centered around Scent Work. So regardless of where you are in your sniffing journey, maybe you've just gotten started, maybe you're looking to develop some more advanced skills. Perhaps you're interested in competing or maybe you're even competing at the highest levels, we likely have a trading solution for you. So now that you know a little bit more about me, let's having to the episode itself.

So in this spotlight episode, I have the distinct privilege of having a conversation with Lori Timberlake of Do Over Dog Training regarding her Foster Dog Sniffer Program. Let's have a listen to that conversation. I want to thank you so very much for joining us today for this really exciting conversation. First of all, people are like, oh yes, please, she's talking to somebody else. But also because you have this amazing program that I would love to learn more about, it's your Foster Dog Sniffer School, which just sounds really, really, really exciting. So can you give an overview of what that is? People may be like, what is that?

Lori Timberlake (01:32):
I'm sure some people have heard about shelter programs and things like that, and that's something that I wanted to do. Time is just an issue in my world, but it got to the point where I'm like, I really want to give back. I want to do something. We moved into a new space and Friday nights are typically not a great night for regular classes. So it's basically a free class for foster groups or rescue groups that can bring their foster parents and foster dogs in, and they do. It's almost like an intro to Nose Work class where it's mostly just searching for a primary reward inbox, but it's just like a basic Nose Work class.

Dianna L. Santos (02:15):
That sounds so awesome. This is what I love about, first of all you, but also just the activity overall is there's so many possibilities as far as where you can go with this and the fact that you're opening up this possibility to this population of dogs that are already within the shelter rescue world. They're looking for homes, they've been lucky enough to be in a foster home as opposed to potentially a shelter, and now there's this enrichment possibility on top of, okay, get used to being in a home so you can get ready to be adopted. That's amazing. So when did the program start?

Lori Timberlake (02:59):
I believe it started in February of this year. February, 2024.

Dianna L. Santos (03:03):
Okay. And then how has it been going so far? Well, first of all, how did you have the idea? So you were talking about how you were like, I wanted to do something with shelters, but as anyone who knows you, yes, there is. Lori is spread very thin. There's just so many things that she does. So how did this idea come together of creating something where the foster parents come to you for this type of class?

Lori Timberlake (03:29):
So we moved to our new location and there's actually, it's a mix of a dog daycare and a adoption center really close to us, and I'm like, oh, we should work with them. They're right across the street. And I thought about going over there and bringing boxes over there and all this stuff, and I'm like, why doesn't everybody just come to us? And I originally opened it up to a few foster groups that I knew of and that I knew people that were associated with them. And it just got spread and it just got shared and shared on social media and it went to all of our local foster groups. And I'm like, you know what? Whoever wants to come can come. And that way they're coming to me. We've got all the supplies, we've got all the boxes. I don't have to lug anything anywhere. And again, time saver, as much as I would love to go to the shelters, and actually one of my instructors does go to one of our local shelters, so we are doing a little bit of that, but like you said, it's just I'm spread so thin that it just works easier if they come to me and it's been going really, really nice.

Dianna L. Santos (04:38):
So when you're holding this type of class, is it where the shelters or the foster parents, are they signing up for a sequence? Is it a drop-in? Is it a, okay, I have to start at this stage and then I go through? How does it work logistically when you're putting it together?

Lori Timberlake (04:57):
So I had different ideas when I was starting it, but basically we have a registration system and we really wanted the, just to keep it a little bit cleaner, whoever's in charge of that rescue group, they do all the registering. So it gets a little bit tricky registers every week, but a different foster person comes in, so I get everybody's names and do the waivers and all that stuff when they come in, but at least that way the foster group gets the information of what to bring and what to expect and all that stuff. They share it with their people. And my plan was, and I want to say this is a good thing, and we haven't had anyone come too many weeks where we've really had to add odor or make anything too much difficult because these dogs are getting adopted pretty quickly. I don't know if it has anything to do with what we're doing or just really good luck or just really good foster or rescue groups that are getting them adopted.

But we haven't had anyone in long term. But my plan was, and we can talk about this more as we go, was then if they do have a long-term foster that they just have week after week after week, we could do some maybe cyber sent work titles or do something like that to get them some certificates that then will make them even more adoptable. But lucky to say, we have not had that issue yet. I think the most a dog has come is maybe four weeks, and then they get adopted. So they're just doing real basic stuff, but they're loving it.

