Beginners Guide to Nosework

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What is Nosework?

This is the first part in a multi-part blog series on nosework where we will be taking you from zero to novice title in whichever organization you choose.

Nosework isn't just a sport; its a journey of discovery and connection between you and your dog. As you embark on this adventure together, cherish the moments of triumph, learn from the challenges, and most importantly, revel in the joy of witnessing your dog's innate abilities comes to life. So gather your supplies, unleash your curiosity, and let the scent of adventure guide you and your canine companion towards new horizons.  

Nosework, also recognized as scent work, involves dogs utilizing their heightened sense of smell to pinpoint specific scents. Within competitive circles, canines typically search for scented cotton swabs infused with essential oils. While the choice of scents may vary between organizations, common options include Birch, Anise, and Clove.

When sourcing essential oils for Nosework ensure that the oils are:

  • Birch ( Betula Lenta)
  • Anise ( Pimpinella Anisum)
  • Clove ( Eugenia Caryophylatta or Syzgium Aromaticum)

We carry pre-scented cotton swabs for most venues, we are also an NACSW authorized odor vendor, which can be checked here

 Some Benefits of Nose Work:

  • Mental Stimulation: Engages a dog's natural problem-solving abilities, keeping their mind sharp and focused. 
  • Physical Exercise: Even though nosework may seem like a mental activity, it also provides physical activity, it also provides physical exercise as dogs move around to search for scents. 
  • Bonding Experience: Strengthens the bond between handler and dog as they work together to achieve a common goal. 
  • Builds Confidence: Success in nosework boosts a dogs confidence and enhances their overall well-being.

 Are There Trials for Nose Work? 

Yes there are many organisations that offer Nosework trials, We have linked some below:

Elements in Nosework Trials

Within nose work, the term 'elements' denotes the various components or facets of the activity that dogs are trained to execute. These elements typically encompass:

  • Container Search: Dogs search for target odors hidden within containers such as boxes. 
  • Interior Search: Dogs search for target odors hidden within indoor environments, such as rooms and objects within the room.
  • Exterior Search: Dogs search for target odors hidden within outdoor environments. 
  • Vehicle Search: Dogs search for target odors hidden within or around vehicles, which can include cars, trucks, or trailers. 

Be aware that there may be additional elements; those listed above are commonly found across organizations.

Ready to get Started? We carry Nosework Supplies Here from Pre-Scented Cotton Swabs to Nose Work vessels.