K9 Nose Work™ is a fun activity for dogs and owners designed around your dog’s natural scenting ability and desire to hunt. It provides mental enrichment, helps increase confidence, and is just a lot of fun for dogs! It also gives you the opportunity to learn more about and appreciate your dog’s amazing “scent-ability”
Dogs are already extremely capable of finding things with their noses, so we don’t actually have to teach that. In the beginner classes, class instructors and handlers (that’s you) set up many different situations for dogs to hunt for food rewards with increasing levels of challenge. In the advanced stages, dogs are taught to search for tiny hints of odor, and are always rewarded at the end of each hunt. It’s amazing to see how the dogs get excited about hunting even in their first class!
One great thing about this activity is that it’s suitable for just about any dog and any person, even those with some physical limitations All breeds and mixes of all ages are welcome, and even dogs who are reactive to other dogs or people can safely join a class. Most dog activities & sports, such as agility, flyball, and rally obedience, are not typically suitable for dogs who are reactive to other dogs. Nose Work can open up a whole new world of enrichment for these dogs!! Dogs work off-leash in class so only one dog works at a time and all others are crated in a calm area until their turn comes around again. This is done so the working dog is not distracted by other dogs while in the “sniff zone”. Each dog will have multiple turns during class so they won’t spend a lot of time in crates.
There are Nose Work™ competitions on the West Coast as well as a few other parts of the country, and the East Coast will have its first competitions in 2011. However, you don’t need to compete for you and your dog to receive the full benefits of this exciting activity. You will quickly learn K9 Nose Work™ techniques that are easily re-created at home for practice and fun! Dogs don’t care if they win any competitions, so they enjoy it whether they compete or not.
Since the founders of K9 Nose Work™ (all professional scent detection dog trainers & handlers) started offering these classes a few years ago, owners who have dogs with separation anxiety, reactivity, environmental sensitivity, and other stress-related concerns have reported improvement after doing Nose Work.
For more information, see the official K9 Nose Work™ website: www.k9nosework.com. Also, check out YouTube for videos of some dogs in action! Just search for K9 Nose Work™.
If you’re interested in registering for a 6-week class (approximately one hour per week), please email Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Shiloh Veterinary Hospital at 717-850-4991. If you’re not ready to join a class but are curious about K9 Nose Work™, you’re welcome to come and observe a class. Please contact Wendy to schedule a time. Wendy Hazenstab, Certified Veterinary Technician, has completed the Certified Nose Work Instructor Program created and taught by the original founders of K9 Nose Work™. Wendy became a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) in January 2012.