ALL ABOUT SCENT WORK PODCAST

Ep.

58

Spotlight: Natalie Duberow and Growing Scent Work Worldwide

SPEAKERS:
    Dianna L. Santos
    Natalie Duberow
BRIEF DESCRIPTION:

In this spotlight episode, we speak with Natalie Duberow, an approved USCSS CSD and Judge and AKC Scent Work Judge, who is quite literally helping to spread the word about Scent Work worldwide! Natalie travels the globe providing workshops for dog handlers, competitors and those interested in becoming trial officials with United States Canine Scent Sports. With her expertise and enthusiasm, Natalie is helping handlers near and far to remember to have FUN with their dogs as they play the sniffy game, regardless of where they hail from or what part of the equation they want to participate in, be a dog handler, competitor, trial official or trial host. We are so fortunate to have passionate people like Natalie who are spearheading the task of getting Scent Work into as many places as possible.

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Podcast Episode Transcript

You may learn more about Natalie on her Happy Dog College Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/HappyDogCollege


Stay tuned for her Scent Work Center site!


Learn more about United States Canine Scent Sports here: http://www.uscaninescentsports.com/


Transcript:


Dianna L. Santos:

Welcome to the All About Scent Work Podcast, in this podcast we talk about all things Scent Work, that can include training tips, ambiances of what your instructor or trial official may be going through, and much more. In this episode, I had the privilege of speaking with Natalie Duberow regarding her role with United States Canine Scent Sports and helping it grow internationally. This is part of our Spotlight series, where we're talking with individuals and businesses who are having a positive effect on the Scent Work community.


Dianna L. Santos:

Before we start diving into the podcast episode itself, we do a very quick introduction of myself. My name is Dianna Santos, I am the owner and lead instructor for Scent Work University, Dog Sport University, and Pet Dog U. These are all online dog trainer platforms that are designed to provide high quality dog trainer instruction, to as many people as possible. We're very fortunate to have a client basis worldwide. With Scent Work University in particular, we provide online courses, seminars, webinars, and eBooks that are all designed to help you achieve your Scent Work training goals. So whether you're just getting started in Scent Work, looking to develop some more advanced skills, or if you're getting ready to trial, we have a training solution for you. Since you know a little bit more about me. Let's dive into the podcast episode itself.


Dianna L. Santos:

So as I mentioned in this podcast episode, this is part of our Spotlight series, where we're speaking with individuals and businesses who are making a positive impact on the Scent Work community. In this episode, we're going to be speaking with Natalie Duberow, who is an approved CSD and judge with the Scent Work Titling Organization, United States Canine Scent Sports. I personally had the privilege of meeting Natalie several years ago when I was a staff member with United States Canine Scent Sports, and I was conducting a workshop in order to help trial officials become approved in the Northeastern United States. Natalie is extraordinarily experienced and very passionate about spreading the word about United States Canine Scent Sports and is doing so internationally, which is amazing. So why don't we listen in on that conversation that I had with Natalie about all of her endeavors to help spread the word about not only the United States Canine Scent Sports, but even Scent Work overall.


Dianna L. Santos:

I want to thank you for doing this with us. So what we're trying to do is we're trying to highlight individuals and businesses that are giving back to the Scent Work community. And obviously you're very busy doing that.


Natalie Duberow:

I love this. It's awesome, because I want everyone to do this because this is the best sport ever.


Dianna L. Santos:

So you want to just do a really quick introduction of yourself, just so that people know who you are, what your background is. And then we'll get into some of the juicy questions.


Natalie Duberow:

Hey, I am Natalie Duberow. I'm the owner of Happy Dog College because I love happy dogs and making them happy is probably my most exciting part of being an instructor. The background can be very long, but we'll make it short. I am coming from a military family. So I was raised on military basis until my father retired. I was about 17. So we came back to United States. Being a military brat you know how you move every two years so you don't have attachments so to speak. So the only thing you get attached is a dog. So that's how I got into dogs. By 12 I was the youngest member that actually titled the dog in Schutzhund of that time. So I really enjoyed that. I used to do a lot of tricks with my dog. So a dog is probably the most important part of my life. Since I can remember myself.


