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Monday, July 6, 2020

Reopening information

Welcome to everyone who has been inquiring about starting classes at WonderDogs and to all our current students whose patience and understanding has been phenomenal these past few months. 

We will be reopening on Monday, July 6th.  For the first week, hours will be somewhat different than usual:  Monday 10-6, Tuesday 10-9, Wednesday 10-6, Thursday 10-9, Friday 10-6, Saturday 9-4 and Sunday 11-5.  These hours will likely revert to our regular schedule the following week.

We will be calling and/or emailing all students whose sessions were interrupted to confirm their attendance as we resume their classes. We will not be giving refunds for any sessions that had to be postponed but we will issue credit for any unused classes for anyone who chooses not to resume class when it restarts.

Because we need to finish up all those interrupted classes, we will be posting tentative start dates for new sessions on Sunday or Monday.  Please remember that these may change as circumstances indicate.  You may sign up on line, by phone or by mailing a check.  If you are a new student, please fill out the enrollment form on line to help facilitate your registration.  All students, current and future, are required to agree to the following guidelines:

Here are the best practices we will be undertaking and asking for your compliance.

In general

Everyone must wear a mask when in the building.  No exceptions.

Please register online or by phone whenever possible to minimize traffic in the office.

We are asking that you not enter the building until a staff member indicates you may do so.  The class that may be taking place before yours must be allowed to exit safely before the next class enters.

Seating in the entry area will be placed a minimum of 6’ apart.  Please do not move the chairs.

Please bring water for your own dog if you choose to.  No individual waterers or communal water bowls will be available.

You may bring your own seating if you prefer. 

There will be no shared crates.  If you need or prefer to crate your dog, feel free to bring a crate with you or crate in your car.

We will have hands free soap dispensers and hand sanitizers in both rest rooms, the office and at the front door.

Entry area

A hand sanitizing station will be available.  We recommend you utilize it as necessary as you arrive and leave.

Chairs arms will be sanitized after each class.

Please respect the required 6’ distance between students at all times.


Only 1 person may be in the store at any given time.  Paper bags instead of plastic will be provided for purchases. You will be asked to tell us your credit card information rather than handing you card to a staff member to swipe it.


Unless absolutely necessary, only 1 person/dog will be allowed in class.  One additional family member over 18 years of age may sit in the entry area during class.  Using Zoom or other virtual methods of sharing your lessons with other family members will be allowed and encouraged since we recognize that training your dog is a family affair.

Instructors will not be demonstrating exercises with students’ dogs in pet dog classes as we did in the past.  We will not be offering our supply of treats, toys and equipment to share with students.  Please make sure you bring everything you need each week.

Some classes may be held outdoors if and when appropriate.

Most handouts will be given at one time at the beginning of your session instead of doled out weekly as previously done. 

Any exercises considered impossible to execute under the current restrictions will be modified to make them safe and practical.

Please allow your dog to relieve itself before class to minimize unnecessary movement and distractions.

For members and graduating students, we will soon have an online way to take advantage of any discount to which you may be entitled.

We are doing everything we can to keep our pets, customers and employees safe and to keep our operations running at normal levels. In light of COVID-19, we’re increasing the frequency and extent of daily cleanings and taking extra operational steps to ensure that you & your pet can continue to enjoy the benefits of your time at WonderDogs.

The facility will be open on Monday, July 6 but please check the web site for information on new start dates.

We are committed to doing what is right for our employees, guests & clients during this challenging time.

Want to know just how remarkable your dog's nose is? Go Sniff

K9 Nose Work® is a fun search and scenting activity that can begin at any stage in your dog’s life and last a lifetime. Through K9 Nose Work®, dogs develop their natural scenting abilities by using their curiosity, desire to hunt and love of food and toys. As your dog grows more confident with his nose work, the game expands to entire rooms, exteriors and vehicles and special target odors are used. Reactive dogs find focus, fearful dogs build confidence, high-energy dogs burn energy, aging or disabled dogs flex their brain muscles, retired dogs learn a new ‘job’.

If you are interested in the excitement of competition, K9 Nose Work® is also an organized, titling sport through the National Association of Canine Scent Work, which holds official trials across the nation. Recently, the AKC has also added Scent Work to its list of competitive, titling sports.

Please note: K9 Nose Work® games are always played one dog at a time. All other dogs are kept crated or safely confined.
Advancement to the next level is at the discretion of the Instructor.

Level 1 - Intro to K9 Nose Work®

Who should come? Any dog, of any size, age, shape or color. Must have a nose!

