Sports and Fitness: Smelly Games

Canine nosework is a new activity that tests your dog’s amazing scenting abilities.

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There’s a game sweeping the canine world, and your dog has probably caught wind of it. It’s canine nosework, sanctioned by the National Association of Canine Scent Work, and it takes advantage of our dogs’ amazing scenting ability.

The dog nose is a remarkable tool that we use maximally yet understand minimally. Dogs play critical roles in national security, the military, and local and regional police. They not only sniff out drugs, bombs, lost children and contraband fruit, but also detect termites, cancer, cadavers, fire accelerants, disaster victims, agriculture-threatening weeds, land mines, gas leaks, and sea-turtle eggs – just about anything that has an odor.

Canine nosework gives dog owners a similar experience as a military- or police-dog handler working with a canine partner. Canine nosework intensifies the dog-human bond and teaches humans about how dogs experience the world. You can start teaching your dog this new game with nothing more than a few empty boxes and some fragrant food, such as cheese or salami.

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