Scent Work

Does your dog like to sniff? Of course they do, they’re a dog. Here’s an activity you may enjoy doing together.

Desire Snelleman from chatted with me about “Nose Work”.

AD: What is Nose Work? Are there other names for it?

DS: K9 Nose Work is a general term defining that a dog is using it’s keen nose to search for something specific, determined by us. (vs. “leisure sniffing.”) Dogs have an amazing sense of smell and a natural desire to hunt.  The sport of K9 Nose Work is designed to develop your dog’s natural scenting abilities by using their desire to hunt and their love of toys, food and exercise.

AD: How do I know if my dog would be good at it?

DS: All dogs are born with an innate ability to discriminate scent, so it stands to reason that any dog can play the game.

AD: How will my dog benefit from this type of activity?

DS: K9 Nose Work is a great way for your dog to have fun and to create a stronger bond/relationship with you.  It builds focus and confidence and burns lots of mental and physical energy.  Any breed can do it.  All ages of dogs and people can do it.  K9 Nose Work can be done anywhere and uses minimal equipment.  This activity/sports works well for socially challenged dogs (fearful, shy and reactive).

AD: Do dogs work alone, in pairs or as a group?

DS: Dogs and handlers work individually.  (One team at a time.)

AD: Does my dog need to be physically fit to participate in Nose Work?

DS: Your dog does not need to be physically fit to play the game of K9 Nose Work.  We see dogs participate that are physically challenged ie: blind, hearing impaired, and don’t have full use of their 4 limbs.  We see quite a few seniors and retired performance dogs as well.

AD: Is special equipment required?

DS: The equipment that is being used is minimal and are common household items., ie: boxes (any kind: cardboard, Tupperware, plastic containers etc.) A favorite toy or a favorite food.  Once the dog gets on odor we have to add Q-tips to our list and 1-3 familiar odors (essential oils.)

AD: Are there certain skills that can be practiced without an instructor?

DS: All the skills taught in class can be practiced at home w/o an instructor.  Everyone is encouraged to practice in small bouts.  This is easy and it is a positive activity to do with your dog.

AD: How do I get started?

DS: Workshops and classes are formed all the time.  To see if there are any offered in your area, go or  If there is nothing offered in your area and you would like to host a workshop, please contact

AD: How does one locate a qualified Nose work trainer?

DS: Please look under