This class is NOT a competition scent/nose work class. This class is based upon the science of Snoezelen. Snoezelen is a contraction of the Dutch words “snuffelen” (to seek and explore) and “doezelen” (to relax). Snoezelen was designed for humans but the concept is being used with dogs more often these days, primarily in the UK.
All dogs love to sniff and smell their way through the world. Allowing this behavior and encouraging this behavior can lead a dog to be more confident and optimistic. It’s also a whole lot of fun!
Olfactory Fun level 1 is a six-week course open to dogs of all ages. Dog-reactive dogs can participate because all dogs will wait in a vehicle while each dog gets his or her chance to work/play with the snuffle course. (Human reactive dogs will be referred for private olfactory games.) Because this is a foundations class, we will be focusing on teaching the dogs skills like: 1) The joy of using their noses. 2) To be confident while trying new things. 3) To trust their instincts and work independently from their human handlers. Handlers will be working on their observation skills and learning about their dogs behavior.
This class is great for young dogs who need to “burn off” extra energy, old dogs who still want to work their brains and bodies (albeit at a slower pace), retired sport or working dogs looking for something fun to do in their retirement years, therapy and service dogs who need to de-stress a bit, “sensitive” dogs, and the list goes on and on.
If your dog is currently taking competition scent work classes you should talk with your scent/nose work instructor before registering for this course. It may not complement their current competition training.
- The dogs will be working off leash so they must be safe around new and/or different humans. They do not necessarily need to be comfortable, but they cannot lunge or growl at people. (Barking, most likely, will be okay.)
- The dogs need to be comfortable waiting in your vehicle between searches.
Now that the dogs understand the olfactory game and are feeling more confident, we’re going to add more items to the room for the dogs to explore.
Adding to the practice of free work, we will challenge the dogs with the addition of canine fitness equipment and other interesting objects. The olfactory puzzles will become a bit more challenging. Dogs do not have to be accurate or fast to succeed in this class, they simply need to enjoy playing the game. This play time will continue to build optimism and confidence in the dogs.
- Completion of Olfactory Fun level 1
Level 3 of Olfactory Fun is about creating a unique experience on the snufflen course for each dog. Class size is capped at 2 students so each dog will get extended time in the classroom. We have hundreds of items for the dogs to interact with physically and olfactorily. Each week the classroom will be set up differently to provide each dog with an optimal experience considering their unique needs.
- Completion of Olfactory Fun level 2 or Instructor approval