What will we learn? This class is an introduction to the activity and sport of K9 Nose Work®. Dogs will have fun learning how to use their noses more efficiently and handlers will learn how to read their dog’s body language when working scent. Dogs and handlers with no prior training or dog-sport experience are welcome.

This class is appropriate for dogs of any age, breed, size, or physical ability and handlers with reasonable mobility. It can benefit dogs that lack confidence, dogs that are reactive around other dogs and/or people, convalescing dogs, dogs with anxieties that may prevent them from joining other group training classes, dogs with hearing or sight impairments, and retired conformation, competition, service, or working dogs in need of a "job"

Prerequisite: Dogs must be able to rest in a crate or car while waiting their turn.

Level 2 - Intro to K9 Nose Work®

Who should come? Dogs who have completed Level 1 - Intro to K9NW

What will we learn? This course is designed to intensify the dog’s desire to hunt and willingness to work independently, both on and off leash, and to improve your ability to read your dog’s body language as they learn to pinpoint the odor source. Dogs will be searching Containers, Interiors and Exteriors (weather and light permitting).

Level 3 - Intro to Odor – (First Target Odor)

Who should come? Dogs who have completed Level 1 and/or Level 2 - Intro to K9NW (Instructor’s discretion based on the individual’s skill level)

What will we learn? At this level, your dog is introduced to the first target odor, which is paired with food. Through the association of food and odor, a solid search foundation is built and the search-puzzles become increasingly more challenging. Dogs will be searching various Containers, Interiors and Exteriors (weather and light permitting).

Level 4 - Intro to Odor – (Trial Elements and Odor Recognition Test Prep.)

Who should come? Dogs who have completed Level 3 - Intro to Odor - First Target Odor.

What will we learn? Dogs will progress from searching for paired hides to searching for odor only. Dogs will be searching all elements: Containers, Interiors, Exteriors and Vehicles (weather and light permitting). Handlers will learn how odor moves in various environments and factors that affect odor movement. Searches will include blind hides.

At the completion of this level, those dog-handler teams who are interested in competing in trials may be ready to take their first Odor Recognition Test (ORT). Successful completion of the ORT is a prerequisite for trials.
Competition is not a requirement and you and your dog can go on to enjoy the activity of K9 Nose Work® in all four elements for as long as you like!!

Level 5 - Continuing Nose Work - (All Target Odors, All Elements)

Who should come? Dogs who have completed Level 3 and/or Level 4 Intro to Odor (Instructor’s discretion based on the individual’s skill level)

What will we learn? Dogs will be introduced to the second and third target odors as well as combination odors. This level will include known and blind hides in all four working elements: Interiors, Exteriors, Containers and Vehicles. Basic search strategies will be covered. Dog-handler teams who complete this level should have the skills necessary to successfully compete in a NW1 trial.

Level 6 - Advanced Nose Work - (Trial Preparation – NW1, NW2, NW3, NW3 Elite)

Who should come? Dogs who have completed Level 5 – Continuing Nose Work (Instructor’s discretion based on the individual’s skill level)

What will we learn? Advanced search strategies will be discussed and emphasis will be placed on further development of handler skills for on and off leash work. Field trips may be scheduled to expose the teams to a wider variety of search environments. This class will be geared toward trial preparation, however participation in trials is not a requirement. Even teams at this level can continue to enjoy the activity of K9 NW just for fun!

Dogs will be crated when not working so please have a crate available. (Soft crates are acceptable.)

How long does the sesson last?
Each session lasts 6 weeks.
Each class lasts approximately 60 minutes per week.
Class size is limited to 5 dogs.(Thursday Day Class 6 dogs)

What does it cost? $175.00

When do classes start?

Level 2- Intro to Nosework
2:30 pm
Level 4 Intro to Odor (Trial Elements and Odor Recognition Test Prep.)
Thursday 3:30pm
Level 4 - Introduction to Odor
Friday 6:00 pm
Level 5 Continuing Nose Work (All Target Odors, All Elements)
Thursday 4:30pm
Level 5 Continuing Nose Work (All Target Odors, All Elements)
Friday 7:00pm
Level 6 Advanced Nose Work (Trial Preparation: NW1, NW2, NW3, NW3 Elite)
Friday 8:00pm

What else do I need to know?

  • Dogs must be able to rest in a crate or car while waiting their turn.
  • No previous training necessary
  • Class size is limited and enrollment is on a first paid/first served basis.
  • No class space is reserved until payment is received.
  • Payment may be made by cash, check, VISA, or MasterCard.
  • No refunds are given after class has begun.
  • Class schedules are subject to change without notice.

Instructor: Valerie Casperite, CNWI

For more information or to enroll in a class, call (856) 767-6464.