NW390: Nosework Games

Instructor: Melissa Chandler

Course Details

My philosophy is that all training is a series of games. Your dog loves to play games with you, and eventually all the games come together for a perfect performance. This course can help piece that together by providing a variety of games to cover many different skills. The course can help put the fun back into your searches, add a new twist to what you are already doing or take you to the next level. Any level of team is able to participate as games will range from foundation to challenging hides. Some games will have multiple levels, others will have variations for each level. You can participate in some or all of the games, but there will be plenty to keep all teams busy and it may even help create your own game ideas. There will also be ideas for indoor games, tight spaces, as well as “on the road” and outdoor games.

We will also work on drive building games for those fragile, soft dogs as well as stay at source and hunting games. We will work different elements as well as elements can be interchanged in some of the games to spend your time focusing on the areas you and your dog need it most.


There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.

Registration will begin at 11:00AM PDT.

Enrollment limits: 12 gold, 25 silver, unlimited bronze. If you are interested in a bronze level spot you can sign up any time during the registration period.


Light on Lectures, BIG on FUN!

Foundation and motivational games 

Lucy and ethel

Fun with boxes

Line dancing

Alert – aim – toss

Tossing your cookies

Sniff around town

Musical Hides

Extreme Proofing

Ring around the source

Rose among thorns


What the Hill?

Dogs on crack

You’ve got me cornered

What's Your Sign?


Car go round

Fight for source

High and lo

Like hides

Household items

Can’t get me

The nose knows (not container)

Lights out!

Go fish

The nose knows (not vehicle)

Hide and seek

Sharing games

Wet and wild

Independent searching

Gamble line

Like an actress

Using games to train your holes

Can ya find me now

Guessing game

Over easy

Prerequisites and Equipment

Normal Nose Work Supplies

Household items for searching (mouse, stapler, old camera, remote control, etc)

Plastic Easter eggs, baby socks, Christmas socks, anything multiple of “likeness” (use your imagination)

Distractors – foods, toys, dog saliva, fox urine, bunny scent, anything that can be distracting  (Animal scents can be purchased at any hunting store - Cabela's, Field and Stream, etc)

Water bottles and small pool or sled (does not have to hold water)

Multiple bowls, aquariums, to hold several gallons of water


Space required:

Indoors, can be limited space, 

Outdoor areas and vehicles helpful

Stores/ places of business that allow dogs

Course Testimonials

A sampling of what prior students have said about this class ... 

So this is a shout out to Melissa to say thank you for paying attention to the working style and particular needs of each of our dogs while helping us progress in our skills!

Last day of class & last video. I’m sad but also happy. Melissa, you’ve helped us become a better team. Without your sensitivity for soft dogs, thoughtfulness, support, and constant detailed feedback we wouldn’t be where we are now. I’m confident about the path we took, and know we’ll be a happy team. I’ve learned to read my dog much better, and pick her up where she needs support.  Thank you very much! 

I just didn't want to let class end without saying thank you! It was interesting, fun, educational, contained great scenarios for skill building and was very worthwhile! Thank you for being specific with your feedback and always supportive!

NW390 was a wonderful class, with an instructor who was able to meet the students at the level appropriate to their dogs. Melissa's feedback was specific, detailed and supportive. There was a lot of material to provide options for games that might be appropriate for all levels of dogs. Great class, I'm glad I took it.

Loved loved this class. Wish I could have done it at gold but too many family obligations plus a weak Canadian dollar. Loved the focus on soft and fragile dogs. Taking these games on the road / camping this week ! Thanks for a wonderful class. Barb H

I loved this class! Melissa is very supportive and still firm in reminding you of the basics. I am planning to play a lot of these games this winter.... to keep our forced indoor training fun and productive. Carla W

This was a good class. Melissa included some very useful and entertaining games to play with your nose work partner. I practice with a group of NW3 level teams twice weekly, and we loved trying out the games. Thanks!

No matter what level your dog is currently working, the many games presented can be modified to offer fun and challenging searches! The games are very creative and help the dog learn or practice several helpful concepts. I felt like my dog was rather advanced and we still learned a great deal and had lots of fun with all the choices presented. Chris P.