Olfaction, the process of smelling, is a dog’s primary sense.
Because of this keen sense of smell, dogs are able to locate everything from disaster survivors to blood sugar levels.
Scent or NoseWork
K9 Nose Work is a dog sport, developed by professional detection handlers in the US, that enriches their instinctual ability to search for targeted odours using their amazing sense of smell. It is meant to be a fun sport for dogs of any breed, any age, including dog-reactive or fearful dogs. It’s also good for injured, disabled or elderly dogs.
Nosework is easy to learn. You don’t need experience. Your dog has that! You become a team–your dog’s job is to use the exceptional olfactory system and your job is to observe what your dog is communicating and provide timely high-value rewards.
Benefits of training K9 NoseWork:
- Dogs love it (happy dogs are good dogs)
- Gets your dog using its brain and thinking (tired dogs are good dogs)
- Uses lots of mental and physical energy (tired dogs are good dogs)
- Searches can be done anywhere you can take your dog (no equipment needed)
- No prior training required, no obedience needed (good for any dog)
- Dogs work one at a time in class and rest between searches (reactive dogs can participate)
- Shy or fearful dogs build confidence (great for shy or fearful dogs)
- Builds a stronger body between dog and handler (who doesn’t want a great relationship with their dog?)
Nosework strengthens the bond between dog and handler and best of all IT IS FUN!
Searching for odour… Early on in the training process except for the last dog had been in class for 6 weeks. (this is an old video)
I am now a Certified NoseWork Instructor (through the National Association of Canine ScentWork–NACSW). The progression of classes is:
- Intro to Nosework
- Intro to the Elements (containers, interiors, exteriors, vehicles)
- Intro to Odour
- Elements with odour added
- Continuing Nosework
We start with foundation skills for the dog and handler: the dog develops confidence, problem solving, motivation while the handler is learning to observe the dog, leash skills, reward timing and letting the dog work independently.
All kinds of dogs do Nosework