Calendar for the next few months

I’ve just updated the Club Calendar for events to be held over the next few months.  Here it is sans photos.  Please keep an eye on the calendar ( for a list of future events.


3 December: Christmas Party and Awards Night – Moorooduc Estate Winery. Limited places available.  Last training day.

10 December: Christmas BBQ and Fun Day. Lunch at 12:30. Please bring a salad or dessert to share.


21 January: Working Bee 10:00 am at clubrooms.

26 January: Australia Day Parade, Mornington.  Please add you name to the list of attendees.

4 February: First day of training for 2017

27 February: AGM and election of new committee – 7:30 pm at the Clubrooms

23 April: Bunnings (Mornington) Sausage Sizzle Fundraiser – roster for volunteers available early 2017

Apparently dogs can tell time with their noses

An interesting article from “Science of Us” via SBS (

  • Siberian Husky smelling the air on a blue sky. (Karen Kiley-Miller)
By: Melissa Dahl
Source:  Science of Us
11 OCT 2016 – 10:55 PM  UPDATED YESTERDAY 10:55 PM

From the way a dog will ecstatically greet you at the door when you’ve returned from your arduous two-minute journey of putting out the garbage or checking the mail, one would assume that dogs have very poor senses of time. You were gone for minutes; your dog reacts as if you’ve been reunited after months away from each other. Who can explain the mind of a dog?

Alexandra Horowitz can, actually, or at least she shares some fascinating insights into the canine mind by focusing on the way they primarily engage with the world — that is, their extraordinary senses of smell. Horowitz is the founder of Barnard College’s Dog Cognition Lab, and she’s also written a new book drawing from her research: Being a Dog, which is out this week. In that book, she states plainly her theory concerning dogs and chronology. “As each day wears a new smell, its hours mark changes in odors that your dog can notice,”she writes. “Dogs smell time.”

Compared to our relatively simplistic schnozzes, a dog’s nose is a complexly detailed thing, allowing them to pick up scents we cannot. You’ve likely heard of drug-sniffing dogs, and perhaps even cancer-sniffing dogs.Time-sniffing dogs, though — that was a new one for me. And yet it does make sense, when you try to take a dog’s point of view: Humans are visual creatures, understanding the world primarily by what we see. Dogs, on the other hand, are olfactory creatures; their world is defined by scents. But we use our senses to judge time, too, after all. Even without a clock or smartphone nearby, you could guess when it’s about mid-afternoon by the way the light is hitting your living room, or the way the heat of the sun feels on your skin. “The dog, I think, can smell that, through the movement of that air through a room,” Horowitz said in a recent interview with Fresh Air.

She explained:

Smells in a room change as the day goes on. Hot air rises, and it usually rises in currents along the walls, and will rise to the ceiling and go to the center of the room and drop. And so, if we were able to visualize the movement of air through the day, what we’re really visualizing is the movement of odor through the day.

It becomes easier to understand the way dogs uses their noses to understand their world by comparing it to the way we use our eyes, but, really, it’s hardly a fair comparison. A dog trained to sniff out explosives, for example, can detect a trillionth of a gram of TNT. That would be a little like you walking around with a pair of high-powered binoculars taped to your face. But even ordinary pet dogs, who have not been specially trained, have incredible olfactory powers, especially when compared with our own. “It goes so deep, the differences between us,” Horowitz said.

Dogs, for instance, have what she describes as “stereo olfaction,” meaning that their nostrils work independently of each other; again, one way to better understand how this works is to compare it to our vision. “Just as the images from our two eyes are constructed into a three-dimensional image of the world, the differences in the strength of the smell image in each nostril help the dog locate the souce of the smell in space, whether it’s to his left or right, fore or aft,” Horowitz writes in her book.

Within their noses, they have receptor cells that grab hold of the odor and transmit the information along to their brains; we do, too, but dogs have “hundreds of millions more” than we do, which is “probably partially responsible for their increased acuity.” Not only do they have more of these cells, period, they also likely have more types of receptors, “which allows them to smell more types of things that we might not discriminate at all,” Horowitz said. “And, probably, that increased number translates to them having an increased sensitivity to the very existence of a substance.”

