K9 Nosework®

What is K9 Nosework® ?

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 fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise​.​​ ​​The innovative dog sport of K9 Nosework® teaches the dog to use its olfactory ability (nose) to find a trained odor source (essential oils) and then tell the handler that they have found the source of the odor. Nosework utilizes the dog’s natural ability to hunt by using its nose. Most importantly your dog has​ fun​​. Nose Work can be done anywhere, anytime!

What is unique about the sport of Nosework is that dogs of all shapes and sizes can succeed including dogs with visual impairments and physical challenges. Dogs that are environmentally sensitive or fearful can have fun and enjoy learning this activity. Dogs that may have had a difficult time working in a class setting do extremely well because only one dog works at a time.

K9 Nosework® starts with getting your dog excited about using their nose to seek out a primary reward (favorite food treat or toy) hidden in one of several boxes. As the dog learns to focus, enjoy and understand the game searching expands to entire rooms, exterior areas, and vehicles. As your dog grows more confident with his nose, target odors are introduced and more complex search skills are learned.

The Beginnings of K9 Nosework®

Ron Gaunt, Amy Herot and Jill-Marie O’Brien in Southern California founded and developed the activity and sport of K9 Nosework® to bring fun scent work to the greatest number of dogs and their people.
K9 Nosework® blends the foundational skills used in K9 detection with a unique teaching style that promotes individuality and relationship building between dogs and their people, providing a lifetime of rewarding experiences.


Introduction to K9 Nosework Level 1 (6 weeks – $160 including tax)

An introduction to the activity of K9 Nosework. Focus on foundation work to create a happy, confident and independent search dog. Using primary reward dogs are introduced to searching boxes and objects.

Introduction to Odour (6 weeks – $160 including tax)

Learn how to transition your dog from hunting for primary reward to hunting for a target odour. Build a strong independent search dog with clear odor recognition in different environments.

Continuing Nosework (6 weeks – $175 including tax)

Continuing Nosework (4 weeks – $120 including tax)

Build on skills, gain experience and advance your techniques as a handler.  This class will introduce teams to elements such as vehicles, different exterior and interior environments, different types of hides and developing your dog’s alert.  Additional odours will be introduced and integrated into searches.

Advanced K9 Nosework (4 weeks – $120 including tax)

Advanced K9 Nosework is for handler/dog teams that have experience with container, interior and exterior searches and vehicles. Your dog searches independently and confidently both off-leash and on-leash and you have some solid handling skills and are a keen observer of your dog’s searching behaviour.   Please contact instructor at karen.k9nosework@smartdogtraining.ca before registering.