Is scent work fun for dogs! Dogs have an amazing sense of smell and a natural desire to hunt. This activity invites dogs to use their noses, much like detection dogs do. The activity and sport of K9 Nose Work® is designed to develop your dog's natural scenting abilities by using their desire to hunt and their love of toys, food and exercise. It's a great way for your dog to have fun, build confidence, and burn lots of mental and physical energy.

For dogs that have had previous K9 Nose Work® training, please contact the Information Secretary for recommendations on the appropriate class. Email:

Beginners Nose Work Classes

Intro to Nose Work

Prerequisite: Basic Manners Level 2

We start by encouraging them to search for what they love most, be it food or a toy.  We focus on building joy in independent hunting and problem solving.  As they get to know the game, shy or tentative dogs gain confidence and reckless speedsters learn to focus.  It's a great physical workout. Handlers take on a learning challenge of their own: beginning to "read" their dogs as they search. Searches involve boxes and environmental objects.

Nose Work Foundations

Prerequisites: Intro to NW

Introducing and developing skill at all four elements. Dogs continue to search for primary rewards working on boxes, interiors, exterior and vehicles. Handling skills are introduced.

Intro to Odor

Prerequisites: Intro to NW and NW Foundations.

This session marks a critical phase of the dogs' Nose Work development. They meet their first target odor, birch. We return to boxes to create a positive association by pairing birch and the food (or toy) they love to search for. Searches also involve environmental objects. At this stage, handlers begin to participate in their dogs' searches in a new way. 

Continuing Odor

At this level, we continue to pair the target odor with the dogs' favorite treats (or toy). Search contexts now include the four elements: Interiors, Exteriors, Vehicles & Containers.

When the dogs demonstrate "odor obedience," preparation for an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) begins. Leash handling is part of that picture. No team is required to take an ORT. Whether you choose to participate in Nose Work as an official sport or as an informal activity, what matters most is that everybody's having fun!  

Class Schedule

Advanced Nose Work Classes

Nose Work 1

Prerequisite: Beginner nose work series or by permission of instructor

For dogs who can identify the target odor. You'll continue to build excitement as the "hides" become more challenging. Handlers will continue to hone their leash-handling and dog-observational skills, being able to identify when their dog is "on odor." You will work on location and environmental challenges, elevation challenges and vehicle challenges.

Nose Work 2

Prerequisite: Nose Work 1 or by permission of instructor

Will add significantly more challenges such as multiple hides/odors, mixed container types with distractions, elevated and inaccessible hides, and multiple vehicles.

Nose Work 3 and Elite

Prerequisite: Nose Work 2 or by permission of instructor

Class Schedule