What is nosework?

Also known as scent work, this is an activity where a dog uses its nose to locate a hidden target scent or odour. It is a relatively new sport for companion dogs but the basic training is along similar lines to that of border patrol or other service detector dogs.  It is designed to be accessible to virtually any dog, including dogs who are unable to enjoy other dog activities due to age, physical limitations, lack of obedience, fear or reactivity issues.

There are different levels of competition, different types of searches and different environments involved in the sport.

Trial entry requires that handler/dog teams must have passed the appropriate Odour Recognition Test (ORT) in advance of the trial. The purpose of the ORT is to verify that the dogs know the target odour (scent) used in competition.

For more information about nosework visit the Australian Canine Scent Work (ACWS) website.  The ACSW is the first sanctioning organization for the sport of K9 Nose Work® in Australia.

What titles can be attained?

The ACSW currently offers three national title levels for dogs and handlers competing in the sport of K9 Nose Work – Nose Work 1, 2 and 3 as well as element titles at the NW3 level and an NW3 Elite title. A title is awarded for passing all four elements of competition in one trial day and must be earned before advancing to the next level of competition.

Is my dog suitable for nosework?

Nosework is open to any dog.  According to the ACSW, ‘K9 Nose Work is something that almost all dogs can enjoy and we have found that the activity has helped many dogs with sensitivities improve tremendously- sometimes to the point where they can safely navigate a trial environment.’

Age restriction: Dogs participating in an Odour Recognition Test (ORT) must be at least six months of age. Dogs participating in a trial must be at least one year of age.

Where can I do nosework?

Contact ACWS or ANKC’s State member bodies to find a dog club near you:

Dogs ACT

Dogs West

Dogs Queensland

Dogs NT

Dogs NSW

Dogs SA

Dogs Tasmania

Dogs Victoria