Dianna L. Santos (06:25):
That's so awesome. And for you to be a part of that journey of seeing a dog for a couple of weeks and they're like, oh, where did Spot go? Oh, Spot got adopted. Oh,

Lori Timberlake (06:37):
That's really interesting. And I have to say, oh, I'm sorry. No, go ahead. At the end of every class I say like, well, I want to see you again, but I hope I don't see you again. And I never say that in any other class, but it's kind of the way I end my classes. I hope I don't see you again or that you come back with your adopted family. But yeah, they are getting adopted pretty quickly, which is nice.

Dianna L. Santos (07:02):
And what do you think the contribution is for the Foster Sniffer School? As far as how it is? Basically, if someone were listening to this and maybe they are a foster parent or they're a volunteer with a shelter and they're like, oh, so they started doing this and then they got adopted, it could be correlated or not, but why would I want to potentially be involved in something like this? What are the benefits for the dog?

Lori Timberlake (07:28):
So many, and I think a lot of times some of the foster, I want to say parents, but that's not really the foster people that bring the dogs in. I don't think they even know. I try to give 'em just a brief overview of what Nose Work is. I'm not going into all the details I would go to in a regular class of people that really want to come and want to learn about the sport and move on. So I give 'em a brief synopsis. But the big, big thing that we see with these dogs is building confidence. They'll get a dog that they're like, gosh, it won't go by any men. It won't do this, it won't do that. It won't go two feet away from me. And then they see this dog searching all over a room in a strange place they've never been to, and they're like, wow, that was really cool.

So that's definitely one benefit. And two, I think for a lot of the dogs, just getting them out away from their foster homes. There's not always a lot of opportunities. Some places will offer maybe a free obedience class or something if they have room, but a lot of times these dogs just aren't getting out much. And here we offer this free class even if they don't know what it means or why someone told them to go. Once they come, they're like, oh, that's cool. And then we'll see the same groups keep signing up. The ones that are coming, they keep sending more and more dogs because they're seeing how confident the dogs are getting and just all of the things other than Nose Work, just getting outside, being around other people, being kind of around other dogs, things like that.

Dianna L. Santos (08:57):
And I think that that is something that we can sometimes take for granted when we've been involved in Nose Work for any period of time, but there's a large population of the dog owning community that has no idea what Nose Work even is, and that we can just sometimes gloss over all of the wonderful benefits like what you were talking about. And when you apply that to these types of dogs that desperately need it, that ability to come into a space and tap into that innate instinct and be able to work a weird space they haven't been in before in order to find food that they can have the autonomy to make these choices of saying, okay, I'm here. Am I comfortable enough to do this? Okay, I think I am. I do want my treats. How am I going to do that? What is this box?

Am I going to stick my head into this box and fall into a dimension that's controlled by cats? They're going to scratch my nose off all day. Oh, no, I'm not. It's fine. I'm just going to eat a tree, add this box and everything's going to be okay. We seem to forget the longer that we're in this activity, all the wonderful benefits that go along with it. So what you're describing as far as how these dogs are able to participate in this and have those correlated building of confidence pieces that then can apply to their whole life, that I think is just the epitome of the wonderful nature of Nose Work is sometimes we can get so laser focused on things, and when a dog is inside of a rescue or a foster program, they may be focusing on some very specific stuff as, okay, let's get them these core skills that potential adopter will want, which I think is a good thing to do.

But when we apply some of these other elements that's in Nose Work that's outside of that category, that silo of obedience as an example, and you're able to build that confidence in a way that the dog understands and it's without the level of pressure. That's amazing. So I think that it's such a gift that you're giving to the community that desperately needs it to allow these dogs to realize just how brilliant they really are, while also at the very same time impressing those foster parents that, oh, look at them inside this weird room. And they're finding their treats inside of the box. And when you describe it kind of like that on a podcast, really it's not that impressive. I've seen some of these videos and I've seen these dogs walk into these spaces and there are X pens set up and there are little mazes and things, and these dogs go in there. It's like, okay, that's amazing. So did you just want to talk about that for a little bit as far as what you are noticing as an instructor, the progression that you see from dogs who may not have, you don't know what their dog training background is at all. It's not like they've done dog sports since the time they've been six months old. So can you talk about that for a second?

