Brought to you by:

Seeking Therapy – What’s so Therapeutic About Nose Work?

May 24

10:00 pm PT


If you haven’t heard that “nose work is therapeutic for dogs”, you must be living under a rock. No, even then I am sure some dogs would have come up and sniffed at your rock with the owner in tow, who waited patiently while her dog gathered all the information from your hiding spot. On seeing you, she would startle (what are you doing under the rock, anyway?), and on composing herself she would tell you, “I let him sniff as long as he wants now on walks because it’s good for him to use his nose”.

And there you have it, the latest dog owner belief. Thankfully, this belief has a bit more substance to it than common owner beliefs from the past, and even more importantly there is no harm in it for their dogs. As more and more pet dogs are given opportunities to use their nose, the anecdotal evidence builds that a dog that uses their olfactory system regularly will often show a reduction in the behaviors we all link with negative emotional states – anxiety, reactivity, and aggression. It really does sound too good to be true.

But not sniffing is “therapeutic”. Especially when we look at class situations, instructors offering these classes have to be very, very good at reading the animals (both dogs and humans) in their classes and being able to quickly modify the antecedents and consequences to give each an experience that builds confidence.

In this session, I will share with you some of the learning experiences both myself and my close nose work pals have had and the incredible learning opportunities we have been blessed with on the way.

Presented By:

Peta Clarke

Peta Clarke lives and breaths the animals she works with. With over twenty years experience working as a professional animal trainer in a variety of settings both in Australia and America, she has engulfed herself during that time in the practical and theoretical application of reinforcement training in the training and care of literally thousands of animals. While Peta’s first love is working with dogs, her experiences in the field of animal training range from elephants to goldfish. As a trainer and presenter of animal shows in zoos on several continents, she has had the opportunity to work with many exotic animals, but has focused her work in this area on working with free-flighted birds and marine mammals.

As well as a career as an exotic animal trainer, Peta also works extensively in the Film and Theatre Industry. Her credits include “Babe II”, “Superman Returns”, “Wolverine”, “Hacksaw Ridge”, “The Square”, “Top End Wedding”, “The Invisible Man”, many other local films and literally hundreds of television commercials.

Peta Clarke is a Nationally Accredited Trainer, holding her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is a sought-after lecturer in Australia, teaching Certificate level animal training and behavior courses for aspiring animal trainers and an invited lecturer for many dog training clubs, zoos, and other private organisations.