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Inspired by working detection dogs, K9 Scentwork is a 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. Scentwork is a great enrichment activity for a wide variety of dogs, including older dogs or dogs with disabilities – the sport encourages dogs to use their natural abilities, their brains, and their bodies to solve odor puzzles! Humans have approximately 6 million olfactory receptors, but dogs have approximately 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses – they far surpass us. This sport
is also easy and affordable to practice at home. Scentwork is a wonderful tool to strengthening the connection between owners and their dogs.

Beginning Scentwork


Following recommended methods, this class will provide a supportive, fun, solid foundation for handlers and their dogs to learn about this rapidly growing sport. One of the wonderful aspects of scentwork is that dogs of all sizes, ages, abilities, and breeds can participate!
Classes are suitable both for handlers who are looking for an enrichment or bonding opportunity for their dogs, as well as for those who may be interested in building toward competition.
This class does not require previous scentwork experience, although basic obedience training prior is helpful. Dogs and handlers work one at a time, so dogs who are shy or fearful of other dogs can participate.
Handlers with dogs who are people aggressive must book an individual evaluation prior to registering to determine whether classes or private lessons are suitable.

A weekend beginning class will be offered quarterly.

Intermediate Level Scentwork

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This class is designed for handlers and dogs who have participated in at least two Beginning Scentwork classes with this instructor or with a previous CNWI/AWNW or with prior instructor approval (and evaluation by this instructor). Dogs must have begun to work with odor, and to show independent search drive. Handlers have been exposed to concepts of the sport and to theoretical aspects of how odor behaves in environments.
The class will include working with the three odors, birch, anise, and clove. Searches will include interior settings and containers and may also include exterior and vehicle searches. An emphasis will be to continue to skillfully learn to read each dog’s changes of behavior as they locate the source of odor in more a variety of set-up’s (beginning to work with elevation, inaccessible hides, pooling odor, and distractions), how to cover an area without leading one’s dog, leash handling, and additional odor theory concepts.

*If your dog is new to scentwork, please sign up for the Beginning Scentwork class or for private lessons*

Advanced Level Scentwork



This class is designed for handlers and dogs who have been working with three odors in increasingly complex settings, including interiors, exteriors, containers, and vehicles with this instructor or with another CNWI/AWNI. Handlers and dogs have been exposed to concepts and odor puzzle elements such as inaccessible hides, elevated hides, pooling odor, and converging odor. Handlers have an awareness of the differences in their dogs’ behavior with the dog(s) being in odor, sourcing, and being at the source of odor. Handlers understand environmental elements that impact odor, including spatial structures, temperature, humidity, and air flow. Handlers and dogs have been instructed on leash handling for their team. Handlers and dogs have begun to work with distractions that can be present in search areas.
This class will further build on each team’s experience with increasingly complex searches with multiple hides. Additional work will include learning to read one’s dog when they have found all of the hides or when areas are blank. Students will be exposed to unusual set-up’s and fun odor “games” that strengthen each team’s existing skills.
Classes will include interior, exterior, container, and vehicle searches.

*If your dog is new to scentwork, please sign up for the Beginning Scentwork class or for private lessons*

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