Birch, Anise and Clove are the first three Target odors as in NACSW.
AKC chose Peppermint for their 4th Target Odor. There have been enough complains and concerns that they are looking for suggestions and open to changing to a different Target Oil. They are sympathetic to our concerns with Peppermint. Here are the criteria.
In choosing a fourth scent, we sought to find one that: 1) Was not too expensive; 2) Was not sticky and difficult to work with, thus increasing the risk of contamination (such as Myrrh and Vetiver that the UKC uses); and 3) Was not malodorous to the handler.
The following is a portion of the letter k9nwsource submitted to the AKC:
I would respectfully ask that you reconsider using Peppermint as your 4th Target Odor.
Too commonly found in many environments. Peppermint Essential Oil is only sold as one botanical variety. Sweet Birch is a different botanical variety than Birch Tar and Anise Seed is a different variety than Anise Star used in baking and candy.
This common oil will certainly & unknowingly turn up in your search environments creating problems for your competitors and hosts. Peppermint is common in many Soaps, Lotions, Cleaning products, Teas, Candy, Soda … just to name a few.
Also handlers adding this Oil to their Target Odor List will incur unnecessary training problems. As there is only one botanical variety of Peppermint they will be TRYING to train their dogs to not alert on Peppermint … “except” the target odor strength and only when in training.
MY Suggestion would be Elemi Essential OIL
A bit incense-like. Thin clear oil. Steam Distilled.
Usually sells for the same amount as Clove.
Botanical Name: Canarium Luzonicum
Country of Origin: Philippines and France
Cultivation Method: Standard Cultivation
Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled Gum/Resin
Scent: Elemi Essential Oil is a middle note with a medium scent that can be most accurately described by comparing it to a dill pickle coupled with citrus notes. It is known though as being surprisingly fresh and clean.
Cautions: None Known.
Aromatic Description: Fresh, citrusy, peppery, spicy. Elemi is surprisingly fresh and clean. This resin oil is more light, fresh and lemon-like than the other balsamic aromas. It is a bit incense-like, spicy, and slightly camphoraceous, yet softer and balsamic
Perfumery Note: Middle
Aromatherapy Properties: (Uses) Elemi is a gum produced by a tree of the Canarium family, Canarium luzonicum, that is grown in a specific region of the Philippines, south of Manila. Mainly between July and November, the tree is tapped by making incisions in its bark and removing a thin strip every day. Trees in their seventh year or older produce abundant quantities of the gum, which is harvested weekly. Fresh Elemi gum is bright white in color. It retains a pasty consistency that enables it to be molded into the wooden boxes in which it is traditionally exported.
This is the best time for a new batch of Scented Q’s prepared with fresh new Essential Oils.
Probably you know to look for Steam Distilled Oils not Solvent Extracted. Organic whenever possible. Stored in Amber glass and kept at room or cooler refrigerator temperature.
Did you know that the Shelf Life of your Essential Oils is Approx 2 years from the harvesting of the oil? So if your oil is older than 18 months to 2 years it is probably due for a replacement. Lot’s of handlers are using more oil now to scent their Q’s. That maybe because they are using older oil that just does not have that “Top Note” anymore. Place TWO drops of oil on a cotton pad and let it sit in a baby food size jar. Take the lid off after a couple of hours. When you unscrew the top you should get a good whiff of clean smelling essential oil.
If you compete your dog is going to be sourcing the Freshest Essential Target Odor Oil on freshly made all Cotton/Paper Q’s in a brand new hide container.
You probably spend quite a bit on Classes, Training, Competing and Traveling.
The best and least expensive investment you can make is in Fresh Oil and New Clean Hide Containers.
These new Essential Oil Kits have been added now to our extensive array of choices in Nosework Supplies.