nose work / scent work

Nose work is a sport for the pet dog based on genuine scent detection training. It’s a wonderful activity for dogs that need a lot of mental and physical stimulation, including those that have a hard time in environments or classes with other dogs. 



This extremely fun and challenging game, developed for the pet dog, is based on professional detection dog training. It has become so popular that lots of organizations have created their own versions of this enjoyable activity for you and your dog to participate in.

It’s a great activity for all dogs- from high drive dogs that need lots of mental exercise to newly adopted dogs as it helps them become more confident.

Come learn all about this sport from Certified K9 Nose Work Instructor Rosana Dropkin, CPDT-KA, CNWI- the most knowledgeable and experienced scent work instructor in East Tennessee!

What are the benefits of Nose Work?


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 Solo, FastFinds 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 expect?

What to bring to class


Dogs do not need to know any obedience commands, but should be comfortable on-leash.

Your dog must be current on their rabies vaccination.

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.

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.

cancellations, refunds & Make-ups

Spaces in our classes are limited to ensure all dogs get working time. Due to this, once you have submitted your deposit, we are counting on you to attend. If you decide to withdraw before classes begin, your deposit will be forfeited. No refunds are given if you choose to drop out at any point during the session of classes.

If a session of classes is cancelled by Sunshine K9s, you will receive a refund.

SK9 reserves the right to dismiss a dog from classes, lessons or an event if the dog is deemed not healthy or if their behavior does not seem suitable for the services provided. No refund will be given under such circumstances.

Make-Up Lessons: If a student will miss a class and advance notice is given, all efforts will be made to ensure that you will not miss any critical lessons. We are usually able to catch you up on a missed lesson during a future class. If that doesn’t work out, SK9, at our discretion, may offer a make-up lesson. The make-up lesson is usually around 30 minutes and will cost 50% of the cost of a private lesson.



If you want to work on Trial Prep, brush up on a particular skill or just want to have some more nose work fun with your dog, sign up for our advanced level drop-in classes.


Classes are great for newly adopted dogs as it helps them become more confident in new environments. 

schedule & location

Check out our class schedule and get directions to our Sniffer School.