Nose Work

Are you looking for fun activities that can be done indoors or outside? Try nose work!


Dogs use their noses all the time to process their environment. They are aware of and processing more smells all the time than we could ever do. Watching a dog use its nose is lots of fun, improves your observation skills and helps you better understand your dog. Even more fun is providing your dog with a safe situation to enjoy the dog’s natural hunting ability and for you to observe your dog in new ways. Nose work is fun for both dogs and handlers, builds a dog’s confidence, work ethic and strengthens dog/handler bond. These classes are appropriate for puppies, too.

Although our nose work classes prepare dogs for competition, you can enjoy and participate even if you never want to enter a trial. Companion dogs of all ages will love learning to use their noses.
Club members and instructors participate in several nose work venues. OTCPBC is licensed to offer AKC Scent Work and UKC Nose Work trials. OTCPBC has also hosted National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) Odor Recognition Tests (ORTs) and NW1, NW2 and NW3 trials.

In addition to offering classes and hosting trials the club periodically offers “Sniff ‘n Go” practice events that are open to the public. Information about these events may be found using the “Trials and Seminar” tab.

Class Format

In all Nose Work classes dogs work one at a time. When dog is not working, dog must be securely crated. Each handler must provide a crate for use during class. Handlers are encouraged to observe each dog/handler team work. Handlers may be asked to help with moving equipment before and after class.

What to Bring for all classes:

Please bring a crate for your dog and a chair and high value treats. Please bring a smartphone or small video camera so that your session may be recorded for your review after class. Dogs work one at a time. Dogs must be crated when not working. Buckle or flat collar or non-restrictive harness; 10-15 foot line. No Flexi leashes. Working gear for dog is a non-restrictive harness and a 10-15 foot line.

A complete list of classes offered may be found at this link:
Class Offerings


Getting Started

Class: 100C Continuing Nose Work

Description: This class is for teams that have been searching for odor for six weeks or longer. This class will continue introducing dogs to different environments and objects, including exteriors and vehicles. Initially hides will be birch. As teams progress, hides will include birch paired with anise or with clove. Searches will be both indoors and outdoors, weather permitting.
Prerequisites: Completion of Introduction to Nose Work and Introduction to Odor or equivalent. Dog actively hunts for birch.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Tuesday, 4/16/19 @ 6:45 PM No class 4/23, 4/30.
Instructor: Judy McPartland and Marti Hohmann
Duration: 6 weeks Not Consecutive

Cost: $129 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)



Continuing Foundations


Skills Focus Classes

Nosework Skills Sampler: Distractor Proofing and Elevations

Description: Learn to progressively proof toy and food distractions over the first three sessions. Distractions will be incorporated into multiple elements, not just containers. Work on elevations for the following three sessions. Learn to recognize your teammate’s behavior sourcing both high and low hides; indoor and outdoor (dependent on outside temperature).
Session I Starts: Saturday, 5/4/19 /2019 @9 AM Meets : May 4, 11, 18 June 15, 22, 29
See above for “What to Bring”
Instructor: Lauren Walsh
Duration: 6 weeks Not consecutive
Cost: $129 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)


Session II Starts: Saturday, 5/4/19 /2019 @10:30 AM Meets : May 4, 11, 18 June 15, 22, 29
See above for “What to Bring”
Instructor: Lisa Brooks
Duration: 6 weeks Not consecutive
Cost: $129 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)



Advanced Skills Classes

NW 306 Advanced Mind Games

Advanced puzzles and challenges for dog-handler teamwork, upper level competition strategies, and problem solving specific to each team. Dogs must be proficient on birch, anise, and clove, proficient with multiple hides per search, experienced with all typical search elements (interiors, exteriors, vehicles, containers), and skilled with hides at ground, elevation, corners, inaccessible locations, converging, etc. Suitable for teams working at the NACSW NW3 level or equivalent.
Start Date: Tuesday, 5/21/19 @ 8:00 PM.
Instructor: Lisa Brooks
Duration: 6 weeks
Cost: $129 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteer hours within the last 12 months)



Practice and Trial Preparation Classes


Hold the dates:
AKC Scent Work Trials

November 30-December 1, 2019

Future Sniff n Go events:

We are busy planning our next few Sniff ‘n Go events. We will post details about each event here when finalized.
Other Scent Work Events


Instructor Bios:

Judy McPartland ANWI, OTCPBC Scent Work Coordinator, is a member of OTCPBC, the Iowa City Dog Obedience Club (AKC), 4RK9s (UKC), Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association (ESSFTA). She is an approved AKC Scent Work Judge. She owns three English Springer Spaniels, Callie NW1, Kenzie and Maggie NW3 NW3-C, with whom she competes in NACSW, UKC and PSD nose work and AKC Scent Work.

Lisa Brooks is an experienced NACSW nosework enthusiast, approved AKC Scent Work Judge, the proud handler of terrier mix UCD Janie SuchADog NW3 Elite. Lisa is currently training with Jack NW3 NW3-V. She recently moved to FL from NJ, where she was privileged to train with experienced NACSW Judges and Certifying Officials who are experienced professional detection dog handlers.

Club member Marti Hohmann CPDT-KA, ANWI has been training dogs professionally for 15 years. Currently she coordinates the Prison Pups training program offered by New Horizons Service Dogs at two area institutions. Both of her dogs, Lark and Fizz, have earned the NACSW titles, Lark the NW2 title and Fizz NW3. Fizz is the recipient of multiple placements in AKC, UKC, and PSD trials, including several High in Trial awards.

Lauren Walsh is a member of OTCPBC. She is active in NACSW, UKC Nosework, AKC Scent Work and Performance Scent Dog trials with her two Cocker Spaniels, Raleigh NW2 and Cash NW3. She is an approved AKC Scent Work Judge.