‘Nosework’ classes brings dogs into their own

Boxford dog trainer has more than 100 clients hooked on ‘Nosework’

Nationally-recognized dog trainer Scott Williams has recently begun introducing the activity of Nosework to dog trainers and local pet owners in the Northeast. His company, Beyond the Leash, is currently one of a handful of training businesses in the country certified to teach the sport that is rising in popularity. While your dog doesn’t like checking Facebook and you don’t prefer sticking your nose into a pile of wet leaves, Nosework represents an activity that you and your dog can genuinely enjoy together.

Nosework involves hiding food or scented objects to strengthen your dog’s ability to locate an odor. These search-dog techniques introduce structured activities to your dog and allow him or her to grow; grow more into focus, grow closer to their strongest sense, and grow closer to you. The class begins by first incentivizing your dog to search and hunt using food hidden in one of several cardboard boxes. But in subsequent lessons, these canine students will track a birch scented q-tip under the wheel carriage of a pick up truck.

Scott Williams, of Boxford, has firmly placed himself as an east coast pioneer of the activity. Starting with classes in West Boxford, William’s Nosework training has now spread throughout New England as his students, some of whom are dog trainers, are now beginning to teach the classes in their own respective regions. Williams, however, is one of only a dozen trainers in the country with a certification to teach Nosework through the National Association of Canine Scent Work, the official governing agent for the sport. While it has been well under a year since he moved from the west coast, Williams has engaged over 100 dogs and dog owners in the activity that can bring a domesticated canine back to its primal instincts.

Dog trainers dig Nosework

Dog trainer Mac McCluskey travels down from Lebanon, Maine to attend Williams’ Nosework classes in Boxford. During a recent class, McCluskey took his 3-year-old Belgian Malinois Naiya through an advanced Nosework course. The course had the canine looking among random boxes, around the perimeter of a building, and in the various nooks and crevasses around the outside of a car using the search command “find it.”

“I do other dog sports with the rest of my dogs and I needed to find something for her. She seems to be pretty much a natural for it,” said McCluskey. “So it’s good for her and it’s a great outlet for her.”

McCluskey goes on to explain how his dog, and others, can enjoy the sport so much.

“Dogs are just like giant noses on four legs…dogs smell things the way we see things. So in a structured environment like this it really draws on what they do best. And that’s use their nose.”

To learn more about Nosework and Williams’s primary class, “Intro to Odor,” visit Beyondtheleash.net or contact Williams at info@beyondtheleash.com. Williams also offers obedience classes as well as his patented “Doggy Boot Camp.”

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