Scent Work Training for Dogs

Nosework Classes to Scent Train Your Dog

Have you ever had fun with your dog by hiding their treats or perhaps asking them to choose which of your hands has a treat in it? While this basic dog scent training is a fun way to exercise your dog’s mental ability and to work their nose, your dog’s nose is capable of alerting you to so much more! Dogs can use their sense of smell to find everything from lost people to cancer to contraband. Teaching your dog to find food or a specific scent is a blast and very therapeutic for dogs with issues or dogs that just need to relax.

While the first level of our group classes and private instruction focus on having your dog find food– your dog is capable of much more than that. Wikipedia says, “The olfactory bulb in dogs is roughly forty times bigger than the olfactory bulb in humans, relative to total brain size, with 125 to 220 million smell‐sensitive receptors.” Humans have trained dogs to use their nose to alert for or indicate bombs, cancer, low or high blood sugar, seizures, panic attacks, and peanuts for people with food allergies.


Watch this video about dog scent training at Courteous Canine

In our group classes your dog will learn to find food hidden in boxes. First we start out easy with a box right in front of your dog, but soon we will change the location of the boxes and add more boxes. This encourages your dog to use her nose rather than to search visually.

As you learn about your dog’s searching abilities you will begin to recognize when your dog is actively searching and using her nose or when she is just fooling around. You can’t force a dog to search and often if your dog needs something, like water, it is important to meet her need rather than pressuring her to continue.

Fun Scent Games: Finding Birch!

Our Scent Games dog training class was developed for anyone that wants to have some fun with their dog by teaching them to use their sniffer. More specifically, in this class we’ll harness your dogs powerful sense of smell to find a specific scent, birch, so that by the end of the class they’ll be able to search an area and alert you to every tiny bit of birch scent present.

This class will begin by showing the dog what the scent smells like, using treats to help them associate the smell as desirable, teaching them to search different containers to find the smell, teaching them to let you know when they’ve found the smell, and then end with the goal of them being able to search a whole area and let you know where the scent is.

This class was developed based on methods by Dr. Robert Hewings who spent 25 years training dogs for the Metropolitan Police and is now the Head of learning and development for the UK College of Scent Detection. He also recently published “Scent Training for Every Dog” which discusses the basics of doing scent work with your dog.

This class will be held indoors and will include some outdoor searches, weather permitting.

Class Type: Group. Maximum 6 dogs
Term: 6 weeks
Prerequisite: Completion of Puppy Kindergarten or Adult Dog Manners. Completion of group classes at other schools is accepted for the prerequisite.


Fun Scent Games: Finding More!

Does your pup already know the basics of scenting but need a bit more of a challenge? Intermediate Scenting is for dogs who have already completed our Fun Scent Games class, or equivalent, and would like to take their skills up a notch with four new scents and even trickier hiding places. Learn about wind, odor convergence and how to prevent fringing.



Let us help with a free email consult

Dog Training Rain Policy


For private training and group instruction that is held outdoors, we will make every attempt to contact students at least two hours before if we are canceling class. Classes are held during light rain, if there is lightning classes are cancelled. If you see lightning during your class, please let your instructor know immediately.

If you don’t hear from your instructor, your class will occur as scheduled.

courteous canine vaccines icon


To participate in class, your dog must have received:

  • Distemper/Parvo (core combination)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rabies
  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza

If your dog is not eligible for these vaccines, we will also accept a letter of exemption from your veterinarian due to your dog’s age or medical status.

Dog Training Group Classes

Dog Training Group Classes Description Price
Intro to Agility – Jumps, Tunnels, Chutes Intro to Agility – 6-weeks Intro to Agility: Jumps, Tunnels and Chute Group Class $175
Intro to Agility – Contacts and Weaves Intro to Agility – 6-weeks Intro to Agility: Contacts and Weaves Group Class $175
Intermediate/Advanced Agility Intermediate/Advanced Agility: 6 weeks intermediate/advanced agility Group Class. $175
Dog Parkour 4 weeks Dog Parkour $116
Really Reliable Coming – Part 1 and Part 2 One time 90-minute group class. $35
Dog Swimming 101: Puppy Pool Safety One  time 90-minute Intro to swimming $35
Intro to Dock Jumping One  time 90-minute Intro to Dock Jumping. $35
Intermediate/Advanced Dock Jumping Practice 1.5 hour group practice session $35
Intro to Fun Scent Games 6-weeks Intro to Fun Scent Games Group Class. $175
Low Stress Handling and Vet Visits  One time 90-minute group happy vet visit class. $35
Lure Coursing  One time 90-minute group mini fast cat session. $40
AKC Canine Good Citizen & Pet Therapy Prep Part I 8-Weeks; requires an access code to complete registration $198
AKC Advanced Canine Good Citizen & Pet Therapy Prep Part 2 8-Weeks; requires an access code to complete registration $198
AKC Canine Good Citizen Testing Individual Testing for CGC Test if not a participant in the group class. Test maximum time is 30 minutes. Price is per dog, per test. Should the dog need longer to take the test, an hour booking is required at $65. $35
My Dog has Issues 6-weeks My Dog has Issues for Reactive Dogs Group Class. Requires private Behavior Consult first. $175
AKC Star Puppy Classes 6 session enroll and go STAR puppy kindergarten. $175
Basic Manners 6 session enroll and go program for basic manners $175
Trick Training Level 1 6 weeks of classes and the final week is testing for Trick Training Titling! Come join for titling, FUN, mental stimulation, warm-up and make people smile!
Trick Training Level 2 -Movement and Tricks to Music Creating Routines and Dog Dancing! 6 weeks of classes that build upon level 1. $175
Intro To Dog Dancing Freestyle Create a 30-second routine to music one time 90-minute workshop $35

I have brought him and my other dog to training classes at CC. One took Fun Scent Games with Melissa and Beth and they were awesome. He absolutely LOVED it!!! My other pup took a trick training class with Lisa and we had so much fun!

Marie Macher, Google

Eventually, I started looking into other classes Courteous Canine offered. I also signed up and recently completed Fun Scent Games with Beth. I really loved this class and my dog definitely enjoyed it as well! The class was really laid back and all about just having fun.

Jessica Sansone, Google

We had a wonderful experience in both daycare and the Fun Scent Games class. My greyhound puppy doesn’t always use his nose, so the fun scent games class let us work with new commands and helped Rocky to use his nose more rather than just his eyes. He was able to stay focused during the course and it was a great experience for us as a duo!

Deborah Thompson, Google