Nose Work Class Information

What to Expect at your K9 Nose Work Classes:

  • A Session consists of six classes

  • Classes are generally 1 hour long

  • Classes are limited to 6 dog/handler teams

  • Dogs will be worked individually during the class

  • When not working, dogs must be crated, in a pen or contained in a properly ventilated vehicle (weather permitting)

  • Classes are a “No Obedience” Zone!

  • Dogs receive no corrections – every lesson is taught in a positive and reinforcing way.

  • Great for shy, fearful and reactive dogs.

  • Builds your dog’s confidence

  • Burns off physical energy for those dogs with high energy, and mental energy for those dogs that need something to do.

  • Classes are taught in a quiet and safe environment– we want both reactive dogs and environmentally sensitive dogs to be able to focus in secure class setting.

  • Four Class Prerequisites need to be met to be able to participate in class.

The Goal of the Classes:

  • During a series of sessions, your dog will be taught to search for the 3 target odors used in many of the scent work venues- birch, anise and clove. Your dog will also be taught to search for Cypress, the 4th odor used in AKC trials in more advanced classes.
  • Your dog will learn to search for these odors in 4 different search “elements” which constitute the 4 elements in an NACSW competition: container searches, interior room searches, exterior area searches and vehicle searches (exterior of the vehicles only- not inside).
  • We will also learn other searching games such as Distance, Speed and Heap O’ Hides which are used in other scent work venues.
  • How far you go with our classes is up to you- many of my students continue on to prepare for trials and more advanced work, but many just come because they and their dogs have so much fun in class. 

What to Bring to Class:

Rabies Certificate:

Bring a copy of your dog’s rabies certificate for me to keep. Please provide a copy of the actual certificate, NOT a receipt showing you paid for a rabies shot since the certificate has info I need that the receipt does not. You may also scan it or take a CLEAR and LEGIBLE picture and email it to me.


  • HIGH VALUE treats and toys! Bring LOTS of soft treats cut into small pieces.
             (click here for more info on high value treats)
  • Bring 2 zip-top bags with treats – one bag will be for me and one for you to reward your dog with.
  • NO hard crunchy treats. Treats should be soft and quick to chew and swallow.
  • BRING A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF TREATS: Stress from being in a new location with new people and dogs may cause your dog to be a bit less enthusiastic about his treats. Some dogs are just plain picky and yesterday’s favorite treats aren’t cutting it today. It’s best to bring a couple of different types of treats to the first couple of classes so we can see which ones work best.


  • Dogs must be crated during class. This will help the dog that is working stay focused.
  • Some locations may have a few crates on site. These crates are available on a first-come basis. It’s best if you bring your own crate just in case all the site crates are taken. 
  • Dogs may also be enclosed in an x-pen that has been secured

Flat Collar / Harness:

  • Buckle or Martingale style collars or back-clip harnesses
  • Pinch collars or choke collars can be worn while walking to and from the search areas but NOT during the actual searches.
  • NO electric / shock / e-collars, head halters or front-clip harnesses during class.


  • A light-weight leather, nylon, biothane or similar leash.
  • NO chain or retractable leashes.
  • Remove all dangling items from your leash (charms, poop bag holders, etc).
  • If you want to use a slip lead, your dog will still need to wear a collar or harness during searches.
  • A regular 6′ leash is fine for the first few classes. We will discuss leash length in more detail during class.

Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before your class start time to get yourself and your dog set up and settled in.

Prerequisites for Class

  1. Dogs do not need to know any obedience commands, but should be comfortable on-leash.
  2. Dogs must be able to handle being crated inside the building and/or inside a properly equipped vehicle (weather permitting). If keeping your dog in a vehicle is not possible due to the weather, the owner must be prepared and come equipped to crate the dog inside the building. Your dog’s safety comes first. Any questions regarding this policy please ask before signing up for these classes.
  3. Your dog must be current with his rabies vaccination.
  4. Please let me know if your dog has a history of human aggression. Based on your specific dog’s situation, I can advise you if a class setting would be best for your dog.
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