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Instructor Joanne Soyke plants a scented q tip inside a locker at her business in Rock Island. Joanne is the owner-instructor at Fur Better Fur Worse.

She is teaching a dog sport called Nose Work.

It essentially is a game of hide and seek. Joanne’s dog uses its nose to detect the odor.

A tin is placed beneath bleachers. Roger Thayer’s border collie is on the hunt. The dog is in charge. Roger follows. Flint senses the odor and locates the tin.

Dogs get rewarded with food or toys when they successfully accomplish the task.

Nose training was designed by professional detection dog handlers. The training teaches pet dogs to find essential oils. It’s similar to the way police and military dogs find explosives or drugs.

Jan Burroughs, a dog owner, says the animals need activities where they engage their brains and know they have a job to do.

The dogs do searches indoors and outside. The essential oils are also placed in tin containers. Some are in boxes. Others on the bumpers of an automobile.

Outside, the temperature, dew point, and wind can be factors in how easy or difficult it becomes for each dog to detect the scent.

Each dog has a different skill level.

Dogs build their confidence in this sport. Owners bond with their pets.

“Nose” doubt about it!

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