"Quite honestly, every single dog on the planet should be playing the game of Scent Work. The benefits can not be overstated. Mental stimulation. Physical stimulation. A proper outlet. Tapping into an instinct. Super fun to watch and easy to set-up! No heavy or super expensive equipment needed to play this game!" -- Dianna Santos, Scent Work University
Scent Work (aka Nose Work) is scent detection that allows dogs to use their mind, muscles and that amazing sense of smell! Scent Work is for all types of dogs. Energetic dogs enrich their brains and exercise their bodies, small and large dogs can excel at sniffing, one dog works at a time while others are out of sight, so reactive dogs can also learn in this class environment. Scroll down to see class descriptions below.
Scent work Class Descriptions
Intro to Scent Work - Beginning (no experience or obedience required)
Your dog will learn to search for specific scents and to indicate with a strong signal when they are found.
Train your dog a solid indication and a solid reinforcement history on one odor.
Start searching for containers and build to searching interiors.
Take the class for fun and building teamwork with your dog or prepare for competition.
Nose Work is great mental exercise!
Nose Work 1 classes allow for one working dog at a time so your dog can focus on scenting.
Required: Proof of Vaccines. Best for dogs at least 1 year old, or as early as 6 months with permission.
Scent Work 2 - Novice
Required: Proof of Vaccines. Best for dogs that have completed Scent Work 1, have a reliable indication on birch and are at least 1 year old.
Scent Work 3 - Intermediate
Skill & confidence building on the four elements: containers, interiors, exteriors and vehicle searches with increasing search areas and challenges. Repeat this class until cleared by the instructor for Scent Work 4 or stay at this level if you are doing Scent Work for fun (not for competition). See Frequently Asked Nose Work Questions
Required: Best for dogs that have completed Scent Work 2, are successfully searching for all 3 odors and are at least 1 year old.
Scent Work 4 - Intermediate/Advanced
Skill & confidence building on the four elements: containers, interiors, exteriors and vehicle searches with increasing search areas and challenges. For dogs who are competing or interested in preparing to compete.
Required: Best for dogs that have completed Scent Work 3, are successfully searching for all 3 odors within competition time and are at least 1 year old.
Scent Work 5 through infinity - Advanced (Competition Prep.)
Skill & confidence building on the six elements: containers, interiors, exteriors, vehicle, buried hides and handler discrimination. Searches with increasing search areas, more challenging distractions, deeper and higher hides. For dogs who are competing or interested in preparing to compete.
Required: Best for dogs that have completed Scent Work 4, are successfully searching for all 3 odors within competition time and are at least 1 year old.
Scent Work FAQ
How are Scent Work classes run?
Scent Work classes are run one dog at a time so your dog can focus on scenting with fewer distractions.
Between turns, your dog is still processing information, breaks encourage faster learning.
Between turns, they may be out on a walk with you or in your car.
Classes are minimum four and maximum 6 dogs.
Early Scent Work classes are 6 week sequential classes, each week builds on the last.
Drop-in sessions are only available for more advanced classes.
Make up classes are not available for six-week sequential classes.
What are the requirements to start Scent Work?
Unlike some dog sports, there is very little obedience training needed to start with Scent Work 1. Very little equipment is needed and it’s portable! Scent Work is a great way to enrich your dog's life, give them a job that is both physical and requires brain power.
Is this class suitable for reactive dogs?
One dog will work in our classes at a time, so this sport is suitable for reactive dogs with sensible handlers.
It does not matter what breed, size, physical condition or obedience level. Any dog can learn to follow its nose!