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. 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

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Getting Started

NW 100A Introduction to Nose Work

Description: This class is the first class in our series and provides an opportunity for your dog to safely engage in a game based on the dog’s natural hunting instinct. Handlers will learn how to observe dogs in a natural activity. Given the opportunity to work at this game, dogs become more focused and confident. The dog/handler bond becomes stronger. Initially dogs will hunt for food or a toy in cardboard boxes. As skills develop other objects will be introduced into the hunt. This class is appropriate for dogs of all ages, from puppies to senior dogs.
Prerequisite: In this class dogs work one at a time, so dog must be able to rest in a crate when not working. Dogs must be under handler control in the parking lot and when coming into or leaving the building.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Tuesday, 10/1/2019 @ 5:30 PM
Instructor: Marti Hohmann,CPDT-KA, ANWI and Judy McPartland, ANWI
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 100B Introduction to Odor

Description This is the second class in our series for teams beginning nose work. Dogs who are enthusiastic hunters for food or a toy will begin to hunt for a target odor. To start the target odor will be paired with the dog’s primary reward. Searches will be designed to create high value for the target odor. The handler will practice observing dog’s behavior throughout the stages of the search process. Searches will be inside the training building and in the parking lot, weather permitting.
Prerequisite: Completion of NW 100A or equivalent. Dog actively searches for primary reward (food or toy). Preference given to teams enrolled in NW 100A Introduction to Nose Work.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Tuesday, 11/12/2019 @ 5:30 PM No class 11/26/19, 12/24/19, 12/31/19
Instructor: Judy McPartland, ANWI
Duration: 6 weeks

Cost: $129 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)
Registration will open approximately 6 weeks before start date.

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Continuing Foundations/Transitions

NW 101B Advanced Continuing

Description Continuing foundation work in nose work skills for dogs early in nose work career. Exercises will focus on strengthening odor obedience and increasing team confidence. Birch, anise and clove will be used in hides. Hide puzzles will include inaccessible hides, blocked hides, converging odors and non-productive areas. Searches will be indoors and outdoors at OTCBC facility depending on the weather. 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 be on birch, anise or clove with experience searching for multiple hides.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Tuesday, 10/1/2019 @ 6:45 PM
Instructor: Judy McPartland, ANWI
Duration: 6 weeks

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

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NW200 Advanced Continuing Skills

Description Continuing foundation work in nose work skills for dogs that have been doing nose work for 1-2 years. Exercises will focus on strengthening odor obedience and increasing team confidence. Birch, anise and clove will be used in hides. Hide puzzles will include multiple hides, elevations from ground level up to 6 feet, thresholds, corners, blocked, non-productive areas. Searches will take place indoors at the OTCPBC clubhouse and outdoors in the parking lot, weather permitting. This is a class appropriate for a team to take on an ongoing basis. Teams will be expected to video searches and share with classmates.

Prerequisite: Teams confidently searching for birch, anise and clove. Experience searching for multiple hides.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Tuesday, 10/1/19 @ 4:00 PM
Instructor: Judy McPartland, ANWI
Duration: 6 weeks

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

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AKC Handler Discrimination Classes

NW Find Mine: Hunting for Handler Scent

Description In AKC Scent Work Handler Discrimination element, the target scent is the handler’s scent. The article having the handler’s scent is a cotton glove or sock (Novice level) or a cotton ball (Advanced through Masters). In this class dogs will learn to search for the handler’s scented article (sock or glove) which will be enclosed in a container (corrugated box). As the dog progresses, additional containers used in the search will have socks or gloves whose purpose is to help the dog discriminate handler scent from other human scents. Handler will learn to observe dog’s behavior as the dog catches the scent of and then closes in on the handler’s scented object.
Prerequisite: In this class dogs work one at a time, so the dog must be able to rest in a crate when not working. Dogs must be under handler control in the parking lot and when coming into or leaving the building. Dogs do not need to be on odor.
What to Bring: In addition to items included above under “What to bring,” Zip lock bag to hold scented cotton glove or sock. Several clean cotton gloves or socks. Inexpensive cotton gloves available at Harbor Freight or at Amazon
White Jewelry Inspection gloves

