K9 Nose Work® Coming On Strong

by Laura Yurchak
In August of 2010, Stephanie Challand and I began our adventure in the world of K9 Nose Work®. Little did we know that it would soon become a major part of our training curriculum. This past November, I became a Certified K9 Nose Work® Instructor. Stephanie is an Associate K9 Nose Work® Instructor with only one segment to finish for certification. This sport has changed both of our lives.

Inspired by the world of K9 detection work, the founders of K9 Nose Work® created a sport that borrows elements from the activities of professional detection canines and puts them in a recreational setting.  The sport provides an opportunity for the companion and sport dog to have an outlet for their natural hunting and scenting abilities. K9 Nose Work® can be done anywhere and at anytime. Nose Work can build the dog’s confidence, reduce environmental sensitivity and provide mental and physical exercise through teamwork with their handler.

Loving Paws offers various levels of K9 Nose Work classes. Throughout the past year and a half I have seen fearful dogs work through their fear, reactive dogs become less reactive and almost every dog enjoy the sport. Some dogs are working toward competition while others are playing for fun.

We need to work with the dogs in as many places as possible. If you know of a place that will allow the experienced dogs to work in an office, school, church, business, or warehouse, please contact Laura with the information.

I am currently looking for a site to hold the first Wisconsin K9 Nose Work Trial. The site must have access to human bathrooms, a couple of interior rooms, parking for approximately 40-50 vehicles and an area to park 3 vehicles away from the trial group.   Please contact Laura if you know of a place that may work. Here is a link to a letter that can be passed out at work or to friends that you think can help.

A few K9 Nose Work students were kind enough to give us their opinion of their experience with the sport.

Dog #1 The smell of burning leaves, apple pie or skunk. Now imagine if these smells were 1000x stronger – if every smell were 1000x stronger! K-9 Nose work lets dogs do what they do best – smell.

Token Bear is a 7-year old Sheltie with allergies and arthritis. We work as a team to find birch, anise and soon clove. It has helped to build his confidence and strengthen our bond. Token has so much fun. K-9 Nose work challenges him in a different way without straining him physically. It’s inexpensive. It has been an amazing experience to watch Token and his classmates grow and progress from searching boxes to vehicles and more.

 Dog #2 Since Charlie has been doing Nose Work I believe he is much more alert of his surroundings.   He knows when something new is in the house. During his recovery from eye surgery I hid his ball hoping he would forget about it. I hid it in a basket on a dresser in the basement and covered it. He found it right away and sat below the dresser and barked! He knew that his favorite toy was up there. His mission was to find his ball….and he did!
Dog #3 Are you looking for a great new activity to do with your favorite furry friend? Looking for an alternative class from obedience training? Time for you to sniff out K-9 Nose Work® with Loving Paws, LLC! This is a fun class for any breed that uses your dog’s natural instincts to hunt out treats and different scents with positive reinforcement in a fun atmosphere.

I attended the Shy and Fearful K9 Nose Work® class. This class is the perfect fit for a dog that needs help adapting to different surroundings. Once your dog is out on the floor working, they are focused on the job at hand rather than the surroundings they would usually find difficult to cope in. From week one to the graduating class, I witnessed all the dogs in the class grow within K9 Nose Work® skills and their confidence. I was amazed of the obstacles the dogs were able to overcome while working on the floor and how they progressed during the class with K9 Nose Work® skills.

Even if you don’t have a “problem pup”, the class is still a great activity. The work your dog does on the floor will leave them happily tired at the end of class from the mental stimulation. This also gives you and your dog a new activity to do together! I use K9 Nose Work® at home regularly now. I simply set some hides around the house and give Tilly her “find it” cue and away she goes! Sometimes the weather makes it hard to get outdoors. This is a great alternative on the days the weather is leaving you less than enthused to get outside, while still giving your dog something fun to do!

K9 Nose Work® is the perfect blend of fun and focus for you and your dog. Come sniff out the fun! Please check upcoming class schedules.

For more information on K9 Nose Work®, please feel free to check out www.k9nosework.com or www.nacsw.net.