Scratch & Sniff Scentwork hosts K9 Nose Work® classes and events in Eugene, Oregon taught by Julia Back, a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) with the NACSW™.

What is K9 Nose Work®?

Nose work is a fun and fascinating activity inspired by professional detection dogs that virtually all dogs and handlers can enjoy.  Dogs get to put their noses to work in a way that builds a strong bond between a dog and their person.

Does your dog need a job to keep them out of trouble or from bouncing off the walls? Nose work provides both mental and physical stimulation and can be done just about anywhere — including indoors during foul weather.

Is your dog timid or fearful of strangers or new places?  Nose work builds confidence and exposes dogs to new environments in a positive way. Because only one dog works at a time, reactive dogs are also welcome to come play!


Intro to K9 Nose Work® — please email Julia for information

This 6-week class will introduce you and your dog to the game of nose work by building your dog’s natural drive to hunt, fostering independent and confident searching, and honing handler observation skills.  Come and see why nose work is the fastest-growing dog activity in the country!

Duration: 6 weeks, 1.5 hours/week; When: Thursday evenings, date TBA; Cost: $130; Spaces: 8 dog/handler teams


Intro to Nose Work Elements

In this series, we will continue exploring nose work search elements by adding vehicle and exterior searches, as well as interiors and containers of increasing complexity. Dogs will search for primary (food or toys) to continue building drive, independent searching, and problem solving skills, the foundations of nose work success. Handlers will learn the leash handling, teamwork, and observation techniques essential to scent detection.

Please be prepared to work outside in mildly inclement weather.

Duration: 6 weeks per session, 1.5 hours/week; When:  Thursday evenings, date TBA; Cost: $130 per 6-week session; Spaces: 8 dog/handler teams; Prerequisites: Intro to K9 Nose Work


Intro to Odor

Intro to Odor focuses on teaching your dog to seek out the birch odor used in nose work competition in container, interior, vehicle, and exterior search areas of growing complexity. Handlers will continue working on leash handling, behavior observation, and learning how scent moves in the environment.

Duration: 6 weeks; When:  TBA; Cost: $130; Spaces: 8 dog/handler teams; Prerequisites: Dogs must have a strong foundation on primary (for example, having completed the above classes)  or have already been introduced to birch odor.


Intro to Odor II

In this 6-week class we will continue to build your dog’s search skills and obedience to birch odor, as well as introducing anise and clove (two additional competition odors). Handlers will continue learning the skills needed to work a competition scenting dog, with the goal of preparing you and your dog to pass an Odor Recognition Test. Note: Teams area welcome to attend classes whether or not they ever intend to compete.

Duration: 6 weeks/session, 1.5 hours/week; When: TBACost: $130; Spaces: 8 dog/handler teams; Prerequisites: Intro to Odor (dogs must be on birch odor)


Continuing Odor Obedience (I and II)

This class focuses on building dog and handler skills in all four elements on birch, anise, and clove odor. Handlers continue to prepare for their Odor Recognition Title (achieved by completing all three odor recognition tests) and  for NW1/Level 1 Element trial competition. Note: Teams area welcome to attend classes whether or not they ever intend to compete.

Duration: 6 weeks/session, 1.5 hours/week; When:  ongoing, Mondays 7:15pm; Cost: $130; Spaces: 8 dog/handler teams; Prerequisites: Dogs must be on all three odors


Drop-in Classes

Take nose work on the road! We will meet at outside locations around Eugene to build our dogs’ odor obedience, focus, and resilience to distraction in real-life search environments.

Duration: 1.5 hrs for 6-8 dogs (smaller classes may vary in length); Cost: $20/dog; Prerequisites: Dog must be on all three odors unless otherwise specified.


Private sessions

Private sessions may be scheduled based on training space availability; in-home sessions or classes outside of the Eugene area can also be arranged. Please send inquiries by email to


Scratch & Sniff Scentwork hosts K9 Nose Work® classes in Eugene, Oregon taught by Julia Back, a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) with the NACSW™

Julia came to K9 Nose Work in 2013 from a background in animal behavior and veterinary care. She first began volunteering with shelter dogs in the Galapagos Islands in 2006, where she developed a passion for rescue and rehabilitation. As a Fulbright scholar, Julia later obtained her Master’s degree in animal ecology and behavior from Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia).  She competes in nose work with her own dogs, Brody (ELT2, NW3 Elite, NW3-C,-I,-E,-V, L3I, L2V, L2C, L2E, ITD), a shepherd-northern breed mix, Willow, a border collie (NW1), and CJ (NW1, L1V), a border collie-lab cross (2001-2018). Her dogs also train in truffle hunting, barn hunt, lure coursing, and agility.  Seeing the remarkable changes K9 Nose Work inspired in the lives of her own dogs, Julia seeks to bring that same sense of purpose, confidence, and fun to both dogs and their handlers. 


The best way to learn about nose work competition is to volunteer at trials. For more information, go to:

NACSW ORT Calendar

NACSW Trial Calendar

If you are a current NACSW member and wish to receive emails about upcoming events, you can send your name, email, and NACSW member ID to with a request to be invited to the nacswmembership updates group.