you ever watched a movie where a drug or a bomb detection dog was performing a
search looking for what he was trained for? What if your pet or champion Bullmastiff
could do the same? Well, minus the illegal drugs and dangerous explosives of
sport of K-9 Nosework is quickly gaining popularity in the dog owner community.
It is similar to what police K-9 teams do on regular basis. Every dog has an
excellent sense of smell, and training your Bullmastiff is easy because it
always involves lots of treats and positive reinforcement. Unlike in other dog
sport competitions, treat rewards are not only allowed but you can say, almost
are the basics… There are 4 element searches in a Nosework trial.
Containers – usually around 15-20 unmarked boxes (or different kinds of
containers, like luggage in higher levels) that the dog has to search through
and find the hide
Interior – room (or multiple rooms in higher levels) that could be a classroom,
warehouse, etc. Interior searches are the most fun because you can usually let
your dog go searching off-leash.
Exterior – an open area that includes a variety of surfaces
Vehicles – a group of 3 vehicles (or more in higher levels) not limited to cars
only. It could be trailers, motorcycles, boats. The dogs search only their
are 3 different levels. NW1 has only one target odor (birch) and there is only
one hide per element. NW2 adds on another odor (anise) and there could be up to
two hides per element. It could be either birch or anise or combination of
both. NW3 is the highest and the most difficult level. Besides adding the final
odor (clove), the handlers don’t know how many hides are put out in each
element. It can be one, two or three. The interiors might also include an empty
room. The third level is, I think, challenging more on the handler rather than
the dog. The dog is doing the same thing it’s been doing in the lower two
levels. It is the handler who has to know how to read his or her partner to
have enough courage to call the number of hides.
far, 6 Bullmastiffs in the entire US have titled in NW1 and 4 of them are loved
by the CNBC’s members (Pippa & Jill, Tonka & Andrea, Maestro &
Carrie and Logan & Kelley). Only one Bullmastiff team so far has obtained
the NW2 title, and that is Pippa with Jill Roman.
that said, Nosework is not only about competing. You can play with your dog
without ever going to one trial. In classes, only one dog runs at the time,
making it the perfect sport for shy or dog-reactive canines. It’s also great
for senior or handicapped dogs. One thing I like about it is, that you can
practice indoors on a rainy cold day, and the mental stimulation really wears out
my unusually high energy Bullmastiff girl.
information about Nosework, including list of certified Nosework instructors in
your area, can be found on www.nacsw.net.
Enjoy these photos from our members: