Scent Work (Nose Work) is a positive, challenging activity that allows dogs the opportunity to use their nose – their strongest natural sense – in a way that is fun and engaging. It builds and strengthens a foundation of trust and relationship between the handler and dog because in this game, the dog is the lead, the handler the support crew. It is based on the work done by quarantine dogs.

Dogs are trained to recognise specific odours and to alert their handlers when the odour is detected. Dogs may paw, bark, nose, sit, lie down, or use any other non-destructive behaviour to communicate the odour location. Searches are conducted on containers, interiors, exteriors and around vehicles.

The dog and handler work together as a team. The handler uses body language and verbal encouragement to ensure the search area is covered, directing the dog’s search only when necessary and calling alert when the dog finds odour.

Six week classes are offered at TDTC several times a year and include: Intro to Nose Work and Intro to Odour.

It is a great sport for shy dogs, reactive dogs, over-confident dogs, adolescents, puppies, older dogs – ie all dogs can do and generally love Nose Work.

Scent Work commenced as a recognised dog sport in Australia in July 2021. Regular competitions are held in the ACT, including at TDTC. If you are interested in finding out more about this sport, volunteering at a trial provides a great opportunity (it is not always possible to cater for spectators).

If you are interested in the Rules for Scent Work trialing, they can be found here: Dogs ACT Scentwork Rules

Dog participating in Scentwork vehicles search

Scentwork photography by Pinnicle Photography


A nose!

Dogs work individually and therefore must be able to wait in the car or be crated when not working (NO EXCEPTIONS).
Must also be a Club member and have completed at least Level 1 Obedience.

  • Intro to Nosework has no other prerequisites.
  • Intro to Odour – must have completed Intro to Nosework first


  • Intro to Nosework – $55 for a six week session Equipment – cardboard boxes and yummy food
  • Intro to Odour -$65 for a six week session (includes Birch Scent Work kit) Equipment – cardboard boxes and yummy food

When are classes held

Nosework classes are offered periodically throughout the year from around March to November (ie the cooler months), and depending on instructor availability.

  • Intro to Nosework is usually offered on a Wednesday night from 7pm till around 9.30pm (very occasionally it may be offered on a Friday night)
  • Intro to Odour is usually offered on a Friday night

How to join

Please email the club at


Dog participating in Scentwork interiors search

Scentwork photography by Pinnicle Photography