Lori Timberlake (11:52):
Yeah, and I kind of want to talk about it in two parts. I want to talk about the shy, fearful dogs, but I also want to talk about the confident dogs. So let's start with our little bit nervous ones, and some of these foster people bring in some really good treats. One couple brought in, literally they cooked strips of bacon and the dog still just, it was just frozen, wouldn't do anything. I'm like, it's okay. We're just going to bring the dog out. We're just going to see if they'll walk around even if they don't eat it. And then I have these super awesome treats that I bring out, and the dog actually started eating and they're like, oh my God, the dog has not moved that many steps by itself. And then they come in the next week and the dog just would start searching. I mean, sometimes I see these dogs progress faster than some of our regular classes. I'm amazed at how much they change from one week to the next. So that's super cool to watch. We also get some pretty confident dogs, a lot of pities that just a little bit misunderstood, and they come in like gangbusters. And some of these dogs, I'm like, maybe I need a new dog because

Dianna L. Santos (13:08):

Lori Timberlake (13:09):
Really good and what's nice for them, maybe they don't need the confidence building, but the mental stimulation, even the physical exercise, because I'll really set up some stuff and we've got all these different rooms and I'll just let 'em run and find five or six hides just to burn some of that energy. So it's a little different for some of the dogs that come in than others, but I think they all just progress as each week goes on. And I know some of the handlers like to go play at home too, so I think they're practicing a little bit, which is nice. But yeah, I've seen some huge progress on these dogs just week to week.

Dianna L. Santos (13:45):
I cannot imagine just how gratifying that must be. How if anyone, particularly as an instructor, if you're like, oh, I'm feeling a little burnt out on this whole Nose Work thing. I've been doing it for a while. I've been running out of ideas. The spark is fading, which again would be very sad. I hope that's not true, but it's possible. My goodness, if you could do something like this, I think your spark would be reignited in a minute because the kind of thing that Lori is talking about is being able to see the change in the dogs and the fact that you can see a change in a wide variety of dogs. The gift for obviously our sensitive dogs or more sensitive dogs is something I think a lot of people talk about, which is absolutely true. But I love the fact that you're also mentioning those dogs and they're like, oh no, I'm totally fine in here.

And I'm also a little firecracker and I can go off and I'm all sure about myself and about life, but that they actually need something to work out that powerful little brain of theirs. And they also need to be able to work out that powerful little body in a way that's appropriate and that you're giving the dog appropriate outlet as opposed to all the other possible things they could be doing. And you're also showing the foster parent that it's possible for the dog to do something that's really cool to watch that's pretty darn easy for them to set up at home, and also is a lot more appropriate than what the dog may have been doing already and can kind of prevent them from doing or falling into the pitfall of, okay, I need you to be a little bit more satiated. We're going to play ball until you drop. So can you just talk a little bit about some of the things that you're thinking about or that you consider as an instructor when you're running this? Because I can just imagine that there are probably so many different variables depending on the dogs that you show up depending on the foster people that happen to bring them. So what are some of the logistical things that you are thinking about that potentially if someone's like, this sounds really interesting, I think I'd like to offer this as well.

Lori Timberlake (15:47):
Yeah, a lot more than our typical intro to Nose Work class because again, we're getting dogs and people that we do not know we're getting people bringing in dogs that they don't know. Some of 'em will be like, oh, I just got this dog yesterday. It seems fine. So safety is a huge thing. So we're really careful who, it's mostly me that teaches these, but I do have another instructor that helps. And so it's really important to have a plan of, especially if the dog is people reactive, maybe the handler says, oh no, they're fine. And then I hear the dog low grumbling, I'm being really careful. I'll say like, oh, this is what we're going to do. I'm going to go put this box out and then I'm going to go behind this gate and then this is what you're going to tell the dog to do, and we're just going to let the dog search, and when the dog's done, you're going to go put the leash on and take the dog back to the creating area.

And I'm going to make sure that I am not in the, and I'm not afraid of dogs, I don't want to force any dog to do anything if they're already uncomfortable, don't want to get in their space. I don't want to add an extra human that they're not prepared for. Sometimes they are a little bit more comfortable with their handlers that are bringing them in, so I just stay out of the picture and then we have a conversation if they want to bring that dog back, how we're going to set things up even better the next time. So safety, super, super, super important. A lot of these dogs don't come crate trained and they are actually a little averse to the crate depending on what situation they came in. Lots of expends, lots of barriers, separate rooms if you have, I mean, it just depends on your setup.

