Inspired by working detection dogs, 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.
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 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 Nose Work Foundations for brand new students and will notify people on the wait list as openings are available. If you'd like to be added to the wait list please register online using the SPDTC Nose Work Class Wait List 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.
Nose Work Foundations Dogs are introduced to the game through the use of boxes and a favorite toy or treat reward. 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. Students should plan to remain in Nose Work Foundations for multiple blocks as they work with their dog to build skills and confidence.
Introduction to Target Odor Building upon the foundational skills from Nose Work Foundations, this class focuses on teaching the dogs to search for a specific target odor (Birch Essential Oil). Dogs will learn to search expanded areas more effectively and handlers will learn valuable techniques for supporting their dogs in the search.
This class 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 will also include introduction of the remaining two target odors: Anise & Clove. Students should plan to remain in Introduction to Target Odor for multiple blocks. Prerequisite: Nose Work Foundations or equivalent.
Continuing Nose Work 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. This is an ongoing class and students will be registered for additional blocks as they are scheduled. Prerequisites: Nose Work Foundations or equivalent and Introduction to Target Odor or equivalent.
Some of the things you will learn in Nose Work / Scent 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
Class size is limited to 4-6 dogs/class with a minimum of 3 dogs to hold a class. We have limited openings, and some of the new registrations will be added to the wait list.
You may register multiple dogs per class, as each dog is worked individually
About the Instructors
Yas Bakshian is a NACSW™ Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), ORT Judge & CO. She started her nose work journey in 2012 with her dog, Junuh, a Portuguese Water Dog. They competed at the very first MN NACSW NW1 trial in 2014 and achieved their Elite 1 title in 2019. Yas also competed with Junuh in conformation and achieved his AKC CH as an owner/handler and his AKC AXJ and AX in agility, along with his Apprentice Water Title in the PWDCTC trials. Junuh crossed the rainbow bridge in March of 2020. Currently, Yas trains & competes with her Border Collie, Tiv, in both NACSW & AKC Scent Work Trials at the NW3 and Detective levels.
In 2014, Yas began a mentorship with Jeff McMahon. She started teaching in January of 2016, and a year later, she became a CNWI (Certified Nose Work Instructor) with the NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work). Yas owns The K9 Nose, a local MN company that provides Scent Work supplies & gear for all things nose work. She also has been hosting NACSW trials since October of 2015 and has hosted multiple K9 Nose Work events such as ORTs, Trials and Seminars.
Barb Burton-Werle is an NACSW™ Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), ORT Judge and an ORT Provisional CO (Certifying Official in training) and has been training and competing in K9 Nose Work® since 2011. Barb began as an instructor’s assistant under Amy Alwine, CNWI in 2011 and began teaching nose work in 2015.
Barb has competed with her Newfoundland Sacha in nearly all levels of K9 Nose Work®. In 2018 Team Sacha achieved their NW3/Elite title, then in 2019 their Elite-1 title before Sacha crossed the Rainbow Bridge unexpectedly. She currently trains and competes with her 2-year old Newfie, Gracie in NACSW™ K9 Nose Work® & CPE Scent Work.
Barb has also been a longtime supporter and foster for the Minnesota Newfoundland Rescue and has been able to share the gift of nose work with her foster dogs over the years. She is also a Certified WagIt instructor, PetCPR certified, a member of the Northstar Newfoundland Club, National Association of Canine Scent Work, Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild. Barb is also co-founder and co-admin of the Northern Lights Nose Work and Scent Work Facebook Group which serves our local nose work community.
Holly Bushard is an AKC, NACSW, and CPE scenting sports judge. She is an active competitor with experience in handling and trialing behind different breeds and temperaments of dogs from a pitbull named Gator to two Whippets, Ky & Mahto and latest a Golden named Maya. Holly focuses on dog-led searching and setting up puzzles that allow dogs to self-teach.
Sue Kliewer is an ANWI (Associate Nose Work Instructor) and she did her first nose work training in 2013 with a Search and Rescue group. Shortly after that initial experience, she began training with Jeff McMahon. Sue and her Golden Retriever, Brio, titled in the first Nose Work trial held in MN in 2014 and they went on to earn their Elite 1 title in 2019. They also earned numerous other element titles along the way. Brio passed away in July of 2019. Currently, she is training with her Newfoundland, Opus.
Sue is enrolled in the CNWI program, working towards her certification through NACSW. In her other life, Sue has worked for a local non-profit, Helping Paws, for almost 20 years, training service dogs, instructing puppy classes, matching and placing service dogs, and doing follow-up behavioral work with clients and their service dogs. Previously, she has trained her Newfoundlands to titles in water rescue work, obedience and agility. Opus is currently training towards his water rescue work and draftwork titles, in addition to doing nose work.
Jeff McMahon:As a scent work coach, Jeff is here to learn about you and your dog and to guide you through the challenging and rewarding experience of building new skills, deepening your bond with your dog, and performing as a team beyond what you thought possible. Jeff has been in the scent work world since 2008 and has enjoyed many experiences as a competitor and coach – which he will happily share upon request. Coach Jeff believes that through the pursuit of excellence in scent work, we better the lives of our dogs, become better humans, and have a howlin’ good time!
Jenifer Watters, is an NACSW™ Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) and has been training and competing in nose work since 2014. She began her mentorship with Yas Bakshian, CNWI in 2019, after retiring from 34 years as a hospital pharmacist. Her passion for Nose Work comes from watching teams of all abilities and backgrounds gain confidence, achieve success, and experience the joy of the game. She and her very tall Jack Russell Trigger compete in NACSW at the Elite level, AKC Scentwork, and participate in K9ABC Games as frequently as possible. Trigger has also competed in AKC agility at the Masters level, and dabbled in Tricks, Dock Diving and Barn Hunt.
Contents copyright 2006 St. Paul Dog Training Club, St. Paul, Minnesota