Superior sniffer - Stamford dog wins National Association of Canine Scent Work's elite champion title

The phrase "to win by a nose" has a different meaning for one Stamford dog.

News 12 Staff

Nov 12, 2020, 12:37 AM

Updated 1,309 days ago

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The phrase "to win by a nose" has a different meaning for one Stamford dog.
Baci, 7, and his standout snout took home the title of elite champion at a competition through the National Association of Canine Scent Work last weekend.
It comes six years after Baci got his start in what's known as nose work. The canine sport mimics the types of tasks performed by drug detection, bomb sniffing and search-and-rescue dogs. 
During the competition, they find hidden cotton swabs scented with oils like clove, anise and birch.
"Sometimes it's hidden in a tree, sometimes it's hidden in a car, sometimes it can be in the ground. And the dogs go in one at a time to try and find as many odors as possible," says owner Kerin Jacob-Schwartz.
"It's one of the few canine sports that you're doing something that the dog naturally loves to do. You're not training him to jump or stand in a set position. They naturally want to find odor," says owner and handler Dan Schwartz.
He says Baci's superior sniffer was evident during playtime as a puppy.
"I'd get home from work, it was dark out, and when we threw the ball... he could only find it by sniffing and he ended up being really good at that and he loved doing it so that kind of got the idea started," Dan Schwartz says.
That led to training classes and plenty of practice at home. Sunday's win is the highest honor in competition.
Baci is the first of his breed to achieve it in the country.
"Baci is a Lagotto Romagnolo, which is a new breed to this country," Kerin Jacob-Schwartz says.
Historically, the breed was found in Europe and used mostly for bird hunting. Over time, the breed transitioned into hunting for rare and expensive truffles.
"Within the last few years, they've been gaining more and more popularity in the United States and have been recently recognized by the AKC - the American Kennel Club," Kerin Jacob-Schwartz says.
In fact, the couple has three other Lagottos. Two of them are following in Baci's pawprints and may also have the whiff of a winner.


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