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Class Structure + Rules

What are the Class Structure + Rules?
The following structure + rules are essential to create a safe + secure learning environment, setting your dog up for success throughout their K9 Nose Work® career..

  • Class is run, 1 dog at a time. After you have your turn, pop the doggo back in the car [or crate, not inside the main searching area], then come back in + watch other teams work! You are welcome to stay with your dog or have someone else sit with your dog if it makes you/your dog more comfortable. 

    • We pop dogs out of the search area so that other dogs can work in a safe + secure environment without stress, pressure or competition.

    • It is important that we rest our dogs between runs so they can rest but also so they can process what they have just learnt. They need that time to internalise the experience they have just had.

    • This is also a great opportunity to watch and learn from other teams. The more you watch, the more you will learn.

    • This forms part of the routine we have in place for all of our classes.


  • Dogs MUST be ON LEASH at all times at every training area. This includes between runs. For toileting. When you arrive and they hop out of the car.... etc. 

  • Keep a good distance away from all other dogs, on a short leash, even if they know each other. We limit socialisation of dogs, as we may have reactive dogs in attendance. Also, any negative experiences may become associated with this activity +/or the training venue. If you wish to introduce your dogs, this should be done away from the training venue.


  • Regularly toilet your dog. When you arrive + either before or after turn. This can help establish a routine for our dogs and their cue for searching. Always try to toilet before a search when starting out or if you have a male doggo.


  • No correction equipment is to be used in the sessions. But, may be used to + from the search area. This equipment includes:

    • Head Halters

    • e-collars [deaf dogs may be an exception - discuss this with us]

    • Martingales

    • No-pull + Slip Leash / Harness / Collar

    • Balance Harnesses etc

  • Enter the search area, with your dog on a short leash, + wait for instructions. During your turn, listen to any instructions we give but it is OK to keep your focus on your dog! It is not rude to avoid eye contact in this situation! After your search, we stop dogs wandering [a treat in the pocket is a good way to lure them away from the search area and back to you,]. We will let you know if you should stay close for feedback/discussions, before heading back to the car/crate.


  • Spectators to limit conversations while other teams are working. We welcome questions + comments and love discussing what you are learning, but not so that it disrupts the focus of other teams while they are working. Feel free to laugh if something is funny [will happen] + we welcome celebrations of great work.


  • Instructions will be individualised. Dogs in the group may learn at different paces. We all end up at the same spot learning the same things, sometimes just at different speeds. We individualise our instructions for your dog, to create a successful + fun learning experience. 


  • We start our searches on lead. The safety of your dog and attendees is paramount. Once we have established each dog’s needs, searches may be on or off leash - we will indicate when this changes, either way.


  • Friendly dogs. We ask that you don’t engage with or respond to friendly dogs if they approach you during class. This is so they can re-focus on the hunt. Simply avoid eye contact and don’t pat/touch.


  • Learn from the dog. This activity is all about learning to communicate with and read dog behaviour. Watching other dogs work is a valuable way to learn and we strongly encourage you watch other dogs work.


  • Limited handler interaction while your dog is working. Give your dog time to work this new puzzle out for themselves!

    • Be patient and do not guide them;

    • Stay positive and avoid negative directions or any loud commands: “no”, “leave it”, or “don’t pee”, “stop!”;

    • Refrain from any obedience cues.

    • Keep your lead loose so that there is no tension or unintentional corrections of the dog, while they work.


  • Limit distractions. Leave any dog treats/toys in the car. Please do not bring food into the room - if you want to eat, simply duck outside. We also ask that you limit the use of your mobile - leave it in the car if possible and check it after your turn.


  • Lastly - ask as many questions as you like + HAVE FUN!!!

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