K9 Nosework scent training is an activity and sport that started in California in 2008. It was developed by professional detection canine handlers for companion dogs. Participating in K9 Nosework builds a greater bond with your dog. Scent training allows dogs to tap into their hunting drive, and also gain confidence in new environments as they learn independent searching. Your canine best friend will use mental and physical energies while searching, and are usually tired and happy after the hunt. It is the fastest growing dog sport in the country.
The methodology of teaching K9 Nosework begins with the dog's primary reward, food or toy. It then progresses to odor. Why? Primary Reward teaches the dog to search, work through enviornmental challenges and keeps them motivated. The focus is on the dog, and learning from and supporting the dog. They are the ones with the noses so we let them teach us in a way that is already motivationf for them!
Handlers learn how to read their canine's COB (changes of behavior), and how to support them in finding hides. While training, they become a student of their dog and teamwork is built.
The activity and sport involves the use of the target odors Birch, Anise and Clove. The search elements are Container, Vehicle, Interior and Exterior. A team must complete each search successfully in one trial to earn their NW1, NW2 and NW3 titles. To earn an NW3-Elite title, a team must earn the NW3 three times. The Elite titling program is based on points earned. A new Summit League has been added. It is a two day trial for Elite 3 and Elite Champion teams. There are also Element Specialty trials with separate titling requirements, with the focus on a particular level and a single search element. Not all dogs are suitable for competition but they can always enjoy the activity. The first officailly sanctioned trial NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work) was in January of 2009.
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