Yes, K9 Nose Work is actually a thing! It’s a reward-based sport that any size or breed of dog can play.
How it works: you train your dog to search for three scents: birch, anise, and clove. You start with super easy searches for a favorite toy or treat. It can be done almost anywhere, including in your living room. And, if your dog loves it, you can advance to classes and competitions.
The super power of dogs’ noses are 300 million olfactory receptors! In K9 Nose Work, they use them to solve problems and be compensated for the effort with a favorite rewards.
ADVANCE TO COMPETITIONS, CAMPS, MEETUPS AND MORE
As your dog advances, it can be trained to search interior buildings and exterior locations including cars. Dogs learn to perform alert behavior such as sitting, or barking at the source of the odor. Once target odors are introduced to the dog, he will search for the odor only and find its source, then get rewarded by his handler with his favorite food or toy reward.
There are K9 Nose Work camps, meetups, weekends and classes. You can learn more on the organization’s Facebook page.
Among the many benefits of K9 Nose Work are:
- Dogs easily burn lots of mental & physical energy doing searches
- Searches can be done anywhere you can take your dog
- No prior training is required and no obedience is needed
- In classes, dogs work one at a time and rest crated or safely in a vehicle between searches so reactive dogs can enjoy the activity, too
- Shy or fearful dogs build confidence and overactive dogs put their energy into fun searches
- Stronger bond between dog & handler as handler learns to observe, understand, and rely upon his dog