Soft, easily chewed treats. Leash (10-15 ft) for use in searching. Fully charged smart phone or video camera to record searches for later review. Please do not bring any essential oil scents to class.
Starts: Saturday, 10/5/2019 @ 11:30 Am
Instructor: Marti Hohmann,CPDT-KA, ANWI
Duration: 3 weeks

Cost: $65 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)

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Skills Focus Classes

NW Containers

Description This class will provide team with experience in searching for target odor in various types of containers. Searches will include single and multiple hides. Hide placement will include configurations that could be encountered in different venues and different trial levels. Odors will include birch, anise, clove and maybe cypress. Useful for teams preparing for NACSW ORT, AKC, NACSW and PSD Containers, as well as PSD Speed. Teams will work through searches that include distractions with the goal that the handler recognizes dog behavior in the presence of distractions and that dog is reinforced in understanding “only odor pays.”
Prerequisite: Dogs must be on birch and anise or clove, confidently searching indoors and have some experience with multiple hides.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Saturday, 12/7/19 @ 11:30 am
Instructor: Judy McPartland, ANWI
Duration: 3 weeks

Cost: $65 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)
Registration will open approximately 6 weeks before start date.
OR

Starts: Saturday, 12/7/19 @ 1:00 pm
Instructor: Judy McPartland, ANWI
Duration: 3 weeks
Cost: $65 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)
Registration will open approximately 6 weeks before start date.
OR
Starts: Saturday, 12/7/19 @ 2:30 pm
Instructor: Judy McPartland, ANWI
Duration: 3 weeks
Cost: $65 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)
Registration will open approximately 6 weeks before start date.

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Advanced Skills Classes

NW 306 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.
Start Date: Tuesday, 10/8/19 @ 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)
Registration Closed

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Upcoming sessions of NW 306 Advanced Mind Games:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 @ 8:00 PM

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Practice and Trial Preparation Classes

NW Puzzles I

Description Nosework puzzles to challenge and strengthen dog-handler skills and teamwork. This class will combine fundamental skills (odor obedience, corners, thresholds, ground and elevation hides, etc.) with more intermediate skills (birch and/or anise, multiple hides, inaccessible sources, etc.). Great for fun and suitable for teams interested in working toward entry- and mid- level competition.
Prerequisite: Dog is a confident searcher and proficient on birch
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Saturday, 10/5/2019 @ 9:00 AM
Instructor: Lauren Walsh
Duration: 3 weeks
Full

Cost: $65 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)

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Starts: Saturday, 12/7/2019 @ 9:00 AM
Instructor: Lauren Walsh
Duration: 3 weeks

Cost: $65 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)
Registration will open approximately 6 weeks before start date.

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NW Puzzles II

Description Nosework puzzles and challenges for dog-handler teamwork, search strategies, and problem solving. Teams will work toward proficiency in multiple odors (birch, anise, and clove), multiple hides per search, inaccessible hides, converging odors, etc. Great for advanced fun and suitable for teams ready for intermediate- to advanced-level competition.
Prerequisite: Dog is a confident searcher, proficient on birch and has been introduced to anise and clove.
What to Bring: See above for “What to Bring”
Starts: Saturday, 10/5/2019 @ 10:15 AM
Instructor: Lisa Brooks
Duration: 3 weeks
Full

Cost: $65 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)

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Starts: Saturday, 12/7/2019 @ 10:15 AM
Instructor: Lisa Brooks
Duration: 3 weeks

Cost: $65 (20% discount for members who worked 20 volunteers hours within the last 12 months)
Registration will open approximately 6 weeks before start date.

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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

November 30-December 1, 2019
January 25-26, 2020

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:

NACSW Odor Recognition Test (ORT) January 18, 2020

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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 and PSD 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.