Nose work or scent work is drug detection for fun.
It allows the common person to train and work as a team with their dog to complete successful searches by letting the dog use their number one sense – smelling with their nose. A puppy is born with a sense of smell and it can be the last sense they lose as they enter elderhood. A dog’s sense of smell can be 100,000 times more powerful than a human’s. They can detect some odors in parts-per-trillion concentrations. Decades ago some actual drug detection individuals started training individuals and formed clubs so anyone could learn this sport with their dog and compete.
The AKC has offered scent work competitions since 2015. Dogs are trained to alert on certain odors and it is the handler’s job to recognize that the dog has found the odor and convey that to the judge. There are 5 levels of competitions – novice (birch), advanced (anise), excellent (clove), master (cypress) and detective (all odors and elements). There are 4 elements at each level – container, interior, exterior and buried. There is also a separate division called handler discrimination which involves the dog finding the handler’s own scented item. It has the 5 difficulty levels also.
The absolute beauty of the scent work for dog’s and handlers is anyone, any age can compete in these competitions.
***Check out the Events Tab of this website for upcoming Electric City Kennel Club Scent Trials ***