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National Association of Canine Scent Work

Second Annual CNCA/NACSW K9 Nose Work Joint Educational Symposium

K9 Scent & Detection Civilian Conference Registration (1-4 people)


DATES for 2017
January 26th, Thursday, 12:30pm to
January 28th, Saturday, 12:00pm
Town N’ Country Resort
San Diego, CA

National Association of Canine Scent Work, LLC in partnership with California Narcotic Canine Association Presents a Joint Educational Event.

The NACSW is excited to have the opportunity to partner CNCA for the 2nd year in a row. This partnership  will continue to featuring key presenters from the professional detection and K9 Nose Work® communities.

Click here for registration and additional event information.

CEUs: CNWIs will receive 8 NACSW CEU's for attending this conference.


Officer Joe Oberding – Henderson PD, Nevada

Joe has 22 years law enforcement experience.  He has been a Police K9 decoy/agitator since 1997, a Police K9 Handler of Detection and Patrol/SWAT based police dogs from 2003 to 2015, and he was the Head Trainer of a 10-dog K9 Unit in Southern Nevada from 2007 to 2015.  Joe was recognized as Officer of the Year on two separate occasions, and each award cited his work and efforts within the Police K9 community as a predominant reason for the recognition.  He is also a 2-time Medal of Valor recipient.  He has been a Certifying Official with CNCA since 2010, a Police K9 Trial Judge since 2009, and a K9 Nosework Trial Judge since 2015.

Jill Cline, MS, PhD – Nutritional Specialist

Dr. Jill Cline has 20 years of experience in the pet food industry and specializes in nutrition and working dogs. During her tenured career she has managed roles in several disciplines including product innovation and formula development, clinical study protocol design, and scientific communications. Dr. Cline is actively engaged with the sporting and working dog training communities because of her keen interest in working dog nutrition. Her areas of expertise include the influence nutrition has on a working dog’s cognitive function and the link between dietary requirements and how they affect dogs ability to learn and maximize their performance. Jill holds degrees as PhD Comparative Non-Ruminant Nutrition College of ACES, University of Illinois MS Animal Nutrition- College of Animal Science, University of Illinois, BS Animal Science- College of Agriculture, University of Illinois.

Alex Rygg, PhD

Mechanical Engineering PhD with a background in computational mechanics, fluid dynamics, and numerical simulations. Research experience in odorant transport and biomimetic chemical sensing.

Sue Sternberg, Canine Behavior and Training Expert

Sue is an expert in dog aggression and an innovator in the field of shelter dog welfare, and she develops programs to prevent pet relinquishment and overpopulation, to match families with safe pets, and to help shelters attend to the mental health of the animals in their care. Training Wheels®, a mobile community outreach program, and Assess-a-Pet™, a method to evaluate animal temperament, are two popular programs developed by Sue. With more than 23 years of experience, she shares her knowledge of dog behavior on radio and television shows, as a popular speaker at national humane and dog training conferences, and through books and videos.

Roger Abrantes, Ph.D.

Roger is a biologist, PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Ethology, is the author of many books, articles and blogs on animal behavior and learning. He gives talks and seminars all over the world and one of the most well-respected experts in the field of canine training and behavior.

Dr. Andrea (Andie) Thompkins - Dept. of Psychology, Auburn University

“Study of the Neural Basis of Odor Familiarity”

Gunnery Sergeant Willingham

“The Incredible Story of Lucca”
Master Sergeant Chris Willingham was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 1999. Over the last 18 years, he has dedicated a majority of his career to the Military Working Dog program where he has served as a handler, trainer, instructor and Kennel Master. Master Sergeant Willingham has served at a Provost Marshall’s Office in a law enforcement capacity as well as 2 tours at I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) MWD platoon whose primary mission is supporting operating forces during deployments. He has also served as a trainer at the DoD Dog Trainer Section and an instructor for Specialized Search Dog program while assigned to Lackland Air Force Base. Master Sergeant Willingham has multiple deployments to the Middle East which includes supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve.