We're really lucky in that we have all these little offices and things that we can put dogs in, and there are nights that each dog's in a different office, and that's just the way we do it, and we're lucky that we can do that, but you could set that up with X pens and obviously the dogs are on leashes when they're not working or sometimes even when they are working, if I have a little safety concern. But yeah, just safety first. That's the first thing that I want everybody to think about if they're going to do something like this. The same goes if you're going into a shelter. Usually the shelter workers have an idea of how these dogs are going to be, but we don't always know. So having a little behavior background, being able to read dogs really paying attention is super important if you're going to do any kind of program like this.

Dianna L. Santos (18:24):
So would you recommend that if an instructor is involved with teaching Nose Work, that if they're thinking about what their experience level is, that potentially they haven't worked in the shelter world before, or they're like, I'm not entirely sure about my behavior background, that potentially that they would shadow with another colleague who may have that background or maybe they can tag team, a foster program that they may want to put together so they can kind of get their footing a little bit. Would that be something that you would recommend?

Lori Timberlake (18:53):
Absolutely. Yeah. If you can get with someone that is a little bit more versed, you could do the Nose Work part and they can help with the behavior part. And having two people doing this I think also is a huge benefit. There were a few weeks I was by myself that I was like, Hmm, not sure if I want to do this next week, but I'm always planning ahead and thinking of the next move and I know how to keep myself safe and I just want to make sure I'm keeping everyone that's attending state. But yeah, two people, especially if one's really good with behavior and one's really good with Nose Work, that's a dream team right there. And

Dianna L. Santos (19:30):
I think that's an important thing for everyone to keep in mind is that it's a big ask to think that someone's going to have all the hats and you don't have to. And we are extraordinarily lucky in the professional dog training community that there are some really talented people out there. The more that we can think of it as how can I maximize the effectiveness of what we're doing? And as Lori was mentioning, safety is important and it's not that, oh my God, we're working with these really scary dogs. That's not the point. You have a dog that's inside of a shelter program that's inside of a foster program. They may have just gone into this foster home, as you mentioned, they may have just gone in there the day before. There's a lot of upheaval. And the last thing that you want is to potentially create a situation where the dog makes a mistake.

They're trying to get these dogs to be adopted, and they're trying to show these dogs appropriate ways to do things. And the dogs may just be so concerned that all these things are different, whether or not they're really sensitive or not, they dogs with big strong teeth. It doesn't matter if it's a five pound chihuahua or a 70, 80 pound big dog. If they're pushed, they absolutely could potentially do something, and we don't want to do that. It doesn't mean that they're a bad dog or they're an aggressive dog or anything else. So the fact that Lori has mentioned the importance of safety is extraordinarily important. And if any of our colleagues would be like, this sounds really interesting, I'd like to try this. Recognizing what is your strong suit? And then potentially partnering with a colleague who maybe has another strong suit that would compliment what you're doing, and the more eyes the better.

I completely agree with that so that you can notice, hey, that dog was doing really, really well, but maybe they heard something or maybe they're just getting tired again. They've never done anything like this before. They may only get two or three searches in tops before they're like, I'm tapping out, my head hurts. I need to go take a nap. And if we can notice that ahead of time, they can go inside of their room or we can send the foster parent home be like, you know what? You guys did great. You're just going to go back home and you're going to give them a chew on the way home. And then they're going to be able to just take a nap when they get there. So the more that we can view it in that way of setting everybody up for success and not trying to do everything ourselves, yes, we can try to be superwomen and supermen, but we're only one person.

So the more that we can kind of divvy up the roles, that can really help out quite a bit. So thinking also along logistics, I can just imagine for an intro class, some of the things that we may be thinking about for people who are interested in doing Nose Work, but now again, we have the added thing of you may have a dog who doesn't have any dog training experience or that we don't know what it is, it's kind of a black box, but also the foster parent was like, I was told to come here, so can you talk about that a little bit?

Lori Timberlake (22:25):
Yeah. And they do come from all different backgrounds of training and what their particular rescue group is telling them to do, which may not be what we would tell them to do. And so that's another interesting logistical thing where I may offer a suggestion, but I'm just here to offer this program. I don't want to say, well, your trainer is wrong. So that's been a little difficult thing when they come in with all the gear on and I'm like, oh, we're just playing Scent Work and we're not going to do that here today. That has sometimes been a little bit of a difficult conversation to have because again, I don't want to do the opposite of what any group is telling their people to do. So that's been a little tricky. Also, a lot of times they're like, well, they just sent me here. They come with no treats.

