What to Expect at Your K9 Nose Work Classes:

  • Classes are generally 1 hour long and meet for 6 weeks

  • Classes are limited to 6 dog/handler teams

  • Dogs will be worked individually during the class

  • When not working, dogs must be crated or contained in a properly ventilated vehicle (weather permitting)

  • Classes are a “No Obedience” Zone!

  • Dogs receive no corrections - every lesson is taught in a positive and reinforcing way.

  • Great for shy, fearful and reactive dogs.

  • Builds your dog’s confidence

  • Burns off physical energy for those dogs with high energy, and mental energy for those dogs that need something to do.

  • Classes are taught in a quiet and safe environment- we want both reactive dogs and environmentally sensitive dogs to be able to focus in a secure, "nose work only" class setting.

  • Four Class Prerequisites need to be met to be able to participate in class. 

The Goal of these Classes:

  • During a series of sessions, your dog will be taught to search for the 3 target odors used in many of the scent work venues- birch, anise and clove. Your dog will also be taught to search for Cypress, the 4th odor used in AKC trials in more advanced classes.

  • Your dog will learn to search for these odors in 4 different search "elements" which constitute the 4 elements in an NACSW competition: container searches, interior room searches, exterior area searches and vehicle searches (exterior of the vehicles only- not inside).

  • We will also learn other searching games such as Distance, Speed and Heap O' Hides which are used in other scent work venues.

  • How far you go with our classes is up to you- many of my students continue on to prepare for trials and more advanced work, but many just come because they and their dogs have so much fun in class. 

What you’ll need to bring to class:

Rabies Certificate:  

Bring a copy of your dog's rabies certificate for me to keep. I need a copy of the actual certificate, not a receipt showing you paid for a rabies shot, since the certificate has info that I need that the receipt will not. You may also scan it or take a CLEAR picture and email it to me.



  • HIGH VALUE treats and toys! Bring LOTS of soft treats cut into small pieces. 
               (click here for more info on high value treats)

  • Bring 2 zip-top bags with treats - one for me and one for you to reward your dog with. 

  • NO hard crunchy treats. Treats should be soft and quick to chew & swallow.    

  • BRING A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF TREATS: Stress from being in a new location with new people and dogs will sometimes cause your dog to be a bit less enthusiastic about his treats. Some dogs are just plain picky and what they loved to eat yesterday isn’t cutting it today. It's best to bring a couple of different types of treats to the first couple of classes so we can see which one works best. 


  • Dogs must be crated during class so the dog that is working stays focused.

  • Some locations may have crates on site and some do not. You should bring your own crate just in case there are no crates available at your class site.

  • You may also use an x-pen to secure your dog during class providing your dog will stay calmly in the pen without trying to get out. You would need to bring your own x-pen.

Flat Collar / Harness:

  • Buckle or Martingale style collars or back-clip harnesses

  • Pinch collars or choke collars can be worn while walking to and from search areas but not during the actual searches.

  • No electronic/shock collars, head halters or front-clip harnesses​



  • A light-weight leather, nylon, biothane or similar leash.

  • No chain or retractable leashes.

  • Remove all dangling items from  your leash (charms, poop bags holders, etc).

  • If you want to use a slip lead, your dog will still need to wear a collar or harness during searches.​

Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before your class start time

to get yourself and your dog set up and settled in.

Prerequisites for Class:

  1. Dogs do not need to know any obedience commands, but should be comfortable on-leash.

  2. Dogs must be able to handle being crated inside the training room and/or inside a properly equipped vehicle (weather & location permitting). If keeping your dog in a vehicle is not possible due to the weather, the owner must be prepared and come equipped to crate the dog inside the building. Your dog’s safety comes first. Any questions regarding this policy please ask before signing up for these classes.

  3. Your dog must be current with their rabies vaccination.

  4. Your dog must not be aggressive to humans. If your dog has a history of human aggression, we can discuss their situation further to determine if a class setting or a private setting would be best suited for your dog.

Rosana C. Dropkin, CPDT-KA, CNWI
Sunshine K9s LLC
  • Facebook App Icon