K9 Nose Work®

scent detection for all dogs

All dogs can be extraordinary sniffers

any age, any size, any breed, any temperament*

Unlock your dog’s natural scenting ability with K9 Nose Work® classes! Scent detection sport, aka nosework, is a popular dog sport and a fun game to play with any dog. At Extraordinary Canines our K9 Nose Work® classes bring the concepts of professional canine scent detection to pet dogs and their people in a fun and easy way.

In nosework training, you and your dog will learn to play scent detection games that entertain and exercise your dog while strengthening your teamwork. K9 Nose Work® can help your dog become an independent puzzle solver, ready to find hides in a variety of different kinds of search areas and environments.

Our classes are open to dogs of all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. No prior training is needed.

From big dogs to little dogs, young dogs to old dogs, energetic dogs to calm dogs, anxious dogs to confident dogs, purebred dogs to mix breed dogs, and everything in between, every dog can be an extraordinary sniffer with K9 Nose Work® classes!

Each dog searches individually, allowing even dog-reactive dogs to join in on the fun. Nervous and shy dogs also often feel safer in a search area where there are no other dogs.

Join us for a fun and exciting way to bond with your dog and explore their natural talents.

*While dogs with of all temperaments can learn to play scent detection games, some dogs may require personal training sessions and may not be a good fit for group classes.

Dogs with human-directed reactivity or aggression and/or dogs with separation anxiety may not be able to attend a group class. If you’re working on one or both of these behaviour challenges please reach out to us to discuss. 

3 STEPS TO GET STARTED ON YOUR NOSEWORK JOURNEY

CLASSES BREAKDOWN

Our Introduction classes are geared to start off any dog whether their family’s goal is purely to provide enrichment or to be successful at scent detection sport trials

Intro to K9NW

Our Introduction to K9 Nose Work® classes teach dogs to search containers as well as complex interior areas and vehicles.

Our goal is to build a confident and independent search dog that’s having FUN!

Intro to Odor

Once our dog has developed a love of searching and has started to solve more complex search puzzles we introduce them to birch essential oil.

Our goal is transition their skills onto detecting a ‘target odor’. 

Continuing K9NW

Once dogs are searching for essential oil odor we continue the training journey with Continuing classes. We offer three levels: Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced. 

We continue to build dog skills and also build handler skills.

What skills will my dog learn in beginner nosework classes?

INTRO TO K9 NOSE WORK®

Dogs enrolled in our Introduction to K9 Nose Work will work on building confidence and searching skills through our three foundations: puzzle solving, independence, and Fun! Whether you’re interested in nosework as an enrichment activity for your dog or if your goals are to play in scent detection sport at earn titles and ribbons at trials these foundations will set your dog up for a lifetime of fun with nosework.

This class uses primary reinforcers (food or toys, usually food) to build awesome focus, drive, and stamina while allowing the dog to work independently. All of this adds up to huge fun for the dog and can also build up the confidence in shy or nervous dogs.

Through the use of primary reinforcement as a target odor your dog will be solving complex odor problems in just 8 weeks. Challenges they’ll solve include: elevations, multiple hides and converging odor, pooling and trapping odor, channeling odor, and more. Your dog will search containers, interiors, vehicles, and (if the weather is nice) even get started in exterior search areas.

Once dogs have built these advanced searching skills in our Intro to K9 Nose Work® classes families may decide to continue on in our Intro to Odor classes where the dog will quickly learn to translate their search skills onto locating a target odor (we use essential oils in sport detection).

 

Interested in Continuing K9 Nose Work Classes?

Our current students have priority registration to continuing training with us for all of our ongoing classes after Intro to K9NW class.

If you are a returning student or if you have prior nosework training and are new to Extraordinary Canines please email Megan to express your interest in joining. While there’s no guarantees that we’ll have a space, when building our schedule each term we do our best to find room for anyone that would like to join in.

check out our schedule page to see term dates

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SEPARATION ANXIETY

Note that dogs that cannot be left alone in their vehicle between their searches may not be good candidates for group class. Handlers may choose to bring a friend or family member to stay with their dog between their searches, but handlers should be watching other teams as much as possible.

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REACTIVE DOGS

Dogs that are reactive to other dogs are welcome to attend group K9 Nose Work classes. Dogs that are reactive to human strangers are not a good fit for group classes and may contact us about private training.

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AVERSIVE EQUIPMENT

Aversive equipment such as prong collar, choke collars, or shock collars are not permitted on our premises. Slip leads may be permitted only on dogs with exquisite leash manners, dogs that pull should never be on a slip lead.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Have questions? Check our FAQs before sending us an email!

How old should my dog be when I start classes?

Over 4 months old.

All dogs attending our in-person group classes must be fully vaccinated (DAPP/DHLPP and Rabies) to attend classes. This means that dogs enrolled in our group classes will be 4 months of age or older.

There is no maximum age to attend group classes. 

Can my reactive dog attend group classes? What is a reactive dog?

Maybe. 

Reactive dogs may be better described as “over-reactive” in regular language. A “reactive” dog may lunge, bark at, growl, or otherwise unfavourably respond to the presence of certain triggers (most commonly other dogs or strangers). Some reactive dogs are fearful of their triggers while others are overly excited.

Dogs that are reactive towards other dogs are welcome to attend classes. We recommend that families with dog-reactive dogs are working with a positive reinforcement trainer on ways to address and improve their dog’s reactive behaviour.  Nosework dogs are never in the building at the same time as other dogs as searches are performed by the dogs one-at-time. Dogs may see other dogs in the parking lot from a distance.  

Dogs that are reactive towards (human) strangers are not a good fit for group classes. Other handlers will watch as their classmate teams perform their searches. For the safety and comfort of other families in the class we ask that families with human-reactive dogs reach out to arrange private nosework training sessions.

 

How are classes structured? Why will my dog be left in the vehicle?

At the beginning of each class handlers will leave their dogs in their vehicle and enter the facility for a briefing/orientation from the instructor to go over the goals for the class and the first exercise/game of the session.

The instructor will establish a “run order” of teams in class and then the first team’s handler will bring their dog in to play. Other handlers will watch the team’s search and then the dog will be returned to their vehicle. The next dog will be brought in immediately following the first dog’s exit from the building.

Each dog will average 3 turns coming into the building per class (depending on the exercises planned for the day).

Dogs being crated in their vehicles mimics the way professional scent detection dogs are trained. The time that the dog spends resting between their searches is an important part of the training. We want to ensure that the dog currently working and the dogs that are resting are not distracted by other dogs.  

How many dogs are in a class?

Class sizes maximum is 1 dog per every 15 minutes. Our K9 Nose Work classes run between 60 – 90 minutes. A 60 minute class will have no more than 4 dogs, while a 90 minute class will be capped at 6 dog teams.