I think I had someone come without a leash one time, and we do send out an email of all the things, but I don't know that it always gets to the foster home. So that's always tricky. So I always take a few minutes of each of these classes. I try to explain what Nose Work is and where they can go with it. And a lot of times they have dogs of their own at home. So I like to talk about what you can do and if you ever want to come to classes with your dogs, this is where you can go with it other than just this basic thing you're seeing here today. I try to set them up if they're going to come back a following week, things they can bring treats and leashes and things like that. Pottying is another big issue where we don't always have many accidents in our regular classes, but a lot of issues in the foster dog class, they just don't know.

We tell them to take their dogs out ahead of time, but a lot of times these dogs don't even know, are they even house trained? So I never try to make anybody feel bad. We just clean it up, we take care of it. But that's another just something to be prepared for. It's going to happen a lot more than it's going to happen in your regular class. So yeah, just a lot of separating the dogs, making sure there's plenty of space, whether they're crated or not, because even two dogs crated next to each other if they're both reactive is not a good thing. So I just try to spend a little bit of time at the beginning of class to get everybody where they need to be, make sure it's all as safe as possible, kind of go over some basics. And I'm talking about a lot of things that don't sound super happy at the moment, but we're going to get to all the good stuff, I promise. But it is a little bit to work out in the beginning for sure.

Dianna L. Santos (25:19):
And I think it's important for everyone to recognize the realities of it because if you're thinking of considering this, and let's say that you heard just the pitch of the foster dog sniff for school, and you're like, I'm going to go do that, but you didn't think through everything and you were like, wow, that did not go the way I was because I'm spending 98% of the time cleaning up these different accidents. And we didn't think about how to stage dogs, and I wasn't providing additional information for the foster parents. So we were spending a lot of time, they were coming in and the dogs aren't wearing any collars, there's no leashes, there's no treats, and I was just caught flatfooted. I think it's important for us to talk about these things so that can be avoided as much as possible. I will say that all the things that you've mentioned I've encountered, even in my intro classes, I literally have had people show up and the dogs just walk in and they're completely naked.

There's nothing, there's no equipment whatsoever. There's no trees, and they're like, I'm here to do the sniffy thing. It's like, okay, well let's hang on a second and let's figure out how to make this work. So I think it's important for anyone who's considering these kinds of things to really sit down and it can be very excited. I'm going to help the foster dogs, and we want you to be excited to help the foster dogs. But it's important I think to also think through the realities and the logistics of it, and also the fact that you don't want to create conflict between the foster people and the groups that they're working with. We can only do so many things at once. And yes, there's so many different ways of doing things, focusing on the actual program. We're trying to provide these dogs with the benefits that Nose Work offers, which is increasing confidence is tapping into their innate drive, into their innate skills and their senses.

It's offering them an opportunity for choice. It's offering mental stimulation, it's offering physical stimulation, but it's also allowing the foster person to see the dog a little bit differently and to have this whole new world opened up to them. So it's benefits on both sides. And you also have those benefits go back to the shelter group or the rescue group where they get to see those benefits. Those dogs are adopted out. They may hear different feedback from their foster people of Wow spot started going to this class and I couldn't believe it. We've been having so much trouble with our bacon little team that you're talking about where they were so concerned and now they're able to go into this place and they're able to take more steps away from us, and I can see that they're growing and they're so much more confident. That's magical. So the benefits of this are enormous, but I think they're only attainable if we're realistic with how we do it. And I love how thoughtful that Lori has been about this. Those things are important. We can't just focus on we're going to make them stiff. It's like, no, we have to do other stuff too. So can you talk about some of the things that you have learned since the starting of this program to where you are now?

Lori Timberlake (28:26):
Yeah, we have learned a lot as it has gone on for sure. One thing that I like to do to get a little bit more positive now, I try to make sure I get the names of all the different foster groups they're attending because it's not always dogs from the same group. So their name, the foster group name, and I try to put that on social media every week so that it helps get their name out and then it helps for us too. They promote us. That's one thing that I started doing after the first couple of weeks. I'm like, my gosh, why didn't I do that the first couple of weeks? I have a better safety plan. I know as soon as they come in, exactly, you're going here, you're going there. Even if I don't know them, they might all be fine together. I have a plan before the class even starts instead of, let's see who shows up and what happens.

