Nose Work

A fun, mentally stimulating,

confidence building game for any dog!

Nose work is great for building confidence in a shy dog, give an active dog an appropriate and challenging, mentally stimulating outlet for pent up energy, and help a reactive dog overcome environmental sensitivity. For your average dog, doing nose work becomes a fun and engaging game that they are eager to learn and play! Nose work also helps to strengthen the bond between dog and handler, and best of all, it is fun for both!

Our Nose Work training is broken down into three phases. In general, your dog can complete all three phases in ten private Nose Work sessions. The Nose Work training will be taught to accommodate each dogs pace; meaning, some dogs could take a bit longer to accomplish all 3 phases and some dogs may rapidly excel and will be able to do even more advanced Nose Work by the third phase.

Introduction to NoseWork (Phase 1):

In Phase 1, tasks are kept simple. In this phase, the dog and handler are taught how to properly search for a scent utilizing a high value treat or toy. Over a couple sessions, we gradually add environmental objects, increase the amount of space used for the search, change locations for searches, introduce stairs, and all the while ensure that the dog’s desire to hunt or search is triggered and increased. The goal of this phase is that dogs be driven to search and target in “box work” (container searches).

Introduction to Odor (Phase 2):

In Phase 2, the dogs will repeat the basics of Box/Container Searches while adding (“pairing”) the search odor (Birch, Clove, Aniseed) with their high value reward. By building the search on primary rewards, the dog does not look to the handler for cues or help in finding the odor and does not try to please the handler. We want the dogs to trust their noses understand that reward will come from the source of odor. The dog is then highly motivated to pursue the odor. By returning to the basics, the dog’s focus and drive will remain high (or regain the level) by pairing the new scent with the now familiar – and fun – search. After the basics have been repeated, adding additional elevation and beginning to consider situations that handlers might confront in real-world environments will be addressed, including practice of blind hides.

Searching for Odor (Phase 3): 

In Phase 3, generally, the dogs will learn to conduct searches on odor alone. They will be searching and targeting on the odor in interior and exterior, and may also begin vehicle searches if they have accelerated to that point in training.

**Some dogs may rapidly excel at nose work and do even more advanced searches in the sessions and some dogs may need more sessions to complete the curriculum. Nose Work is all positive and training is conducted at your dog’s learning pace for optimum results and to ensure the dog is conducting thorough and accurate searches.


Nose Work Starter Package: 5 private sessions to give you and your dog a basic understanding of how Nose Work works! Generally the starter package will get most handlers and dogs through the first two phases of training.

Nose Work Proficient Package: 10 private sessions that will give you and your dog a great understanding of Nose Work. Generally, dogs who complete 10 private sessions will make it through all three phases of our training curriculum. After completion of these 10 sessions, in general, your dog will be able to conduct independent searches, acquiring, and targeting on just the odor. Then they will be able to progress to more advanced searches.