NW410: Nosework Coaching

Instructor: Julie Symons

Course Details

Do you feel like you are always working the same kind of searches and just going through the motions setting out hides to train? A lot of us train alone without the input of a coach providing content, feedback and suggestions. In this class we will be the coach on the sidelines helping you move outside your comfort zone and develop better training strategies so that you are more prepared when training alone.  We will determine where you could benefit the most in training and suggest specific exercises for each team and provide thoughtful ways to approach training to keep it interesting and progressive for the dogs.

Through the topics presented we can address your strengths and weaknesses and help you prepare a plan to balance your training.  It is human nature to always practice where we are strong. We will provide creative ways to help you work your weaknesses and have fun doing it!

Each week will have a lecture with a particular theme/topic.  This class will be a bit of reviewing your training sessions, providing some lectures and also developing good training habits to make the most out of your training time! You can also work on areas you want to focus on, a bit of Handlers Choice too! Our goal is to give you the tools to look at your training differently so you can learn to become your own coach. 

How good is your hide placement?  Is it always visible and easy for your dog to remove?  Are you stuck in a rut with the same type of hide placement?  We will review how to place hides so most dogs cannot remove them as well as come up with new and different places to put hides.  We will also address multiple hides and how to motivate your dog to leave the current hide and move on to find more.

Do you tend to over proof or set up too difficult hides? Learn more about proofing and not setting up sessions to overface your dog.

Is your dog a flash alerter?  Tap and go?  Would you like to build more duration at source?  We will work on building duration at source through rewarding and proofing.  We will teach your dog to remain at source and insist they are on odor.

Are you concerned about aborting a search when your dog struggles?  Does your dog look to you when he can’t find odor?  Have you ever pointed out the odor to help your dog?  We will discuss the dangers of letting your dog know that you know where odor is and how to avoid that trap.  There are options, including aborting the search without demotivating your dog.

Do you feel you consciously or unconsciously help your dog while searching? We will cover how to run known hides like they are blind so that training feels more like trialing.

Are you a "Rockstar" in all your training sessions? Learn when it makes sense to practice perfection and when to add new challenges to your training.


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 PST.


This class will be co-taught by Melissa and Julie. Each will cover 3 main topics with Melissa coaching the teams for the first 3 weeks and Julie coaching for the last 3 weeks.


  • It’s all about Hide Placements (including multiple hides)
  • The Art of Proofing
  • Behavior at Source / Reading your dog's change in behavior at source


  • Value of Aborts 
  • "And the Best Actor Award goes to …" how to run searches like they are blind
  • When to be a Rockstar and when to be a Groupie!

Prerequisites and Equipment

Your dog should be searching for odor and introduced to all search elements (containers, vehicles, interiors, exteriors).

Equipment required is all your NW supplies and places to train!

Course Testimonials

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

Both Julie and Melissa ROCKED this !!! Phenomenal course material, very stimulating both for dog and handler. A MUST for anyone doing Nosework looking for a different perspective. Amazing individualized attention throughout the course !            

Julie and Melissa really care about their students and take the time to tailor individual programs. I saw huge improvements with my skills and as a result with my teammate by taking this course at gold.          

Loved this class. So much fun. Made me think about every search I set up for my dog. Not only hide placement but also the environmental conditions, distractions, setups etc.            

Fenzi is the best place to learn nosework. I feel that the Fenzi approach to Nosework is superior to the pairing method that is often taught because it gets dogs on odor sooner, teaches odor discrimination, and makes proofing for food so much easier. The instructors have so many fun games to help NW students of all levels. For NW 410, Julie and Melissa were excellent at working with each team and identifying areas that could be improved and giving specific feedback/ideas to help in these areas.

Melissa and Julie, you're both awesome! I enjoyed this class so much and look forward to enrolling in more. Thank you!