K-9 Nose Work Program
K9 Nose Work is another new dog sport that is a natural for our Westies to use their scenting instinct and mental skills. Similar to getting a tracking certification before a dog can earn a tracking title, a nose work dog must certify in an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) before earning any of three levels of working titles (NW1, NW2, and NW3).
In each timed nose work trial, the dog must find an odor in four “elements”—container, interior, exterior, and vehicle. The three odors used in nose work are the (safe) essential oils birch, anise, and clove. NW1 requires birch; NW2 is birch and anise; and NW3 is birch, anise, and clove. Dog and handler must pass all elements of their competition level within the specific element time level.
As in barn hunts, the handler calls the alert. “Hides” are in containers no higher than four inches off the ground. With the progression of levels, the difficulty of the hide increases.
A challenging mental sport, this can be great for a reactive or shy Westie who has difficulty in crowds of people or dogs. Since teamwork is important, this can be a great confidence builder.
The AKC is still presently evaluating K9 Nose Work as a sport. We are hoping to have a demonstration and introduction by a Certified Instructor at the July meeting. Come join us and see what else you can get your westies involved in.
Meeting Starts at 2:00 with program beginning at 2:30. You must bring a crate as westies will need to wait in another room during demonstrations.