In Nosework disciplines, a scent is hidden out of sight, where the dog must go to find it and then also communicate to the handler that it has been found. Dogs naturally love using their nose, and scent detection sports and games are excellent mental and physical stimulation for working breeds such as the Am Staff. Nosework consists of multiple disciplines including, but not limited to, scent detection, tracking, Earthdog/ratting or Barn Hunt. Detection dogs are used in Search & Rescue, Tracking for the recovery of persons or items in law enforcement and protective services. Nosework is a fun, all-breed-friendly sport, in that there are multiple avenues to explore with scent detection, depending on the type of dog you have and its size.

Performance Scent Detection

The sport of Scent Work is based on the work of professional detection dogs employed by humans to detect a wide variety of scents and substances. In performance scent detection sports, dogs search for cotton swabs saturated with the essential oils of birch, anise, clove, or cypress. The cotton swabs are hidden and must communicate to the handler that he has found the scent. Scent detection is a positive, challenging activity that allows dogs to use their strongest natural sense in a way that builds and strengthens a foundation of trust between the handler and dog. A scent detection event is a performance event, which provides a safe and fun activity that is open to all eligible dogs and their owners.

The North American Sport Dog Association (NASDA)

The North American Sport Dog Association (NASDA) was formed in 2016 to demonstrate the breadth of these olfactory abilities. Trials are designed to resemble both historic working and competitive field work as closely as possible. NASDA Working Dog Trials offer an opportunity for all dogs to engage in scent games previously open to only a select few breeds and working dogs. Competing teams can get titles and championships that showcase their merits and abilities within hunt and search situations.

NASDA Website

Barn Hunt

The Barn Hunt Association describes Barn Hunt as a dog sport which is based on the traditional role of terriers in the ridding of vermin such as rats and mice. It consists of a dog using its nose to find, usually within stacks of hay, a safely-caged rat. It's a fun and family-friendly sport and is both a great way for breeders to test the working traits in their dogs but also for any owner to try out new things with their pet dog.

Barn Hunt is gaining popularity quickly! Check out the The Barn Hunt Association Club List to find clubs offering Barn Hunt training in your area.