Nose Work Dogs

Scent detection work made fun keep dogs mentally and physically active.

German Shepherds in Nose Work

The fast-growing sport of nose work is as much about the fun as the find. Calling on the same olfactory talents detection dogs use, this activity is emerging nationwide as dog owners look to keep their dogs mentally and physically active. With an olfactory cell count twice that of some other breeds, their drive to work and please, and their innate intelligence, German Shepherds excel at the sport and Vom Banach K9 dogs such as Fritz owned by Nadeen Speets, is a prime example.

With Vom Banach K9 German Shepherds so dominant in search and rescue, detection, and law enforcement work, it’s natural that they thrive in this extension of the discipline.

Nose work as a game, rather than a job has been around forever but was started as a club sport in 2009 by three California detection and SAR dog trainers. Enthusiasm shown by the students wanting to find an activity to keep their dogs active, learning, and working led to the trainers developing ways to test or trial the dogs’ abilities in nose work. They started NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work and developed trials, a training method, and a certification process for nose work trainers.

Across the country others have begun developing similar programs and a Google search will lead you to a burgeoning number of nose work groups.