K9 Nose Work® Now in Spokane WA

Your instructor is Joyce Biethan

Certified Nose Work Instructor [CNWI] for 12+ yrs

Training dogs & people with positive & leadership techniques for 25 years

What is K9 Nose Work? It’s the sport of scent detection. Dogs learn to get to the source of a novel odor that otherwise would have no interest or value to them. It’s very similar to the work of professional drug detection dogs. Instructed via the National Association of Canine Scent Work system, we focus on building ‘drive’, confidence and independence. Any breed, size and mix can participate.

Pre registration is required for “try it” and 6 wk sessions

joycesdogs@gmail.com. 206-819-7297

First time ‘Try it” session $15. Not required to register for a 6 week session

$150 first 6 wk session. Each additional consecutive 6 wk session $10. less

Ongoing students once paying $100. per session continue at that rate

Ask Joyce about putting your own small group together & sharing time & fee

Classes held at Prairie Dog Pet Mercantile Southhill location

& ‘field trip’ locations usually on Southhill.


  • Dog must be confinable in a covered crate and quiet if in the vicinity of the search area. Cars work well for confinement unless it is hot and even then there are ways to keep your car cool.
  • Excessive barking in the car can be a problem for neighbors depending on where your class is held.  Let Joyce know if you’re concerned about this with your dog. [BTW the safest way to transport your dog in a car is in a crate, and crated in the car during your dog’s class ‘down time’ is best. They need this downtime. You will be amazed at how tiring this activity is for your dog.
  • Dogs search one at a time ALWAYS
  • You will get the most out of class by watching the other dogs search
  • Dogs that are reactive to other dogs and dogs that are extremely shy are welcome in class and will benefit greatly.
  • Dogs with human aggression or reactivity may or may not be appropriate for class. Talk to Joyce about your dog if you feel it fits into this category. Sometimes getting started in private lessons helps a reactive dog transition into a class environment.
  • A red bandana on a dog often indicates the dog needs extra space. And really, all dogs should be kept at least 8 feet apart in and around the class environment.
  • I truly do not care if you come to class with the intention to compete. Your dog doesn’t care about that LOL. But the quality of my teaching is such that your dog and you will be set up for success and your foundation will be built so that competition is within reach if that is or becomes your goal.


Buckle collar or harness on your dog. No metal collars unless previously discussed with Joyce. If you use a head halter please have a collar on your dog as well.

A 6-10 foot leash of leather or web. No chain. We will get dogs off lease ASAP unless working outside in an unfenced area but usually we start on leash, and on occasion some dogs will be kept on for a variety of reasons.

A hungry dog. If your dog is a little picky, or shy or you think just not food motivated, sometimes a little hunger helps. Food you know your dog will eat even if stressed or excited. Test it. Take your dog somewhere new & see if they will eat what you offer. The best treats are meaty & cut into pea size pieces. This is really important!! Unlike me, excited or anxious dogs sometimes need way better treats to be able to consume them.

Cooked pork loin, steak, sausage or hot dog bits cooked in the microwave work great for picky dogs Cooking hotdogs: pre cut and spread on paper towels. 2 minutes & stir, 2 minutes & stir, 2 minutes & stir till they are well browned. Cut up string cheese or other low fat cheese also works well.

*PLEASE DO NOT bring hotdogs you have not been cooked as described above [too slippery and greasy] or chicken that has been over cooked, it shreds & makes a mess.

*PLEASE pre cut your treats and have them in a small container with you & your dogs name. You may need at least a cup full.

One of the nice things about K9 Nose Work is that no prior obedience training is required to participate. We want our dogs to learn to be ‘odor obedient‘. We often say ‘leave your obedience on the other side of the door!Early training focuses on building drive and letting the dog learn through exploration, what gets them to the source.

From the NACSW bulletin [with a few edits]: What is success?
Success comes in many shapes and sizes. For some it is ribbons, others titles, and for some it is the time spent playing with their best friends. Seeing confidence build and reactivity decrease as focus on the game builds. None of these are wrong. Everyone is in a different place with different goals. Our partner’s lives are far too short. Cherish the moments we get to see the world through their noses. Celebrate the successes along the way whether it is walking through a search area happily with lots of scary things around or competing and winning High in Trial. Before every search, try to remember that your dog is playing this game because of their love for you!

If you are not familiar with this relatively new dog sport go to http://www.nacsw.net to learn more. The National Association of Canine Nose Work is the first and still the only organization that has a certification program to teach instructors about scent work with dogs. We recognize that it is rare that a pet dog has the same temperament as a professional detection dog and their training needs to take this into consideration. In classes, handlers learn to let the dog learn from the search, and to read their dog to know when they are at source.