Toys & Training

Summer season Hours: DJ Rehburg trains the nostril to know – UBNow: Information and views for UB school and employees


Editor’s observe: Summer season Hours is a photograph collection specializing in UB employees members who use the longer days to pursue fascinating hobbies, causes and different endeavors outdoors of their day jobs.

Sophia, tethered to a protracted leash, strikes across the yellow moving-style van. Her nostril is working to find a small tin containing a goal odor hidden on the car. She is rewarded with a deal with when she accurately alerts her proprietor to the tin’s location.

One step forward of her is Delbert “DJ” Rehberg, a College Police investigator and “nostril work” teacher. He retains shifting the tins on this train, referred to as “chasing the rabbit.” The canines are skilled to find the scents of anise, birch and clove.

“One of many issues that’s distinctive about this sport is you actually should be taught the canine’s language,” Rehberg says.

Rehberg says he found this leisure exercise, which is constructed on the rules of coaching skilled search canines, in 2016 as a method to bond together with his rescue husky combine, Sylvie, who suffers from anxiousness. He began coaching with Lori Timberlake, who additionally grew to become his mentor within the sport.

“My purpose together with her (Sylvie) was to get her Nostril Work One title, which we did a few years in the past,” Rehberg says. The competitors came about in Hamburg, permitting his instructors and college students to cheer them on. “It was the proudest second in my life. It was a protracted exhausting battle to get there, however we achieved it.”

Taking his data and keenness for the game, Rehberg began educating nostril work lessons in 2019 at Timberlake’s firm, Do Over Canine Coaching. He opened his personal enterprise, Belief Your Canine LLC, in April 2020.

Together with the educating, Rehberg can also be an energetic participant within the sport. Sylvie is joined by Jade, additionally a husky combine, who’s extra centered for one of these exercise. If all goes properly, they are going to be collaborating in competitions in Ithaca, Penn Yan and Pittsburgh this summer season.

“Arms down, the perfect a part of the game is simply being on the market,” Rehberg says. “It’s simply me and my canine operating as a staff.”

On a Sunday in June, Rehberg held two lessons — one a newbie and the opposite an intermediate. He picked a parking zone on UB’s North Campus as a result of the parked automobiles give the canines one thing new to expertise. He says it may be tough to seek out selection and distinctive locations to coach, and he works exhausting to respect the out there properties, leaving them in good or higher situation as soon as class finishes. In complete, six canines attended and labored by way of almost a half-dozen sniff-and-alert workout routines every.

MaryJo Bedford brings her two canines, Goose and Maverick. She’s labored with Rehberg for a year-and-a-half, and says she loves the best way he challenges the canines and handlers to do greater than they might see at a path or competitors.   

“He makes you a part of the equation. The canines know what they’re doing. It’s the handlers that don’t,” Bedford says. “He’s very laid again, very calm. He watches after which he teaches.”

Rehberg says he has lengthy advocated for UPD to convey on a canine unit, however the funding hasn’t been out there. Till then, he enjoys his nostril work canines and sharing the data and expertise he’s gathered from the game. He says he’s seen canines fearful of the world, however achieve confidence and pleasure by way of nostril work.

“I actually simply completely love this. I really like interacting with my college students and their canines,” Rehberg says. “I need to share my ardour for this sport in order that others have the chance to expertise the reward of constructing that bond with their canine, which is completely priceless.”

Rehberg has been with UPD for nearly 25 years. He seems ahead to future competitions together with his canines this fall.

Editor’s observe: UBNow is on the lookout for school and employees members who pursue fascinating hobbies, causes and different endeavors outdoors of their day jobs. Contact College Communications photographer Meredith Forrest Kulwicki.



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