Does your dog need a nose job?
A new dog sport, K9 Nose Work® is taking Australia by storm. Di Randall of Dog Star Training is a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) who teaches pet pooches the art of scent detection using similar techniques to those used by professional sniffer dog trainers.
Dogs have an immensely powerful nose and their sense of smell is about 100,000 times better than ours. This game taps into that instinctive hunting ability so most dogs are naturally gifted at K9 Nose Work®.
“We spend a lot of time telling our dogs what to do and how to behave. I love that this game of scent detection gives the lead back to our dogs and allows them to show us what amazingly talented animals they are” says Di.
The sport starts with the dog searching for things they like (food or toys). The next step is the dog learns to target odours (Birch, Clove, Anise). Each dog progresses at their own pace as we gradually increase the difficulty of the search.
Any dog that has a nose can participate in this game of scent detection and no previous dog training experience is needed by the handler. This means that almost all dogs and their owners can participate. Blind dogs, deaf dog, elderly dogs and even dogs with physical disabilities all love K9 Nose Work®. It’s a fun game for dogs and their humans, but may also help with confidence building, more focused behaviours and providing exercise for senior dogs or those recovering from surgery. It also gives us humans a new-found respect and pride in our four-legged companions.
Di came across the sport a few years ago as a great outlet for her own dog, Genki, who was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and was especially fearful around dogs and strangers.
“The sport was ideal for us as each dog searches individually and relaxes in the car when it is not their turn. Genki did not have to meet other dogs and our instructors were all so kind and understanding that Genki began to thrive and succeed in that environment” she said.
About Di Randall
Di completed the Delta Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services and she has trained dogs of all ages, breeds, and temperaments. She is also experienced in recognising and dealing with anxiety and reactivity in dogs.
Di is the Chief Instructor at Sydney All Breeds Dog Training Club in Concord, Sydney.
Di completed the first K9 Nose Work® Instructors course last year and is now one of only 10 CNWIs in Australia. She is running classes in Randwick, Sydney and the next term starts in August 2018. More details on K9 Nose Work® classes.