I always have extra treats, which I don't always do for my regular classes, but I make sure I always have really good stuff for this class because just the treat you're using. Like I said, that couple brought bacon, you'd think that would be the top, but the dog didn't care about it and it liked what we had. Another nice thing that I wasn't even going to talk about this yet, but the different rescue groups, because a lot of times I don't know about other cities, but this one doesn't like this one and that one doesn't like this one and there's all this, but they all come in and they talk to each other. And the one group she bought treats for the other groups that were there. So I think it's helping. It's so sweet. But yeah, the whole point of that was make sure you have lots of different rewards. You don't know what's going to be rewarding and for this class, you really need the good stuff. I think more so even than any of your regular classes, I think just having a plan in place and it's not just something you can wing is what I've learned as time has gone on, is you really have to plan and as soon as they're coming in the door, you got to catch 'em and be strategic of where everybody is going for sure.

Dianna L. Santos (30:36):
So I love what you're mentioning there as far as that there's so many benefits and the sense of community that, again, a lot of us have been involved in Nose Work for any period of time. That may have been the hook in the beginning anyway. We may have heard about that through the grapevine, that Nose Work thing sounds like those people are having a lot of fun over there. And then maybe we've seen that in our own classes, trials. The fact that you now have that with the little shelter groups, that's awesome. That's what this is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a way that I don't have any other better way of describing it. The dogs in a different light as opposed to this dog has an issue, or we're trying to get this dog into a home, or it's not with the same set of glasses.

Basically you're viewing them purely as this amazingly talented dog that you can watch in real time grow. You can watch in real time improve, particularly if you have people who don't have any kind of background in Nose Work, and they're just kind of blown away. And I think that's what, again, I had mentioned previously can be so awe-inspiring and can reignite the spark for anyone, whether it's the instructor doing it, whether or not maybe they have some volunteers that are helping them as well. Maybe there are some students that wanted to help out. They can get reignited for their love of Nose Work by watching stuff like this, of seeing a dog that they don't have any background. Seeing a foster person that has absolutely no background in this whatsoever, and to watch the two of them be able to tackle these searches and the dog is like, oh, I can totally do this. And then to see the foster person be like, that's really cool. It's good for us to see that every now and again to notice the team that's really excited when we're, I've been doing those work since the beginning of time. You watch those things every now and again so that you can remember why this is so good in the first place. So have there been any particular dogs that have gone, the foster dogs never school that you're like, oh,

Lori Timberlake (32:42):
So many it's been, and you were just saying, and you know this, I don't know that anybody else, but that Nose Work is my life and whether I'm switching classes or co my whole entire life, and it's not that it gets old, but things do get stagnant. And this did ignite me because just seeing a dog come off the streets and just come in and I'm like, wow, I would take that dog to a trial. That was so cool. It has ignited a little fire in me because it's just, and it's people that had no idea what this was. So I don't know why that seems different to me than somebody that comes in that really wants to do it and their dog does good. That's awesome too. But just someone that's like, ah, someone told me to bring my dog here. And then we see it just like on fire.

It really is super exciting. There were so many dogs. I can't even think of certain ones, but one was Carla. She was a pity, adopted out and actually came back and they brought her back again and she just loved it. She did awesome. We had a little pity called Tootsie Roll, and I have a little video he'll be in our upcoming webinar. I mean, this dog was on, I wanted to just take the dog and bring him home and say, I'm entering him in an ORT tomorrow because he was just super and loved it and just loved every minute of it. But then there was some of the little shy nervous ones that one of our early ones, Viv, and I'm pretty sure she was adopted. I mean, she just wouldn't even move the first week. I mean, towards the end I think she did one search and then to see her, I mean she never was on fire, some of the other dogs, but just the fact that she would eat treats and take a few steps away from her owner. That was a huge one. I really enjoyed having her. She did come a few weeks in a row, so I mean, I love all of 'em, but those are the few that are just kind of standing out right now that I was like, they were super fun to have in class.

Dianna L. Santos (34:57):
That is amazing. And I really want to tip my hat to you because again, I know how incredibly busy you are and the fact that you added this on top of everything else that you do, which is providing such an enormous service to the community that it's providing something that is so special and so beneficial for the dogs. But again, I cannot stress this enough, those foster people that are bringing the dogs in are, it's like they were invited to some secret sauce group and they were shown the secret thing for how to make things all awesome. I wish I had a better way of describing it, but a lot of the time just focus on the benefits of the dog. But the people being able to see the dogs a different way to be able to see the benefits, to understand this other thing that they can do that's different from we're going to be doing sitting and walking and waiting and healing and dealing with whatever other issues we may have to see the dog in a different light and that what they can do, the power of granting the dog choice, the ability of letting the dog have a moment to think that they can see the dog try.

