Scent work (also known as “Nosework”) is a sport that allows dogs to do what they do naturally — use their noses to find things. All breeds and types of dogs (including older and handicapped dogs) can participate in this positive, challenging activity that allows dogs the opportunity to use their strongest natural sense in a way that’s fun and that strengthens the foundation of trust between the handler and dog.
Beginning Scent Work: Dogs must be at least 4 months old. For the first class, bring lots of high-value treats that can be broken into small pieces (e.g., cheese, cooked chicken) and a 6′-8′ long leash (flat collars or harness — no choke or chain collars). Dogs will work initially with containers and treats and progress to locating a single scent (Birch) and communicating to the handler.
Intermediate Scent Work: Pre-requisites: Beginning Scent Work and the recommendation of the Beginning Scent Work instructor. Dogs will be trained at detecting multiple scents (Birch, Clove, Anise, Cypress) as well as working above floor height and searching interior and exterior areas and vehicle searches. Dogs and handlers will also be introduced to working at a distance, so bring a leash at least 12′ in length (no auto-retractors).
Advanced Scent Work: Pre-requisites: Intermediate Scent Work and the recommendation of the Intermediate Scent Work instructor. Intermediate skills will be refined and dogs/handlers will be introduced to new skills such as detecting scents buried in sand and water, threshold detection, and wind considerations.