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K9 Scent Work: The Magic Focus and Calm Pill For All Dogs!!

Inspired by working detection dogs, K9 Nose Work or Scent 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.


Scent Work is a sport which allows your dog to harness their innate sense of smell to detect odors. Using the same approach as detection dogs who learn to discern odors such as narcotics or explosives



Scent work is a relatively new dog activity and sport that is gaining more and more popularity. It is based on search and rescue and tracking sports but geared to the general public and pet dogs rather than working dogs. Any dog can do Scent Dog Training because it uses the dog's most powerful sense, smell. You do not have to want to compete in AKC Scent Work or NACSW Nose Work to enjoy it at home. It does not take a lot of equipment and can be enjoyed all year round. It also helps build confidence in shy and fearful dogs and is both fun for the dog and the owner.

Scent Work starts with getting your dog excited about using his nose to seek out a favorite toy or treat reward hidden in one of several boxes, expanding the game 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.


Scent Work is a positive, challenging activity that allows dogs the opportunity to use their strongest natural sense in a way that's fun, engaging, and that builds and strengthens a foundation of trust between the handler and dog


Generally 20 minutes of intense nose work will tire him out more than an hour of fetch. Even more importantly, the dog will have a sense of peace after the session rather than just being tired. It is like having a magic 'Be Calm and Focus' pill for ALL dogs!


Nose work teaches your dog another way to look at the world. Sniffing is hugely beneficial for dogs and essential for their well being. It’s stimulating too - experts tell us just 20 minutes of sniffing is equivalent to an hour’s walk in terms of enrichment for your dog. ‘It’s tempting to hurry our dogs along when time is short, but giving them time to sniff is almost as important as the physical exercise they get from a walk.

‘Sniffing is your dog’s way of making sense of the world around them - and it provides lots of mental stimulation, which can help keep their brain healthy as well as their body'

When I originally discovered K9 Scent Work, I used it to calm and focus my students' high drive working dogs. Sometimes these owners would arrive an hour or more before our agility classes and throw the ball for their dogs for the entire hour plus, but these dogs still could not calm down and focus for classes. However, when I had these same owners arrive 15 minutes early and ask their dogs to search in boxes for food or toys, the dogs could start our classes in a calm and focused manner. It is truly magical!!


I now compete in Scent Work and have discovered multiple additional applications for this activity, from more enjoyable hikes with my dogs to a fun puppy focus activity to an old

dog 'stay mentally fit' game to ringside calm down routines and everything in between...


Prepare for a lifetime of fun with your dog and K9 Nose Work!

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