Photo by Kristy Strunks

K9 Nose Work® Classes

K9 Nose Work® is fun scent detection work for dogs. Simply put, it is allowing your dog to do what he does best, use his nose. Our classes are designed to teach the handler and dogs to do the same type of work as a professional scent dog (drugs, bombs, arson, etc.) but just for fun! We use three different odors – birch, anise and clove – in four different search environments (elements) – interiors, exterior, vehicles and containers. All dogs have great noses and are capable of the work. The difference for us is that there are no lives on the line and everyone has fun! 

This is a great activity for you. If you are interested there are also competition events. Our classes are designed to help you enjoy Nose Work for fun and fun during competition. The work is all positive so the dog has good associations with the work and the environments. We focus on building the dog’s hunt drive so that they will work happily and independently. These methods are great confidence builders for the dog and fun for all involved. Dogs are worked one at a time so those with dog social issues can still participate in classes.

If you are interested in trying K9 Nose Work® you will start with the Introduction to Nose Work and then continue with Introduction to Odor. These foundation classes are each 6 week sessions and will give you an idea of what the activity and sport are about. Continuing classes will help you hone your handling skills, learn to read your dog and become a better partner to your dog. If you are interested, they will also prepare for competition. 

Private lessons are also available for those that can’t make a regular K9 Nose Work class or are out of the area but still interested in the sport. This is an opportunity for teams to get input from an experienced competitor and instructor to help take them to the next level. 

K9 Nose Work® classes are offered at the Canine Co-op in Lacey. Classes are taught by Dorothy Turley and Rachelle Bailey-Austin, two highly experienced, Certified Nose Work Instructors.

Classes Offered

Beginning level-Interiors, Containers, Exteriors & Vehicles


Class Description: Dogs know how to use their noses! They also have a natural desire to hunt and love using their nose to do this. The activity and sport of K9 Nose Work is designed to help you and your dog work together to use these natural abilities while also using plenty of your dog’s mental and physical energy. And you will enjoy watching you dog do what he loves. Nose Work is for dogs of all breeds, ages and abilities. This class will focus on building your dog’s hunt drive and teaching him how to search interiors and containers. All dogs will be separate and we only work one dog at a time so dogs that are not comfortable with other dogs are welcome but please clear with instructor first. We will meet for 6 sessions and each will be 1 to 1.5 hours long.

Prerequisite: Dog must be at least 5 months old (or instructor permission).

Notes: Beginning Level. Dogs attend all 6 classes. In K9 Nose Work, we only work one dog at a time so that they can focus and you can watch other teams work. You should plan to leave your dog in the car until it is his turn. Please feel free to discuss any concerns that you may have with the instructor in advance of class.

Cost: $170 per dog

Dates: Mondays, 6:30 p.m. September 28 – November 2 

Intermediate level-Interiors, Containers, Exteriors & Vehicles

Class Description: This class is for dogs that have completed the Introduction to K9 Nose Work® classes. We will introduce the first odor (birch) to the teams. We will also focus on reading dogs and improve human handling skills in their searches. This is a 6 week class and each class is 1-1.5 hours long.
Prerequisite: Dog and handler have must have completed the Introduction to K9 Nose Work® class.

Notes: Dogs attend all 6 classes.
Cost: $170 per dog.

Dates: Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. September 16 – October 21

Intermediate & Advanced Level

Class Description: These classes are for dogs and handlers teams that have completed the Introduction to Odor class. We will continue to work with Birch but expand the dog’s search areas and skills. We will work in all four elements—containers, interiors, exteriors and vehicle searches. Additional odors, Anise and Clove, will be added as the team advances. Each level is progressively more challenging. Teams in these classes can look forward to competing with their dog or continuing to enjoy Nose Work as a rewarding hobby. These are 6-week class sessions and each class is 1-1.5 hours long.

Prerequisite: Teams must have completed Introduction to Nose Work and Introduction to Odor class. Check with instructor to find a class that will work for you and your dog.

Notes: Dogs attend all classes. These classes are open enrollment–you may start at any time with the permission of the instructor. Students are added to classes based on space availability and skill level. 

Check with an instructor before registering to find the right class for you and your dog and if there is space available.

Cost: $150 per dog for 6 week sessions.

Class times: Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.

                        Tuesdays, 7:15 p.m.

                         Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m.

                         Wednesdays, 7:15 p.m.

                         Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.