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Association of Professional Dog Trainers - Dog Training Professionals

Certified Nose Work Instructor







Bonnie and Brandy

What is K9 Nose Work®?

K9 Nose Work is the latest & fastest growing canine sports in North America.  It is a sport in which dogs are encouraged & rewarded for doing what they do best – use their highly sensitive noses to locate an odor.  The main emphasis is on FUN.

Through careful control of the environment, dog and handler teams are provided with repeated, successful opportunities to find a specific odor. Dogs learn to trust their noses and their handlers learn to read their dogs’ behavior to recognize when they have located the target odor. Through this continued experience, a stronger bond is established between dog and handler, and the dog’s confidence begins to grow. The emphasis on FUN continues.

The target starts as a smelly treat hidden in an ordinary box and progresses to a small tin, hidden somewhere in the search environment, that holds a couple cotton swabs that have been dipped in an essential oil.  The oils used are Birch, Anise and Clove.  The search environments are Containers, an Interior room, an Exterior space, and Vehicles.

One can continue forever just playing around home, or if you are of a more competitive nature you can go to trial to earn your title in Nose Work 1, Nose Work 2 and Nose Work 3.  Each level increases in difficulty & complexity.  It generally takes a team a year of practicing for each level before they are ready to compete, and an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) is required prior to each to demonstrate the team’s readiness to compete at that next level.  For those competing at trials, the main emphasis is still on FUN.

What are the benefits of K9 Nose Work® ?

  • Builds stronger bond between handler and dog
  • Great for new dogs and especially rescue
  • Builds confidence in the dog
  • Great for shy/timid dogs
  • Great for reactive dogs
  • Provides an outlet for energy
  • Provides an outlet for high energy dogs or dogs that need a "job"
  • Improves focus
  • Great for distractible dogs
  • Improves impulse control
  • Great for dogs who have trouble with self-control

What special qualifications does my dog need?

None: All dogs can do Nose Work!

  • Dogs who have mobility or sensory challenges
    • Blind and deaf dogs
      • Dogs work at their own pace
    •  Dogs in carts
      • Dogs work in a safe environment
  • Dogs of any age
    • Puppies to the elderly
  • Dogs of any size
    • Chihuahuas to Great Pyrenese
  • Dogs of any breed
    • Pugs to Border Collies

What special qualifications do I need as a handler?

None: Only the desire to have some FUN with your dog!
  • People with mobility or sensory challenges
  • People of all ages
  • People of all sizes

NACSW Nose Work titles (NW) are now recognized for Versatility Awards by these national dog clubs:

Border Terrier Club of America (BTCA): an 850 member club, NW titles can now help you and your Border Terrier earn a Versatility or Versatility Excellent Award! See the Versatility Award application for information on how to list your NW titles.

Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA): with 2,000 members nationwide, the DPCA is the only AKC sanctioned, national Doberman Pinscher breed club. NW titles are recognized asqualifying working titlesfor earning a Register of Merit (ROM)!

Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America (MBDCA): with local chapters across the country and national membership available, NW titles are now a mixed breed dog's best friend in working towards a Mixed Breed Versatility Title! If you or anyone you know belongs to a club or association already recognizing NW titles,
email us at

This is one addictive sport!!

Contact Cascade Canines today to get started on a FUN and amazing journey!