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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Nose Work?

Described on the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) website as an activity to bring detection dog training to dog lovers, which then creates the desire to have fun with their dogs and bring a competitive side to their partnership.

What do you find most rewarding personally about Nose Work training?

I feel and have seen that the detection sport of Nose Work brings many valuable challenges and fun to the relationship between you and your dog. Basically, a game of hide-and-seek. It is intense and demands a high level of commitment from the team. 


This commitment is developed through building a relationship and a bond that no other dog sport can develop. It creates a high level of understanding, learning concepts, processes, and levels of trust with a capital “T”. There are moments of intense fun and being on the top of the world, yet also times where challenges occur that you must learn to face and overcome.

Can my dog do this sport?

YES. Most breeds are involved with Nose Work and enjoy searching to find a trained odor and receive a reward or paycheck as we call it in the detection field.

What does the dog search to find?

The NACSW uses three different oil-based spices for odor—anise, birch, and cloves. Also, they are harmless to your dog when smelling them.

Are there benefits to finding spices?

Absolutely! The detection field has success story after success story. Here are a few things people have discovered through this program:


  • This program builds a relationship between dog and handler (a bond).

  • It helps dogs learn to cope with stressful times and situations.

  • It creates independence, courage, and introduces a skill that develops stronger and stronger as you enjoy this sport.

  • It builds socialization.

  • It helps dogs to cope with environmental issues, such as slippery or shiny floors, big spaces, dark rooms, tight spaces, and many problem areas.

  • It improves things like balance, problem solving, and helps overcome obstacles at many levels.

  • Working at a pace that is suited for you and your dog is the goal we look to achieve when training with you.

Is there a membership with  NACSW?

Yes. The current yearly membership runs from August 1 of the current year through July 31 of the following year.

What are the costs involved?

The NACSW is currently $35 for the annual membership, August 1 of the current year  through July 31 of the following year.

Does this membership fee cover the trials and/or training?

No, each competition (trial) has a fee. Training is also separate from the membership fees.

Are there other costs involved?

Competitions (Trials) are developed for many levels of competition. Each level you attend is a progressive level. Each level or Trial becomes more and more involved than the previous level. It is an exciting challenge for both dog and handler throughout the entire process.

What equipment do I need for this sport?

Initially a 6-foot leash, a pouch (or something to store your reward food while you work with your dog), a non-pinch collar or harness is preferred, and reward food. Your vehicle should be one that accommodates your dog and revised safety and security during transportation and during training/trials.

What equipment is not allowed?

Pinch collars, electric collars, or anything that would cause discomfort to your dog is not allowed.

How do I sign up and pay for training classes?

There are many ways you can sign up for training classes. Contact us for more information at

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