Jill Marie O'Brien, CPDT-KA, Co-founder NACSW
Jill Marie has been working with, training, and advocating for dogs since 1986; fourteen of thoseyears were spent as Director of Behavior and Training Services for spcaLA. During her tenure with spcaLA, she supervised the creation and ongoing development of that agency’s first Animal Behaviorand Training Department since its inception in 1877. She worked on a variety of programs that included: Kal-Kan Bite Prevention and Feral Dog Safety program, Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC) for at risk youth & shelter dogs, “ The Standards Program” behavior assessment and behavior rehabilitation program. As co-founder of the National Association of Canine Scent Work she has committed many hours to the ongoing development of the K9 Nose Work® Instructor Education and Certification program, as well as the development of both the competitive sport and activity of K9 Nose Work®. Jill Marie’s future goal is to develop the ‘K9 Nose Work® Shelter’ project. This project aims to enhance the lives of shelter dogs around the world through the use of the simple yet profound K9 Nose Work® methodology.

NACSW/K9 Nose Work® Founders and/or Faculty - Speaker and topics TBD

Topics Include:

“The Neuroscience of Canine Vision and Olfaction” with Andie Thompkins, PhD

Domestic dogs have been bred into a close relationship with humans, leading them to work alongside us in tasks ranging from fetching toys to sniffing out bombs.   Recently, the advent of canine functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has provided an exciting avenue of cognition research with domestic dogs. This course will provide a broad overview of findings from the past 5 years, with specific focus on Auburn University’s research on the dog-human bond and dog olfactory capabilities.  Implications for working dog selection and training will be discussed.

"K9 101" with Joe Oberding

“101” usually means basic or introductory, and while we will examine some very basic concepts of K9 scent work and training, our goal is to look at and apply some advanced theories and motivational based training techniques to help dogs and their handlers become successful K9 Nosework teams.  We will also talk about avoiding and/or working through some of the common handling mistakes and training errors that I’ve seen as a Police K9 and K9 Nosework trial judge.

"The Anatomy and Fluid Dynamics of Canine Olfaction" with Alex Rygg

This course provides an overview of the remarkable anatomy of the dog’s nose and the fluid dynamics and odorant transport aspects of canine olfaction.  Beginning with the dynamics of odor sources in various ambient environments, the details of scent acquisition are presented.  This includes a review of chemical plumes and their interaction with cross-flow.  The external aerodynamics of canine sniffing, which is reposible for the canine’s ability to tract odors, is then discussed.  The complex internal structure of the canine nasal airway is shown and a three-dimensional model of the nasal cavity reconstructed from high-resolution MRI scans is used to reveal the unique location and configuration of the sensory region.  Finally, the fluid dynamics of odorant transport to the olfactory part of the nose is described and the functional significance of nasal airlow is reviewed.

"From Foundation to Fantastic" with Jill Marie O’Brien, CPDT-KA

This presentation will investigate the importance of building a solid foundation and discuss how what you do in the beginning can directly affect the dog’s performance at the higher levels of competition.

K9 Nose Work® is designed to be a lifelong activity with endless possibilities for fun and learning. There are many similar components between sport detection dogs and professional detection dogs. However, it is critical to acknowledge there are some differences that can affect, both positively and negatively, the performance of companion/sport detection dog, much of which begins at the foundation level.

K9 Nose Work® helps build an organic understanding of how dogs move through their environment and how they navigate in that environment for success.

"Body Language, What Is My Dog Sniffing?" with Sue Sternberg

Have you ever wondered what your dog is sniffing? Sue will take you through a video journey of what dog’s look like when engaged in various types of sniffing behavior.

Is your dog about to alert on source or is he about to lift his leg where another dog has been? Is that your dog getting excited as he hones in on source, or is he crittering towards a gopher hole? By showing video footage of dogs searching in normal speed and slow motion, I will detail the small-but-recognizable behavior changes that can help clue you into exactly what is going on during a search.

From urine-marking during a search, lingering where another dog has marked, tracking the scent of a recent rabbit visit, to all the changes of behaviors that help reveal to us our dog is indeed working to source and about to alert, this workshop will help train your eye to see and identify many discrete and concrete behaviors – making your dog’s next search seem like it comes with translation-subtitles!

This is a must see for anyone engaged with scent work either for play or profession.

"Quick Dog Food Fixes that CAN Improve Performance" with Jill Klein

~ How simple changes to your dog’s diet will prevent many issues.
~ Incorporating certain nutrients to improve stamina & heat tolerance.
~ Learn how to decrease diarrhea, ear/skin infections with simple changes in diet.
~ Improving the K9’s overall working ability for both detection and patrol. |