Is Your Dog Ready for Nose-Work?

dog sniffing various scents

nose-work detection trainingWhat is Nose-Work?

Nose-work detection training teaches dogs to search for a specific odor, and then find the source of that odor. Police dogs may learn to search for blood, illegal drugs and even bombs. Your dog may learn to track a favorite treat or toy, which can quickly become a fun activity for owner and pet alike.

Benefits of Nose-Work

There are more benefits to nose-work training beyond the mutual camaraderie created between pet and owner. Your dog will be happier when using mental energy to problem solve, especially once you are able to move the targeted item to hard-to-find locations. Likewise, the physical energy your dog uses during nose-work can help even the most energetic animals to calm down, which reduces any stress and anxiety they may have. Nose-work is also a confidence building activity. Your jittery pet can become less fearful when he or she is focused on this fun task.

Another benefit is that nose-work can take place in any location. Whether you are at a park, on vacation or in your own backyard, your dog can happily spend hours searching for treats and toys.

Getting Started

Nose-work may sound like an advanced technique, but any dog can learn to use their expert senses for fun. It is in a dog’s nature to seek different odors, therefore your dog doesn’t necessarily need previous training of any type to learn nose-work. All you and your dog need is some direction.

Start with very strong scents. Professional dog trainers generally use birch, anise and/or clove for nose-work training. Scent two pieces of cloth or rope with one of these odors using pet-safe essential oils that have been diluted so as not to cause any adverse effects. Allow your dog to smell one of the scents cloths and hide the other. Once he or she has been successful in finding the item, provide a reward.

As with all newly learned skills, nose-work takes a lot of patience. Some dogs may catch on very quickly while others may need days or even weeks to become experts. The success of your dog largely depends on the amount of time you are willing and able to devote to training.

Professional Dog Training

While your dog does not need to have professional obedience training prior to learning nose-work, it does help. Contact the experts at Fon Jon Pet Care Center, they’ve been in the business of training dogs since 1950. Along with professional dog training, Fon Jon provides doggy daycare, pet bathing, as well as dog and cat boarding. If you would like to provide your dog with a strong training foundation, call Fon Jon Pet Care Center today at 858-490-2117.