To use the nose the most dogs think is exciting.
Nose Work was founded in the US and the idea was from the beginning to help dogs on dog shelters to a better life by activation and mental stimulation. One of the founders, Ron Gaunt, who worked with service dogs, experienced that many dogs have a big desire in themselves after hunting and to search, and if they do not get an outlet for this, people think that they are problem dogs. Through Nose Work, the dog is given a chance to use their natural instincts such as hunting and searching. The result of this becomes a tired and satisfied dog.
What is Nose Work?
Nose Work is primarily about having fun with your dog, but also about getting a dog that is tired and satisfied after the activity. You train the dog on the scent, for example in small jars. You teach the dog by letting the dog sniff, and then you increases the difficulty level. The fragrance source is placed on different surfaces, different heights, vehicles and in boxes. The dog together with his handler should then search for the specific fragrance.
In Sweden we use three scents, eucalyptus, bay leaf and lavendel. The search is made in different environments both indoors and outdoors.
For whom is Nose Work?
If you have an extroverted or insecure dog, it can get an outlet for its energy, and at the same time strengthen its self-confidence through Nose Work. A reactive dog learns to focus on the search instead of other dogs. The sport is also suitable for activation for the elderly, or “sick”, dogs because it is a calm activity in the dog’s own pace.
How do I learn myself and the dog Nose Work?
A good way is to attend a course for a certified instructor / fragrance exam judge. All clubs within the Swedish Kennel Club’s organization can arrange courses and competitions.
The training is based on joy and interaction between dog and handler. It is not based on obedience, but that the dog is becoming independent in his search work. The dog leeds and you follow.
There are courses NW 1, NW 2 and NW 3 where you work with the different scents in different search moments.
What equipment is needed to start with Nose Work
No special equipment is needed more than having a harness or a fixed necklace and a leash on the dog. If you are going to compete, necklaces with throttle function, nose halter or so-called “walk nice” seals, whose function is to tighten, are not allowed. The dog should search in leashes such as fixed leash, track line or flexi leash if nothing else is determined.
Can you compete in Nose Work?
Nose Work is a general dog sport where all dogs can participate and all clubs within the Swedish Kennel Club organization can arrange competitions.
Before you can compete, you and your dog must have completed an approved fragrance test for the class in question. In order to participate in the official Nose Work competition, you also need to be a member of a club within the SKK organization.
In Sweden you can participate in unofficial or official competitions. There are two different variants of official competitions, TSM (Competition in all stages) and TEM (Competition in individual moments), and both consist of four different searches.
TSM means that you do a jar search, an indoor search, an outdoor search and a vehicle search.
TEM means that you perform all the searches in one of the steps, eg four different indoor searches.
We can recommend
Together with other podengo friends, we have taken the Nose Work course with Monica Franzén as instructor and Charlotte Larsson, who in a nice and pedagogical way guided us through the different phases in the basic course. Monica and Charlotte are both certified NW instructors and fragrance exam judges and we can definitely recommend them.
More information about Nosework
More information can be found on the Swedish Nose Work Club’s website. SNWK is a contractual dog club under the Swedish Kennel Club’s organization