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Scent Work / Nose Work Class Descriptions

Scent Work is a fun searching game designed for dogs of all ages and sizes. It increases confidence and team building with your dog. Covered in the class will be foundations of scent work and an introduction to target odors.   Both AKC and National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) rules and procedures will be covered. No special equipment is required for the first classes but students will want to purchase their own odor kit eventually. If you are not sure what level Scent Work class your dog should take, please ask your current TMDTC instructor before the next registration begins.

Scent Work 101

This class develops search drive and motivation to work, odor recognition and a clear focused response behavior for both Nosework and Barn Hunt.  Our goal is a happy dog that will not only efficiently and methodically search for and identify target odors in a variety of environments and situations, but WANTS to work and play with their handler.  There are no pre-requisites for this class.  Dogs must be at least 16 weeks of age to participate.  

Scent Work 101 uses birch as the target odor and will help prepare your dog for a birch ORT (Odor Recognition Test)  under NACSW and / or Novice Container searches at AKC Scent Work trials.  


Orientation - for Scent Work 101 (first night of class)Dogs should not be brought to the first class. The first class of each seven week session is an Orientation Class that is done without your dogs.  Be sure to bring a copy of your payment and shot records.  For the safety of all of our dogs, no dogs are allowed the building without current shot records.

Scent Work 102

This class is appropriate for dogs / handlers that have completed our Scent Work 101 class (or the equivalent) and are ready to be introduced to other elements ( Interior, Exterior, Buried, and Vehicle searches) and other target odors (anise, clove). This class should be repeated several times to sharpen handlers' recognition of dog's indicators and improve dog's ability to find more and varied hides. 


Scent Work 103

This class is to serve as a bridge from the nosework
foundations, increasing handler/dog skills in preparation for
the Competition class and trialing. Pre-requisites: NW 102 or
instructor approval.

Scent Work 201

This class is intended for experienced nose work teams who want additional practice finding hides and who want to hone their team skills. There will be between two and four search areas each class. The search areas will vary, depending on the location, between containers, buried, interior, and exterior hides. The location will vary so the teams can practice searching in commercial settings, parks, schools, and the TMDTC facility. This class is geared towards group participation where students can learn from each other on the best methods to train corner hides, inaccessible hides, high hides, and other nose work challenges. However, teams may choose to show up, do their searches, and leave.  The first class will meet at the TMDTC facility. After the first class, teams will be contacted by a class coordinator who will provide the next week’s training location.

Dogs are not ready for Scent Work 201 if they haven't already been shown and earned Novice element titles.  This class is for dogs already trialing in AKC Scent Work events.

Why learn Scent Work?

Our dogs love to sniff and find things.  In fact, dogs have such a great sense of smell that they are often used to locate illegal drugs, explosives, bed bugs, endangered species and even cancer.  Scent sports such as Nosework and Barn Hunt aren’t just exciting competitive activities to enjoy with your dog, but they build confidence, focus and teamwork essential for all your favorite activities and a happy home life too. Plus, scent sports are just plain fun! 

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