Natalie Duberow:

Then I continued with Schutzhund. It was my calling. I enjoyed the three part of training with tracking, obedience and bite work. Got married, my husband is in the Air Force as well, so we used to travel. I finished doing Shutzhund about six years ago when we came back from Germany. So then after that, my dogs got in the age that I had to do something else and I got a very reactive dog that was just not environmentally sound on many levels. She hasn't seen a person until she was about five months. That's when I got her. And that opened a new door, which I knew existed, but because I always had big dogs, like mostly Rottweilers. Having a Miniature Schnauzer was a completely different turnaround in my training.


Natalie Duberow:

So I learned few tricks, raising a small little bitey dog and Scent Work because I used Scent Work when I used to work with aggressive dogs and reactive dogs hate to work aggressive. So let's do it reactive dogs. I used scent work even before it became a sport for many reasons, because it's such an enrichment to introduce the dog to the environment by using the ability of them to sniff and make them comfortable. So I was super excited when I found USCSS and contacted Diana and said, Hey, I want to be a part of this, can I come to that seminar? I froze the death for two or three days I was there but I persevered and enjoyed that, came back home and I was like, this is it. This is my calling. I'm going to do Nose Work. So that's how it started. And off we go. Six years, five years later, I'm here doing stuff with Nose Work.


Dianna L. Santos:

That's awesome. Your story is such a good example of all of various ways people come into this activity and that you have all this varied experience, but then you found, okay, letting dogs sniff is just so incredibly powerful even outside of the sport, but then the sport occurs and it just kind of builds in that value. And then you're able to use that to help your clients, to help the dogs even have more fun. So that brings us into, your involvement with USCSS. So you are an approved trial official with them as a sport organization, but now you're doing all of these things where we're seeing all these posts on social media, where you're apparently just flying all over the world. Can you tell us what you're doing?


Natalie Duberow:

Well, because we need to spread this phenomenal sport activity. Because again, I did this in Germany as we stayed there for five years, I did my Schutzhund part. That was my other passion, but because my Rottweiler boy is a little bit not correct in that sport. First of all, he's too big for that. And second one, he just gets super excited. So I decided to do something else and introduced the Scent Work there before it even became something phenomenal. So I had a couple of connections in Germany and then found a few connections in France and New Zealand and Switzerland. And here we go, we have a few workshops that were really accepted tremendously. People really enjoyed that. We had some training in how to start, how to market that, how to read the air. So we did quite a few workshops the other was my third trip and it was probably the most successful because we now have six judges and CSDs. I have two more coming. They should be finishing up the test probably this week and next week. So Switzerland is I think, pretty operational now and they can do and run the test, I mean the trials and be totally independent. So my Switzerland baby is fine by itself now.


Natalie Duberow:

So France is still in the books, we have two people working. One is going to finish her CSD probably tomorrow. So we'll make it official. And the other one just started and we are planning to do another workshop on CSD kind of type where you need to know where the air goes and what it does. So it's planned for November. Then we have a few in New Zealand, we are working, hopefully, the world is opening up.


Natalie Duberow:

But everyone enjoys that. Once they see the joy that dogs show how involved they are there, how much they love doing that. And I think the most important thing is the teamwork. It's not just, toss the dog there and let them sniff. You have to be a little bit more involved. It's not only the nose, it's a teamwork. And I think people of any age of any ability, whether they move in a chair or don't move at all, or they're young or old, or have some problems with physical health, regardless dogs or a human, they still can benefit from the sport because it's just the best. So I can say.


Dianna L. Santos:

So how did you fall into actually doing all of this? Because United States Canine Scent Sports is a fairly new organization within just the United States. It's still growing here. So how did it go from that? That you're a trial official with USCSS within the United States. All of the sudden you're jetting all over the world, helping it grow internationally.


