Dogs learn to be independent hunters and handlers learn to read subtle body language in the dog to locate the target odor. Each level of training adds difficulty to the search by adding multiple odors, distractions, changing the height of the hide, or making it less accessible to the dog. Dogs with environmental challenges can really shine as they learn new skills in independence and confidence. Dogs with an abundance of energy or lack of attention can benefit from the challenge of this sport requiring focus, physical activity, and mental energy.

Intro to Nosework

Come learn a new way to have fun with your dog. Bring out your dog’s natural ability to hunt with this fast growing sport. Dogs will be encouraged to perform independent searches for food. Handlers will learn how dogs work odor to solve scent puzzles. Each week we will set up different scent puzzles for your dog to solve. Each week dogs will be able to self-reward for solving each scent challenge. These puzzles will build your dog’s foundation skills for more challenging scent work experiences.

Intro to Elements

We introduce the dogs to each of the four search elements and a variety of locations. Dogs continue to work for a food source in this introduction to Elements class to ensure we preserve their drive and motivation for searching in these novel environments.





Intro to Odor

This is the stage we begin more specific training for competitive nose work. Each of the three odors used in NACSW competitions are introduced (Birch, Anise, Clove). Dogs use the skills learned in previous sessions to identify the target odors paired with food. Handlers become part of the team as they learn to work with their dog in the search area.


These classes are designed for handlers wanting to enter the competitive nose work arena or wanting to add more challenge to their dog’s scent training. Dogs should be familiar with all three odors with food pairing. Handlers will learn the nuances of scent detection and develop strategies for handling their dog in the varied search areas they will encounter in competition.

Challenges in Competition

Now that you are hooked on this growing sport, we will continue to introduce more advanced search challenges that appear in NW2/NW3/Elite competitions. We will continue to discuss how odor moves and how that can effect a particular search area and you dog’s ability to solve the scent puzzle. Dogs should be proficient on all three odors.