Nose Work

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

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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, (e.g., AKC, NACSW, PSD, USCSS). OTCPBC is licensed to offer AKC Scent 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, a chair for ourself, closed toe shoes and small, easily consumed high value treats. Please bring a smartphone or small video camera so that your session may be recorded for your review after class. 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

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Getting Started

None at this time.

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Continuing Foundations/Transitions

NW Continuing Foundation Skills

Description Continuing foundation work in nose work skills for dogs relatively new to nose work. Exercises will focus on strengthening odor obedience and increasing team confidence. Birch, anise and clove will be used in hides. Continued introductory work on skills related to hide placement: multiple hides, elevations from ground level up to 6 feet, thresholds, corners, blocked. Will include work in the search elements used in competition nose work, containers, interiors, exteriors, and vehicles. Elements emphasized will be adapted to the needs of the class participants, upcoming event opportunities and weather. Searches will be indoors and outdoors at the OTCBC building and parking lot depending on the weather. Teams will be expected to video searches and share with classmates.
Prerequisite: Dogs must be searching at least two odors: birch, anise or clove, and have completed the four preceding beginning level courses at OTCPBC or equivalent with approval of the instructor.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Tuesday, 7/7/20 @5:15 pm
Instructor: Marti Hohmann CPDT-KA, CNWI
Duration: 6 weeks

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

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NW Intermediate Continuing Nose Work Skills

Description Class will build on previous experience in foundation nose work skills. Exercises will focus on strengthening odor obedience and increasing team confidence. Birch, anise and clove will be used in hides. Continued work on skills related to hide placement: multiple hides, elevations from ground level up to 6 feet, thresholds, corners, blocked, inaccessible. Searches will include the search elements used in competition nose work, containers, interiors, exteriors, and vehicles. Elements emphasized will be adapted to the needs of the class participants, upcoming event opportunities and weather. Searches will take place indoors at the OTCPBC clubhouse and outdoors in the parking lot, weather permitting. Teams will be expected to video searches and share with classmates. This is a class appropriate for a team to take on an ongoing basis.
Prerequisite: Dogs must have experience searching for birch, anise and clove. Some experience working on multiple hides is helpful.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Tuesday, 7/7/20 @6:45 pm
Instructor: Marti Hohmann CPDT-KA, CNWI
Duration: 6 weeks

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

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Skills Focus Classes

NW Intro to Skill Building

Description Start introducing and building skills needed to be an effective search team. Searches will be carefully constructed to assure success for dogs new to searching for odor. Skills include leash handling, start lines, elevations and introducing distractions. Focus will be on Interior and Container Searches.
Prerequisite: Teams should be searching for Birch, Anise and Clove.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Tuesday, 7/28/20 @ 4:00 PM
Instructor: Lauren Walsh
Duration: 4 weeks

Cost: $86 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)

Registration closed

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Advanced Skills Classes

NW Advanced Mind Games

Description: 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.
Prerequisite: Suitable for teams working at the NACSW NW3 level or equivalent. This course is focused for handlers who are dedicated to and knowledgeable in advanced understanding of the dog-handler relationship, the science of odor theory, and the application of these to successful detection. Prospective students are welcome to contact the Instructor prior to enrollment to discuss suitability.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Start Date: Tuesday, 7/7/2020 @8:15 PM
Instructor: Lisa Brooks
Duration: 6 weeks
Cost: $129 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteer hours within the last 12 months)
Instructor approval required
Registration closed

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Practice and Trial Preparation Classes

NW Skill Building

Description Grow your team by building skills in this class. Searches will be constructed to work on specific skills for both dogs and handlers. Skill include elevations, inaccessible, converging odor, thresholds, distractions, time management, leash handling and more. Teams will be asked to search blank areas and under blind conditions. Searches will be conducted both indoors and outdoors, weather dependent.

Prerequisite: Teams should be proficient in searching for Birch, Anise and Clove.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Saturday, 7/11/20 @ 7:45 AM No class 8/1, 8/22.
Instructor: Lauren Walsh
Duration: 6 weeks

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

Starts: Saturday, 7/11/20 @9:00 AM No class 8/1
Instructor: Lisa Brooks
Duration: 6 weeks
Registration closed
Cost: $129 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)

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Cannot find a class to meet your needs? Want to be notified when new classes are added? Complete our interest survey.
Interest List for Nose Work/Scent Work Classes and Events

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Hold the dates: AKC Scent Work Trials

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

Future NACSW events:

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Instructor Bios:

Judy McPartland CNWI, 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 and PSD Judge. She owns three English Springer Spaniels, Callie NW1 ORT, Kenzie ORT and Maggie NW3 NW3-C NW3-V, 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, NW3-E. In NJ 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, CNWI has been training dogs professionally for 15 years. For several years she coordinated 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 (2). 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 NW3 and Cash NW3 Elite. She is an approved AKC Scent Work Judge.