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Getting Nosey

Author: Sally Bushwaller | Date: December 15, 2011

K9 NOSE WORK® is a great new dog sport. I absolutely love it and have been working towards becoming a Certified Nose Work Instructor so I can help others learn how fun this sport is.

The three people who developed this sport are all police canine trainers and handlers with many years of experience. They wanted to develop a sport that all dogs could learn and/or compete in without any of the restrictions that some dog organizations impose. So mixed breed dogs, and even dogs with reactivity issues, or fearful dogs, can all learn to play the game. The training room, and trials if you decide to go that route, is well-managed so that no dogs have to interact with other dogs. Competition is not necessary in any way.

I love the benefits for all the dogs who do Nose Work, but especially dogs with fear and/or anxiety issues. I’ve seen many dogs work through some intense environmental fears with Nose Work. Dogs love Nose Work! Our motto is “leave obedience at the door.” When your dog comes to training, they get to rediscover their inner dog and just be a dog, sniffing and finding scent–just what they were meant to do with that fabulous nose they have.

Here’s a few K9 Nose Work® videos:

1. My dog Cassie doing a blind (neither she nor I know where it is) box/container search for the birch scent.

2. Cassie doing an advanced box puzzle. A box puzzle is a fun game in which you put a treat inside a small box. Then put that box into a larger box, and that one into an even larger box, then shut the lid and let the dog “have at it!” A great way to build drive to hunt and find scent.

3.  This video was after the preceding box puzzle. She wanted to do another puzzle. When I didn’t create one for her right away, she picked up the box and just held it. It was so cute, I did another puzzle for her

4.  Duncan working through his thunderstorm phobia enough that he could come out from hiding under the chair to do Nose Work.

If you are interested in our K9 Nose Work class during our Winter 2012 session, visit our website or call 312-564-4570 for more information.


    1. […] recently posted about our Nose Work class. Not long ago I saw my dog do a really cool thing that shows the power of his nose. Oz, my 7-year […]

    2. […] As an indoor activity alternative, there are numerous enrichment puzzles on the market (Amazon is a good source) or you could teach your dog to do “Nose Work” and search and find treats in hiding places like boxes or under papers.  That is Ozzie’s favorite game now, and I highly recommend it with no risk of ill effects.  On the contrary, it can build confidence for anxious, shy or fearful dogs.  You can learn more about Nose Work here. […]

Thank you for offering such a wide variety of classes.

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