Dates: Feb. 29 – April 4, 2024 (6 weeks)
6:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: Hilltop Canine, 30 Merchants Drive, Walpole, MA
Cost: $185 (5 dogs max per class)
About this class:
In this 6-week session we will teach the dogs to hunt independently for a target reward (usually high-value food) within a designated search area. All training is done in a positive manner, giving dogs the freedom to learn and hunt at their own speed while handlers learn how to read their dogs’ unique body language. Nose work is a fun enrichment activity that dogs already know how to do! Giving dogs permission to use their innate skills can be very empowering for dogs who lack confidence. And for dogs who are confident but overly energetic, the nose work game provides a great outlet for all that energy and enthusiasm.
Although it is a group class, each dog will work individually. This allows the dogs to focus on their work without being distracted or worried about other dogs nearby. Because of this, your dog must be able to be wait in a secured area — either in your vehicle or secured in a crate elsewhere in the building — when not working in the search area. Ideally, handlers will remain in the search area, watching other dogs work (this is part of educating the human teammate). Since this is an evening class in the winter, we will plan to work inside. There is plenty of crating space available inside the building.
Formal obedience is not required, but dogs must be under basic control when entering and leaving the search areas. Dogs that are aggressive to humans or who have a problem with resource guarding (i.e. dogs who will growl if you place a hand near their food/toy to take it away) are not good candidates for this class. Dogs should be OK with being away from you for periods of time when not working their turn.
What to bring:
– A 6-foot or 8-foot leash (dog will work both on-leash and off-leash, depending on the search)
– A flat collar or harness for your dog (prong collars are fine for coming in/out, but your dog must be searching on either a flat collar or harness)
– High-value treats that have a strong odor to them (examples: hot dogs, sausage, meatballs, salmon or fish treats, tripe treats, etc.)
– A hungry, motivated dog! (If you normally feed your dog dinner around this time, I recommend feeding only half.)
Fill out the form below to register for the wait list. If you would be interested in attending a class from 7:30-8:30 on Thursday evenings, please leave a note in the comments when you fill out the form. If I have enough interest I will open up a second class.
About the instructor: I have been a member of the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) since 2010, when I first started taking classes in K9 Nose Work. Since then, I have trained and titled 5 different dogs in the sport of K9 Nose Work, have attended dozens of workshops related to scent detection, and hosted dozens of official and unofficial events at a variety of locations around New England. I am a Certified Nose Work Instructor, a competition host for NACSW and USCSS, and a Score Room Lead for NACSW trials. I have also trained and competed in Flyball, Rally Obedience, Dock Diving, and K9 disc. By day I am a copy editor for an IT publisher.