At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we also offer detection and nosework training.
Many people often times ask us, “Why do detection or nosework training with my dog, he is just a pet?” Surprisingly, there are a lot of reasons in how this benefits you and your dog.
First, just like obedience training, it is a great bond building exercise to do with your dog. It pairs you and your dog with each other, working together, problem solving together, and spending time together. By doing this, it creates a much closer bond between human and K9, that’s why military/police handlers are so close with their dogs, they are always “working together.”
Second, it’s one of the best mentally stimulating drills you can do with your dog. As I say in my book, Raising The Perfect Dog, “If you do not give your dog a job to do, they will become self-employed, a self-employed dog will ALWAYS cost the owner money.” When your dog is doing detection work, they are constantly thinking and processing odors (literally) and in their mind, they are “tossing” the odors that do not match the target odor. They are literally processing hundreds of odors in a very short amount of time, remember, your dog smells everything! When you smell your cup of coffee, they smell the coffee beans, the vanilla, the soy milk, the shot of espresso, the paper cup, the ink on the cup, the paper holder around the cup, the plastic lid, etc. So, you can imagine when your dog is searching a building, how many odors they are actually processing through their nose and their mind.
So, if you have a high energy dog that you can never seem to get worn out, doing nose work with your dog is literally one of the best exercises you can do in order to get them completely exhausted.
Third, it’s just plain fun! It’s awesome to give friends who come over a demo of your dog searching around your house, once they find the odor, they drop into a sit.
Lastly, this is a great confidence builder for your dog! They are searching, finding things, and getting rewarded. If you watch detection dogs work, you will see they are very excited and confident!
So, if you are looking for a way to get your dog more bonded, more confident, more stimulated, and both of you having a lot of fun in the process, look into doing nose work/detection training with your dog.