Those are all the very same benefits we see for our regular clients, which is amazing. But for these people who may not have any background in all the different types of dog training and dog sports is a gift. The sense of community that you're talking about with the different shelter groups and the rescue groups is amazing. You've done an incredible thing here, Ms. Timberlake. I'm so impressed. I hope that you can recognize just how wonderful that this is. Have you taken a chance to just take it all in

Lori Timberlake (36:41):
I, I don't have time for that.

Dianna L. Santos (36:47):
What are your plans going forward with your foster dogs for school? Are there things as far as how you'd like to tweak or things you'd like to add? Do you have any plans going forward?

Lori Timberlake (36:57):
Yeah, I mean, I would like to get more involved. We've had mostly the same groups come week to week. I'd like to get it out to more groups because I think it can help more. Again, I have to be careful with how many dogs are in a class and things like that too, just for safety issues. So we're still trying to tweak that out. Luckily, it's summer, things are kind of slow in the summertime, so we can kind of work on that, how we're going to get it to more groups, but still keep it at a good level. I'd like to have more of my instructors involved again, just to maybe we can offer another day. Maybe we can offer pop-ups so that we have our regular class every week, but if we have an opening in the schedule, we can add more. So there's a lot more we want to do. We want to get it out more. Quite honestly, with trial season pretty much April through now, which is just starting to slow down a little bit, it's just been kind of, it's doing its thing. Certain dogs are coming every week, but over the summer I'd really like to get more dogs involved and put a little bit more time and effort into the program that I haven't quite honestly haven't done the last few months. So we do want to make it bigger and better. We're just trying to figure out how to do that.

Dianna L. Santos (38:05):
And then for anyone who may be listening, particularly for our professional colleagues who are like, you know what? This sounds awesome. I think I may want to give this a try, but I also don't want to recreate the wheel and I'd like to benefit from Lori's expertise. Would they be able to contact you in order to maybe schedule a Zoom consultation or a virtual consultation with you to pick your brain to talk through some of the details for logistics and things like that?

Lori Timberlake (38:29):
Absolutely. I love doing the Zoom consults. They're super fun. I'm meeting people all over the place. I really like talking about some of the fun stuff we do. So yeah, I'd be happy to do that.

Dianna L. Santos (38:40):
Perfect. So what we'll do is we'll make certain, in the replay for the podcast, we'll provide the information about how you can contact Lori if you are again, a professional instructor and trainer and you're thinking, you know what, I think I would also like to offer this. And that way again, she can talk through the logistics with you and get some of the ideas as far as what you'd want to consider, maybe how you'd like to start. Because again, there's no reason to recreate the wheel. And again, this woman is brilliant. I would absolutely work with her in a second if you have the opportunity. The other thing I wanted to mention really quickly is that, as Lori had mentioned, she's doing a webinar for us talking about Nose Work, how it could be a perfect activity for dogs in rescue. So did you just want to talk about that really quick?

Lori Timberlake (39:22):
Yeah, kind of going through a lot of the stuff we talked about today, but in more detail, all the benefits, and we've talked about confidence building and things like that, but there's really so much more. I've got some neat videos in there so you can see some of the dogs doing their thing. I think it'll be a really great opportunity for some shelters, again, that don't never heard of Nose Work. They get these dogs in and they're like, we must find obedience for this dog. We need a board and train. We need sit down stay classes. Where I think if they looked at Nose Work, they would see there's a lot more we can do that. Of course, the dogs need the manners and they need the other stuff, but maybe do this first. Let's build their confidence first. Let's give them, let them just be a dog for a second, and then when they're in a better space, then we can start getting all those manners and stuff on them. It might take a little bit longer, but I think you'll get a much more adoptable dog. So I'm really, really, really excited about that webinar to try to reach some of the shelters and rescue groups so that they can see what an awesome thing Nose Work is.

