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Services ยป Sniffer Training for Pet Dogs


Sniffer Training for Pet Dogs

What are Sniffer Dog Training Classes?

Sniffer classes are a dog training class run in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie that involves your dog using their nose to find treats hidden in boxes. As your dog gains confidence, they progress to finding treats indoors, outdoors and vehicles, before eventually moving onto detecting odours!


It's new and fun!

‘Sniffer Dog Training’ is a fairly new activity run in the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie area.  This dog training class allows dogs to use their natural hunting instincts and their amazing noses to detect scent.  It is very similar to the work that scent detection dogs do, however this sport is for owners and their pet dog.

Does my dog need to have done any prior dog training?

Your dog does not need any previous training to do this sport.   None at all.

Are any obedience behaviours required?

This is an obedience free sport. 
No obedience behaviours are required or allowed in the sport.

Dog Training Classes Newcastle

What type of dogs can do this class?

  • Dogs of all ages including puppies, young dogs or old dogs
  • Anxious, shy or nervous dogs
  • Dogs who lunge or bark (reactive behaviours) towards other dogs or people
  • Hyperactive dogs and dogs with lots of energy
  • Blind or deaf dogs
  • Arthritic dogs
  • Dogs restricted from doing other sports due to injuries
  • Dogs with disabilities

All your dog needs is their nose.  That’s it! 

Does sniffer training use a dog's mental energy?

Sniffer training uses your dog’s brain.  This requires lots of mental energy. Our dogs have become unemployed, so sniffer training gives them a job to do.  You can do this activity with your dog when you get home, when you go out, you can do sniffer training almost anywhere, anytime! This is a fun, lifelong activity for your dog.

What will my dog actually do in class?

Dog Training Classes NewcastleYou dog will learn to search for a specific odour and find the source of that odour in real world environments.  In our classes, dogs work one at a time and rest in between so they can process the search.  This means that reactive, shy, or fearful dogs can enjoy this class too.  We use positive reinforcement in this class.

At the beginning, we start with your dog searching for some really yummy food like BBQ chicken, cheese, cabanossi or whatever else your dog really loves.  This is usually done indoors first, then outdoors and finally on a vehicle.

Once the dog has undertaken a series of searches in a variety of environments the dog will progress to odours.  The dog will learn to search for a specific target odour and find the source of that odour.  The dog is then rewarded by their owner with their favourite food or toy. 

Owners and their dogs will go through four different search elements.  They are containers, interiors, exteriors and vehicles.   Dogs will gradually learn foundation search skills in all of these four elements whilst build their hunting drive.  Searches become more difficult and handlers are required to observe their dogs closely in order to know when to take action during a search. 

What does the owner do in this class?

You will learn to read your dog’s body language, hunting style and signals when they have detected an odour and then when they have found an odour.  You are there to learn from your dog and to support your dog in the searches.  You will improve your handling and observational skills as time goes on.

During the search, the owner does very little other than to follow the dog, make sure they don’t get in the way and the leash doesn’t get tight.  The dog knows more than we do in this activity.  Always remember, we are the students and your dog is the teacher! 

How can this dog training class help my dog?

Dog Training Classes NewcastleThis class can help all dogs including reactive dogs who learn to focus on finding the scent instead of reacting to other dogs.  It helps fearful and shy dogs become more confident with the environment knowing that when we go out, we are hunting.  It can help hyperactive dogs get energy out and focus on a task.  It also gives older dogs a gentle activity to do whilst continuing to use their brains.  A dog never stops learning!  Any dog will benefit from this training class.

What do you need to do this class?

  • Your dog and yourself
  • A flat buckle collar or harness (no choker chains, martingale collars, slip collars etc)
  • Minimum 6-foot leash (no retractable leashes please)

What are the benefits of sniffer dog training classes?

  • Sniffer Dog Training really works a dog’s brain hard
  • Keeps your dog’s mind active, whatever their age
  • No prior training or obedience behaviours needed
  • Good for reactive dogs as each dog will not come into contact with other dogs
  • Builds confidence of shy, nervous or timid dogs
  • Strengthens the bond between owner and dog

Dog Training Classes Newcastle


Adamstown Public School

Max no of dogs:     
3 each class

We are not currently running any classes at this time.
Please contact Margaret Keast from Jigsaw Dogs on or call 0403 676 047 for current classes.

Contact Us

We are based in Kotara, NSW
(Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Region)
PH: 0400 43 99 77

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