Natalie Duberow:

I'm a judge with AKC as well. And though I love scent work, there are a lot of things that AKC is still growing. So there are a lot of points that they have to explore, change, add, and be a little bit more flexible because this is a sport that you have to be creative otherwise it will become boring. It will become stigmatized by... It's more a video style. It's not, you have to be creative. You have to show that. So when I saw USCSS, the game part, the ability of a judge or CSD to create the search just based on what you see there, instead of like, well, you put two rows of containers, regardless. If you are having a tunnel there and no one will qualify, you still have to have two rows of containers.


Natalie Duberow:

So just the difference of USCSS, the flexibility, the ability to offer so much fun plus the game part that is unmatched, no one will ever beat that. And being a dog training instructor, I always try to tell people, it's not the world's problem, you are coming here to do fun things. You are coming here to enjoy the activity that both of you are really involved to a point that it's the best thing you can ever do. And don't be serious. We don't need the strict military phases like obedience and such, just go there and have fun. So what you didn't find it, next time you will. That just the feedback that you have to work on this and this and that. So then I tried PSD as well before my scent dogs, they have fun. But again, UCSS is just my heart calling.


Natalie Duberow:

I just want to share it everywhere and make it available for people to see how much fun they can have, how much support they can get, how easy it is. You just need to commute yourself to some learning. And here you go, you can have fun anywhere you want.


Dianna L. Santos:

That's awesome. So you're talking about how you're basically going into these countries and you're helping them develop these programs where you are training the trial officials, how to do that. Which for anyone who doesn't know is actually fairly challenging. It takes experience and some skills.


Natalie Duberow:

Yes. And let's take Switzerland for example, because when we started two years ago, oh my gosh. It's been two years ago, we had a fairly big group and it was fun, but they realized it's not that easy as it seems like I said, it's placing a hide to find is not like, oh, that's a cool place. Let me go slap it over there and see what happens. It takes some thought. It takes some learning. It takes some thoughtful process. So you can be successful and you need to teach the dogs to do that. So though the interest was pretty high and we all had fun. And we had a mock trial because obviously you can't really search up to three days of learning. I mean, it was very simple. And some of the Heights we made visible for a dog to really connect that.


Natalie Duberow:

But on the second return I had about four people just coming for fun, but they realized that it's more to that than just what I said before. And on my third time, I had actually a group of working future officials. And two more realized that it's actually very hard to be a judge because you have to be running around. You have to be standing on your feet all day long, they have to deal with people. You have to talk to people. You have to make sure that it's flowing. You have to make sure that dogs don't come into each other's spaces and create a problem. They have to make sure that people understand each other. And sometimes you have to take this person over that person. So it's more than just being a judge with a paper and say yes congratulations. No, I'm sorry. So they decided just to be on the sports side and not to pursue the judge or CSD designation. So that's pretty much how it goes.


Dianna L. Santos:

The, the fact that you're doing this in these areas, where this is new, as far as an activity and that you're starting from the beginning is actually something that is amazing. And I hope that you're patting yourself on the back for that because there's nothing there. So can you talk through that whole process of trying to... Where we may take it for granted here, right? Cause it's been going on for a while. Like, oh yeah. I just want to go for a trial or, oh, maybe I want to be a judge or I can just mentor to this person or that person, but in these other areas where that just doesn't exist. And then you're going in there, like, okay, where do I even begin? Because I may need to like, cover all these different areas of how to train your dog, how to be a good handler. And also how you can be a trial official, maybe how you could host trials, how you can then maybe promote this, where do you start?


Natalie Duberow:

Well, the start was usually I had a few people as dog training instructors contact with me, but I had actually saw something on the Facebook that a girl contacted "I want to do that and we have nothing" I told her that I would like to talk her and help her to do that. So we kind of chatted and I was like, oh my God, this is so complicated. I said, well, it is and it's not. It all depends on how much time you want to put in this and I will help you. So that was the very first contact with the person in France. And she is becoming a judge and CSD as we speak. So tomorrow I'm going to send it to Julie and say, Hey, that's the first one. And we worked one-on-one through zoom, on Facebook, did a couple of things.