Dianna L. Santos (40:27):
It is a very, very exciting presentation that Lori's putting together. I'm just thrilled that she's doing this, and I completely agree that this can potentially shift the way that shelters and rescues and just foster programs think about where do we focus our attention and our efforts and in what order so that it's giving the most benefit for the dogs, but also if we're able to potentially shift focus for the people that are working with the dog, they may get better results in the end. And also just looking through the lens of just how much upheaval is in these dogs' lives. Anyone who's been involved in shelter and rescue for a while, they know the three rule that basically if a dog were to be adopted, you have about three months that the dog is inside that home that you're not seeing the real dog yet.

I don't know if I'm going to go somewhere else now. So when a dog is in a shelter or a rescue program or a foster program, that sense of upheaval is still there. So I think that it's brilliant that Lori is talking about this in a way that maybe we can reconsider the order that we do things. We're pouring the focus. Maybe a dog who they may have been struggling with obedience or manners or things that may actually be better addressed in doing things like Nose Work first be able to work out themselves mentally. Then they may be more apt and more open to learning for the things that they need for manners. So highly, highly, highly recommend that you guys check out that webinar because it's going to be excellent. I'll make sure that there are some links inside of our podcast replay page as well. But as we're wrapping up, is there anything that you wanted to leave the audience about as far as talking about shelter and foster dogs and Nose Work?

Lori Timberlake (42:14):
I just think it's such a great program. I hope that after listening to this, more people want to get involved and want to do something like this. I do think, and the shelter programs are great, and that's originally how I wanted to the path I originally wanted to take, but that whole time thing, and I can see a lot of people like me being, I just don't have the time to do that. This might help you to do something if the dogs come to you. So maybe we can help a few more dogs this way by having the dogs come to you and you not go to the shelter, which the shelter programs are still awesome if you have that. But I know it's so hard to find time. Me and you both know that. So hopefully we reach some people that are like, wow, I never thought about doing it that way. Now I can give back a little. So that's really what I was going for with this,

Dianna L. Santos (43:08):
And I think that it's an amazing thing. Again, anyone who knows, Lori knows how much she gives back to the Nose Work community. And I just want to tip your hat for this because it is a fantastic idea, and I completely agree with you that it may open the doors for more of our colleagues to say, you know what? I don't think that I could carve out the time to travel to these different locations to work those dogs there. But potentially having them come to me in a way that I can control as far as safety and logistics, and we can think through how we're going to get the biggest bang for our buck, for the progress that we're looking for in the dogs, the benefits for them, and that we can help the dogs and the foster parents and the shelter groups. It's amazing. So Lori, you're awesome. Possum Pass, thank you so much.

Lori Timberlake (43:57):
Thank you.

Dianna L. Santos (43:59):
So I just want to give a huge thank you to Lori for not only taking the time to speak with us, but for giving so much to the community. I really cannot stress enough just how much this woman does between hosting trials, officiating trials, doing classes, coming up with the creative things to do with our students as an instructor, but now also this wonderful way of giving back to the shelter community, to the rescue community with her foster dog. Sniffer School is amazing, and I hope that it inspires our fellow to think about how they may be able to offer something themselves to help their local community. So what we are also going to do in addition to posting this episode up on our website and our social media is we'll have links so that you'd be able to contact Lori directly. She has an actual consultation option.

We'll be able to work with her via Zoom in order to pick her brain a little bit. So you'll be able to ask her some questions as far as what you are thinking about. So as an example, you'd be able to contact Lori and pick her brain as far as how you may be able to start a similar program for yourself, how you may want to structure your program, some of the supplies that you might need in order to get this program started, advertising ideas, some things you may want to consider if you're going to be starting a similar program. The pros and cons of either going to a shelter to set up a program, or to potentially have dogs come to you. And of course, the most important thing is keeping everyone safe so that this is an appropriate, wonderful enrichment opportunity and doesn't turn into something else.

But I really do want to thank Lori sincerely. Again, this woman does so much. She's amazing. So we'll make certain that we have links for all of that, again, on the replay page for the actual episode itself and on our social media. But as always, we want to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts, and if you happen to know of another individual or a business that's giving back to the network community as you like us to shout out with our Spotlight series, please feel free to contact me. We want to make certain that we're highlighting people who are giving back. Guys we could all use a little bit more positivity in the world. I want to thank you so very much for listening and for supporting the podcast. It's awesome. We are very close to 120,000 downloads, which is nuts. So thank you guys very, very much. It is fabulous. Please give a cookie to your puppies for me. Happy training. We look forward to seeing you soon.



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