Inspired by working detection dogs, K9 Nose Work 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 fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise.
K9 Nose Work starts with getting your dog excited about using his nose to seek out a favorite toy or treat that's hidden in one of several boxes; the game quickly expands to entire rooms, exterior areas, and vehicles. As your dog grows more confident with his nose, target odors are introduced and competition skills are taught.
During each class every dog works individually and rests safely in his crate between turns. There should be no interaction or socialization between dogs at any time during K9 Nose Work classes. This is to ensure that every dog has the opportunity to work and gain confidence in a distraction and stress free environment AND this also helps the dog focus much more acutely when they are working on finding the source of a scent.
We have limited openings in our Nose Work classes. Students should plan to remain in each level for multiple blocks at the same class time as they work with their dog to build and strengthen skills. SPDTC will periodically add a new block of Beginning Nose Work for brand new students and will notify people on the wait list as openings are available. If you'ld like to be added to the wait list please register online using the K9 Nose Work Class Registration Form. If you have any questions, contact the Nose Work Class Administrator.
Prerequisite: Dogs must be at least 6 months of age, plus a SPDTC Membership. No training prerequisites.
Beginning Nose Work Dogs are introduced to the game through the use of boxes and a favorite toy or treat reward (bring a back-up toy, and plenty of treats). The goal of this class is to build the dogs' confidence to search and solve problems independently and to expose the dogs to various environmental challenges as they learn to focus on the search. Handlers get to learn the most effective methods for motivating their dogs to search independently, including the power of self-rewarding. This introductory class must be completed to advance to the next class level. For dogs and handlers just looking to enjoy the game at their own pace, this class may be repeated many times with adjustments to the difficulty level to keep the dog challenged and engaged. Students should plan to remain in Beginning Nose Work for multiple blocks as they work with their dog to build skills and confidence.
Intermediate Nose Work Building upon the foundational skills from Beginning Nose Work, this class focuses on teaching the dogs to search for a special target odor (one of three essential oils used in K9 Nose Work). Dogs will learn to search expanded areas more effectively and handlers will learn valuable techniques for supporting their dogs in the search.
The intermediate level will also help dog & handler teams develop the skills required to successfully search areas with more difficult hide placements and with focus on the four elements of competition: container searches, interior, exterior, and vehicle searches. This course may also include introduction of the remaining two target odors.
Advanced Nose Work Experienced dog and handler teams will find the challenges offered in this course highly rewarding. Dogs will be introduced to new and difficult search scenarios under the guidance of the instructor to ensure a positive learning experience. Handlers will focus on increasing their ability to support their dogs in the search through a greater understanding of the various factors affecting how scent moves.
Some of the things you will learn in K9 Nose Work classes:
How to bring out your dog's hunting drive
Using boxes to introduce dogs to scent detection
The power of primary reward
Observing your dog's signs when searching
Searching interior, exterior, vehicle, and container elements
Pairing a target odor(s)
How scent moves
Proper reward delivery when searching for target odor
Advanced scent detection skills, handling skills, and competition prep
About the Instructors: Jeff McMahon, CNWI is a certified trainer specializing in the activity and sport of K9 Nose Work. He and his rescue dog Muriel trained weekly with K9 Nose Work & National Association of Canine Scent Work (NASCW) co-founder Amy Herot for almost five years. Jeff & Muriel have earned multiple NW3 titles and were invited to the 2013 and 2014 NACSW National Invitational events.
In 2009 Jeff began a mentorship with world-renowned behavior specialist and K9 Nose Work founding instructor Penny Scott-Fox. Together Jeff & Penny brought K9 Nose Work to a wide variety of dogs and dog lovers. Since becoming a Certified Nose Work Instructor, Jeff has taken great pride in helping numerous dog and handler teams to grow their bond and find success in K9 Nose Work.
Jeff is an NACSW faculty member and trial certifying official, and travels around the country instructing nose work teams at seminars, workshops and camps. In addition to teaching and competing in K9 Nose Work, Jeff writes the official K9 Nose Work blog and edits the NACSW member newsletter. Jeff lives in Andover, MN with his wife, two kids and three dogs.
Yas Bakshian, CNWIstarted K9 Nose Work in 2012 with her dog, Junuh, a Portuguese Water Dog and achieved their NW3 Elite title in 2017 to become the 5th team in MN to earn this prestigious title. Yas has also competed with Junuh in conformation and achieved his AKC CH as a owner/handler and achieved his AKC AXJ and AX in agility.
In 2017, she also began competing with her 2 year old Border Collie, Tiv in her first K9 Nose Work Trial and achieved their NW1 and 2nd place overall from a field of 45 teams.
Yas owns The K9 Nose, a local MN company that provides supplies & gear for all things nose work. Yas and Jeff co-hosted a weekend of NACSW Nose Work Trials in October of 2015; the 4th ever in MN! And since that first trial Yas has hosted multiple K9 Nose Work events such as ORTs, Trials and Seminars.
In 2014, Yas began a mentorship with Jeff McMahon, acting as an assistant teacher in his nose work classes. And in 2017, she became a CNWI (Certified Nose Work Instructor) with the NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work). She has also been teaching adults in the Computer Education Department at the Science Museum of Minnesota since 2006 and brings those skills to the nose work world.
Contents copyright 2006 St. Paul Dog Training Club, St. Paul, Minnesota