Natalie Duberow:

Then we decided just to try it. So she posted and I went to France to do that. And meanwhile, I was doing that. I had a person from Switzerland contacting me like, "oh, I heard that you coming over. Why don't we do it here?" And she's instructor as well. So it helps to have somebody with knowledge of dog training. Because again, it's a sport. People need to realize that you need to know how dogs learn this theory of learning. So if you have that, it's easy. If not, it might take a little bit longer, but I'll get you there if you want to be there, you just need to tell me and what you're planning. But again, it started with just instructors contacted me and it went from there.


Dianna L. Santos:

That's awesome. So if there are other people, internationally, who were like "Ooh, that sounds interesting. I think I would like to play" how should they go about doing that? How would they then say, okay, you know what? There's nothing here yet, but we'd be interested in getting started. What's the best thing for them to do.


Natalie Duberow:

You just contact either myself or USCSS, you or Julie and you or Julie say, Hey, we have a person who travels and teaches you, here she is, go and do that. So, then I'll come and set up and we'll talk, we'll see where the knowledge of the instructor is. If they understand their teaching and learning and the connection between how to do this successfully, then it's all easy. It's just, like I said, that's a sport that comes naturally. You just need to know what to do and how to do in the most efficient way. And maybe after two or three workshops, again, we can have, again, I do classes on Facebook. I have a learning, judging and CSD page that they can post and we can troubleshoot, or I can post something and say, Hey, I need your feedback. What do you think about this setup? So it's all possible. If the desire to learn is there, I can either come there or they can come here or we can do both or three of them I'll get them there, where they need to be.


Dianna L. Santos:

And I really hope that people understand just how powerful that is, because there's been a very long period of time where there have just been these pockets of interest around the world and they just feel left out. Like they don't know where to start. And they're just like, well, I'll just have to wait, but you're taking the initiative with an organization that you are very passionate about to help spread this word about it and to help people actually get it started so they can have the fun with their dogs. And that's amazing.


Natalie Duberow:

Absolutely. Like I said you give me a call and I'll be there probably the next week if you want me to, now that we are flying, finally, I'll make sure that I'll come and help you. I'll set you up from zero to 100 and off you go. That's amazing.


Dianna L. Santos:

Are there any stories during any of these workshops that really just hit you like a ton of bricks that you wanted to share with our listeners?


Natalie Duberow:

Oh my gosh. They all like that. It's like, I don't even know where to start. I think I was just lucky enough to find all of them that are, let's say it on the same page that they really want that for their dogs. And then if you divide every single person as a team and look at them, they're so different. Like I had a dog who had problems with walking, was successful. I had a young dog who was just under one, just blew my mind and people the same. I have met some people that are very shy and just cannot express themselves. But you see discussion when they're working. It's like they open up and become something different.


Natalie Duberow:

So every single person I met, every single team I met, they're just so inspiring with their desire to work through problems, whether it's a dog's problem with the environment or their physical limitations that they have to work through and their connection with each other, because this sport really opens so much from dog to you and from you to dog, that you build such a relationship that I don't know, where you can build such a relationship because the sport is so forgiving in so many ways, you just need to be open and flexible.


Dianna L. Santos:

I want everyone to really understand that Natalie is one of these people who is promoting this activity in a way that needs to be praised. The fact that it's going again worldwide and promoting more dogs to be sniffing. And the things you were pointing out, even with the handlers where we personally have our own baggage and whatnot. And the fact that you have this activity that is keying into that relationship, they already have with their dog. And you're allowing them to perhaps improve their observation skills. They can see how brilliant their dog is, have a better understanding of their dog. And then they get excited about that. So they can come over some of the things that may even be hindering themselves, such as poor self-esteem or whatever else, because now they're in this community of other like 90 people who all love dogs too. And we can all have fun together and we can all improve together in this fun, safe space. What a thought.


Natalie Duberow:

Oh my goodness. Perfectly. Exactly. That's that's just perfectly said. It's just every team that comes into Nose Work and start working, they discover so many different things about themselves as well. And the ability to see how dogs work, how much pleasure it gives them. If I had a penny and I know it's kind of an overused phrase for every time I hear, oh my God, my dog loves that. You should see how they love this. And you hear it from pretty much everywhere. Oh, on this trip, for example, I had a girl she's about 14. She was my assistant. Because again, we were training judges. That was their first. Actually it was their second trial. But because I did Scent theory two days before, so they were testing all this, what we did before. And so every judge wanted to do something.


