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Nose Work Training

Sniffing Games / Intro to Nose Work

Inspired by working detection dogs, K9 Nose Work is the fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people. This easy to learn activity and sport builds confidence and focus in many dogs, and provides a safe way to keep dogs fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise.

K9 Nose Work starts with getting your dog excited about using his nose to seek out a favorite toy or treat reward hidden in one of several boxes, expanding the game to entire rooms, exterior areas, and vehicles. As your dog grows more confident with his nose, target odors are introduced, and competition skills are taught.

Dogs of all ages, breeds and temperament (shy, rambunctious, energetic or even dog reactive/selective) are welcomed and can enjoy the games safely. Each dog is worked individually in class with no other dogs present in the search area.


This class is for dogs who have never done any Nose Work or are working on their first target odor and have not taken an Odor Recognition test or competed in any Nose Work venue. This class will be repeated until student is ready to move up to Mixes-level classes.

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Intro to K9 Nose Work®


In this class, the initial foundation skills to enable your dog to discover and enhance their natural hunt drive, have fun, play, and build their curiosity and confidence. You and your dog will strengthen your bond utilizing their natural desire to hunt while having fun & burning energy, both mentally and physically. The primary goal is fun! Where dogs get to be dogs! Dogs work independently of each other and with their team handler.


This class is for any type of dog, regardless of breed, size or temperament, and is great for dogs that are shy or sensitive around other dogs, dogs with social or situational anxiety preventing them from joining typical training classes, dogs with hearing or sight impairments, or even those who are retired working dogs in need of a "job" to keep them busy and happy.

K9 Nose Work®: Interiors/Containers 

In this class, dogs and their handlers will increase their searching skills with interior and container searches. Interiors will consist of working on threshold hides, raised hides and the importance of corners, perimeters and walls. Containers will consist of becoming introduced to containers similar to that in an ORT/Trial and learning to work through pooling odor and other challenges with container searches. Completion of Intro to Odor required.

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K9 Nose Work®: Continuing Odor I

In this class specific exercises are designed to improve handler skills including leash handling, spatial considerations and reading your dog's changes of behavior. Improve odor obedience, efficiency in working scent cones along with searching accessible and inaccessible hides. 


Dogs must be on odor for 4 months or more 

NW3 and Beyond

K9 Nose Work®: Continuing Odor II

In Continuing Odor II dogs and their handlers will be getting ready for trial by applying what they learned in Continuing Odor I and Vehicles & Exteriors. Dogs will do exterior searches, multiple vehicle searches, interior searches, and containers in order to prepare them for competition. Dogs will learn how to search a room more efficiently, work thresholds and corner hides, learn how odor moves with multiple vehicles as well as the challenges of exterior searches. More detailed competition procedures will be discussed for those who wish to compete in this amazing new urban sport! Completion of Continuing Odor I and Vehicle & Exteriors required.

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Intermediate Mixed-Level Nose Work


This class is for dogs already working on odor and ready for increased search challenges. Dogs should be working a minimum of one odor, Birch, but may have been introduced to Birch, Anise and Clove. 

In this class we will focus on the skills needed to get the team ready for competition. Teams do not need to have titles in any organization.

This class features motivational and skill-building exercises.  We will utilize both interior and exterior areas to prepare you for that first competition! Containers, Interiors, Vehicle searches, Exterior searches and buried hides will be introduced. We will explore the wonderful worlds of pooling and converging odor and prepare you mentally for the trial experience. 

K9 Nose Work®: Skill Building - NW2


In this class specific exercises are designed to improve handler skills including leash handling, search patterns and spatial considerations and reading your dog's body language.


Also, work on exercises for your dog to improve odor obedience, efficiency in working scent cones, sourcing odor with accessible and inaccessible hides, low and elevated hides as well as searching multiple hide placements in all 4 elements.

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K9 Nose Work®: Skill Building - NW3


In this class specific exercises are designed to improve search plans, improved use of time in search area, better recognition of change of behavior, multiple hides in an area and complex search areas and hide locations.

Advanced/Competition Nose Work (NW3 or equivalents and beyond)

In this class we pump up the volume and tackle the skills needed to be successful trialing at the NW3, Elite levels in NACSW.

This class is for dogs working at the NACSW NW3 (or equivalent) level and above. Dogs should be working a minimum of three odors: Birch, Anise and Clove. They do not need to have titled in any organization.

This class features skill-building exercises for complex scent puzzles such as inaccessible and elevated hides, converging odor, and a variety of different types of searches. Clear rooms, large search areas and multiple hides will be among the fun that is upper level Nose Work training. 

Instructor approval is required - please contact us at

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