WHAT IS K9 NOSE WORK?
K9 Nose Work is a canine scent detection activity developed by founders, Ron Gaunt, Amy Herot & Jill Marie O'Brien, inspired by working detection dogs.It is a fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people. This 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.
Every search is a dramatically different & highly stimulating experience for both dog & handler, just by changing hide placement, or searching under different weather conditions. By participating in K9 Nose Work with your dog, you're giving him the freedom to express and refine his natural talents, and he's giving you a glimpse into how he "sees" the world, as you watch him "paint an odor picture".
BENEFITS OF K9 NOSE WORK?
Some of the many benefits are:
HOW DO WE TRAIN K9 NOSE WORK?
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.
Any dog can learn K9 Nose Work. The training methodology is designed to help pet dogs tap into their hunting instinct, learn independent problem-solving skills, and to build broad and solid foundational scent detection skills that will enable them to successfully face new and greater challenges in K9 Nose Work. Building a strong foundation before introducing target odors ensures your dog will proceed with confidence and focus in a variety of "search puzzle" environments.
Throughout a dog & handler team's training, the emphasis will always be on creating learning experiences for the dog and supporting his independent problem solving, not commanding him to perform a series of tasks in a predetermined manner. K9 Nose Work is all about the dogs and all about celebrating their amazing abilities.
WHAT ARE THE TARGET ODORS?
In K9 Nose Work, dogs learn how to search for a specific odor or odors and pinpoint the source of that odor. The target odors used in K9 Nose Work are birch, anise, and clove. Once the target odors are introduced to the dog, he will search for the odor only, find its source, then get rewarded by his handler with his favorite food or toy reward.
WHAT ARE THE SEARCH ELEMENTS?
K9 Nose Work introduces dogs to four different search elements: container, interior, exterior, and vehicles. Dogs build their hunt drive and learn foundational search skills in all four elements. Later stages of K9 Nose Work introduce advanced detection and handling skills to teams. Dogs are exposed to a myriad of complex search scenarios, while continuing to reinforce their foundational skills.
COMPETITIONS AND TRIALS
Teams will practice searching to the competition standards set by the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW), which includes searching for blind hides (location of hide unknown to handler), searching for multiple hides in a single search area, and, at the higher levels of competition, searching for an unknown number of hides in a search area.
Odor Recognition Tests (ORT)
For those who want to compete and participate in trials, the first step is to successfully complete an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) for the specific odor - Birch, Anise, Clove.
Nose Work 1 (NW1) Title
Once your dog has successfully completed an ORT for Birch, they may earn a Nose Work 1 (NW1) title when he successfully finds the Birch odor source for four elements - container, interior, vehicle, and exterior searches.
Nose Work 2 (NW2) Title
After earning an NW1 Title and an Anise ORT your dog may go on to earn a Nose Work 2 (NW2) title by successfully finding Birch and Anise odor sources for all four elements.
Nose Work 3 (NW3) Title
After earning the NW2 Title and Clove ORT your dog may go on to earn a Nose Work 3 (NW3) title by successfully finding Birch, Anise, and Clove odor sources for all hour elements. The hides are more complex with each progressive level.
Nationals, Element Trials, and K9 Nose Work Camps
You may continue to enjoy the sport through a variety of advanced competitions and camps.