Natalie Duberow:

So we had continuous, we had vehicles, interior, exterior, and that girl, she came with her mother and that little dog was phenomenal. I just wanted to steal her and bring her home. So, and Syria actually ran that dog herself. And again, she's 14 years old. She was magnificent. She was right there. She was helping, she went and at the end, I forgot that she just came there first day. And I said, you need to redo that. Remember the couple of walks as well and let me take this person out while you're doing this. It completely, I didn't even think that it's her probably second hour with me, but I just threw her in there. And while I was talking to this person, she already organized everything. She's like, oh, this is [inaudible 00:21:39] . So I told her mother I'm taking her home. She's going to be the junior handler and will make her champion.


Natalie Duberow:

So hopefully she will continue. And I'm sure that she will, but it just, things like that, that people get sucked into that sport so easily. She came to observe and ended up actually being with me for four hours. As we were running the trial, she went from timers. She went to help the door situation. When we had people on deck, she actually explained, and some people didn't speak English though. She was my translator saying, oh, this is a start line. You have to hide. And you have two minutes and you start here and you get hold here. So it was a lot of fun.


Dianna L. Santos:

That's Amazing. Again, I am so thrilled that you're doing this because my whole thing is I just want more dogs sniffing and I want more people having fun with their dogs as they're sniffing and you're actually making that happen. So thank you. You're amazing.


Natalie Duberow:

My pleasure. And I'll do that again. Like I said, I love doing this. I think USCSS is the best out there and we'll make sure that we stay that way.


Dianna L. Santos:

Perfect. All right. Well, thank you very much. This was such a great little chat. Was there any other information that you wanted to share with people as far as maybe how they can and contact you or how they can learn a little bit more about you or any links or social media? Anything else you're more than welcome to pitch anything in that you like.


Natalie Duberow:

Well, they can find me on Facebook. It's Happy Dog College and my email happydogcollege@gmail.com. I am also this close to opening my new website, which is just Scent Work, it's called Scent Work Central. It's still in the making because I have to make videos and I have to be involved and I don't know, and he's saying like, well, we need to finish. So that will be available too. So, it's scentworkcentral.com or happydogcollege@gmail.com because I disconnected my other website because I pretty much do Scent Work now. I do a few clients that still do Schutzhund of different varieties from different countries, but totally transferring into Nose Work, Scent Work.


Dianna L. Santos:

Well, thank you very much. This was amazing. And I definitely want everyone to please make sure you're checking out what Natalie is doing. And again, guys, the fact that she's helping spread this is a really big deal. So yay for Natalie. Woohoo.


Natalie Duberow:

Thank you. Thank you, Natalie.


Dianna L. Santos:

So as you can see, Natalie is doing an amazing service for the Scent Work community going throughout really the world in order to spread the word about not only United States Canine Scent Sports, but also Scent Work as a whole. She's helping ignite the love for this wonderful activity with countless dog handlers and their dogs, the fact that she is willing to help people from the very beginning stages, all the way up to where they may be able to officiate or host their own trials is absolutely incredible. So we are very, very fortunate to have people like Natalie within the community. That again are helping grow this wonderful activity because again, the more dogs and people who are sniffing, the happier we should be. So we will have links for all of the information, as far as how you can learn maybe a little bit more about United States Canine Scent Sports, or how you be able to contact Natalie directly or looking into her own business, as well as her upcoming business, she's going to be releasing soon, Scent Work Central.


Dianna L. Santos:

We'll have all that on our podcast website, as well as our Facebook page post, where we post all of our podcast episodes. But if there are other individuals or businesses you would like for us to highlight who are just doing amazing things for the Scent Work community, please let me know. We want to make sure that we are, again, spreading the word about these individuals and businesses, because, again, the world can be a dark place sometimes. So it's a good thing for us to highlight those who are making life a little bit better for all of us and our dogs. But thanks so much for listening. Happy training. We look forward to seeing you soon.