So the passage of time does have a smell; it’s just that our noses are not complex enough to detect it. In a dog’s world, the past and present and even, sort of, the future are all layered on top of one another, just waiting to be sniffed out. “Smell rubber-bands time for dogs,” as Horowitz phrases it in her book, “pulling some of the past and future into the now.”

Pet-friendly accommodation page

Over winter 2016 we travelled to and from southern Queensland with our two small dogs.  We travelled slowly and so the journey took multiple days.  Since then a number of people have asked me where we stayed – hence I’ve put together a new web page briefly describing our pet-friendly accommodation.


Club members are invited to email any pet-friendly accommodation recommendations to – you must be willing to put your name and membership number to the recommendation. Hopefully the number of recommendations will increase with time.

Here’s the URL – The page is under the “Helpful Links and Hints” tab.


John Got It Right

John’s weather forecast was correct!!  What a beautiful day it was on Saturday after a few days of cold, wet weather.  Meet a couple of our newest members.

Photos are: New member Gemma with Cocker Spaniel puppy Kasey, Barbara’s new puppy (Scotty I think), B3 and B4 participating in a joint socialisation exercise and experienced handler Roger with Schultz on the raised platform.


A few hardy souls

A few hardy souls braved the cold, wet weather today.  A new puppy class started with Una as instructor and was attended by three pups (Max a Kelpie, Otto a Miniature Bull Terrier & Pipsqueak a Spoodle) and their handlers (Rosalie, Cory and Olivia).  There was quite a good turn out for Advanced Pups with the class taken by hatted-duo Julie and Sue. David P and John took Beginners classes out on the oval.

The club has initiated a new recognition system, awarding ribbons to dog &handler teams as they graduate through the classes.

Can you help?

Due to future volunteer absences we are looking for a couple of members who are willing to help out periodically on the Membership desk at the clubrooms on a Saturday afternoon.  Duties include welcoming new members, checking new member applications and renewals, viewing  vaccination certificates, taking membership fees and writing a receipt. At the end of the day you will need to tally the takings and handover to the Treasurer for banking.  You will need to be at the club between about 12:00 and 3:00 but there is time to train your dog during both first and second sessions – you may not make the whole session.


If you are willing to help out please email or contact either Deb, Una or Sue at the club on a Saturday afternoon.  We will arrange a time to show you the ropes and provide guidance for your first time behind the desk.

New Puppy Class for June

A new class for puppies starts on Saturday 4th June at 1:00 pm.  If you are interested in participating please come along to the club  from 12:15 pm to sign up and be shown around.


MODC encourages owners to bring their pups along as soon as they have had their second vaccination.  In puppy class your pup will develop its socialisation with other pups and with humans.  Handlers will get an introduction to the basics of obedience training.

Classes last approximately 45 minutes, leading to promotion after 4 weeks to Advanced Puppies where lessons include walking on a lead, “sit” and most important, coming when called.  Puppy classes are low key and a lot of fun, so don’t put it off. Puppy classes are available to puppies under 5 months old at time of enrolment.




Welcome to the new web site of the Mornington Obedience Dog Club.  On this site you will find information about joining our club, some tips for new puppy owners and some helpful hints for dog owners living on the Mornington Peninsula.

New members are welcome to join on any Saturday.  Bookings are not necessary! Puppy and beginner classes run from 1:00 pm  to 1:45 pm – we ask new and returning members to come to the registration desk no later than 12:45.

We offer a wide variety of activities including Puppy Classes, Obedience and Rally.  The training methods used at Mornington focus on positive reinforcement through the use of food or toys coupled with praise. The aim of our training is to have a well-socialized dog with that socialisation continuing for the life of the dog.

We are also a trialling club.  We host our own Obedience and Rally trials every year and many of our members compete successfully in a variety of dog sports including Obedience, Rally, Tracking and Dancing with Dogs.