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For fun or competition 

Canine Nosework / Scent work

Inspired by working detection dogs, K9 nosework is the fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people. This easy to learn activity and sport builds confidence and focus in many dogs, and provides a safe way to keep dogs mentally stimulated with a task they’ll love!

K9 nosework starts with getting your dog excited about using his/her nose to seek out a favorite toy or treat reward hidden in one of several boxes. Over time, the game will expand to entire rooms, exterior areas, and vehicles. As your dog grows more confident with his/her nose, target odors (e.g., Birch, Anise or Clover) are introduced, and competition skills are taught, like reading your dog’s alert and guiding them through the search area. 

Our Chronicle Nosework Segment

Tracey Costa is a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She teaches the competition nosework here at The Dog Mall. In this Chroncile Segment, you'll hear Tracey describe the origins of nosework and even demo it with her West Highland Terrier dog named Maisie.

You'll also hear about some of the benefits of doing nosework with your dog. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I want to enter a nosework class, but I don't see any open classes?

A: Tracey teaches more of the competition level nosework classes; In those classes, the dogs need to be "on odor", that is, trained to fine one of the three competition odors (e.g., Birch, Anise or Clover) used in nosework. If you dog is already trained to find Birch, Anise or Clover, and you'd like to enter her class, please contact contact us through our contact form and we can likely get you into her evening classes on Tuesday (6pm or 7:15pm) or Thursday morning (10am or 11:15am). 

Q: I think my dog would love this class, but I've never done it before. How do I get into a beginner class? 

A: We offer a "Sniff It - For Fun" 6-week class which is a beginner level nosework class. In that class, your dog will search for food which is first phase of nosework. We also offer a 2-hour "K9 Sports Sampler Workshop" that includes a section focused on beginner nosework (as well as agility and flyball). In either that class or workshop, you and your dog will get exposure to the sport. If you want to continue in a competition level class with Tracey, we can add you to a wait list for Tracey's beginner nosework class which will work on getting your dog onto odor used in competition.

Q: Can this class help my dog search for drugs or get involved in search and rescue? 

A: It can't hurt, but no, our nosework classes will not prepare you for drug tracking or search and rescue. These classes are designed strictly for competition or fun, not for practical application in search and rescue or drug related searches. 

Q: Do I need to bring anything for a lesson? 

A: Please bring high value treats for your dog. We'll use those treats to lure them over the obstacles and keep their attention.

Q: I've taken some nosework classes at another facility or I took classes a long time ago. Can I skip your beginner nosework class?

A: Most likely. As long your are confident that your dog is beyond finding food and "on odor", we can likely get you into one of Tracey's competition level classes on Tuesday night or Thursday morning. 

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