Performance Dogs - Scent Work
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Why not let your dog do what they do best? SNIFF.

Performance Dogs in Action  |  916-655-1558  |  copyright 2016

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The sport of scent work draws upon your dog's natural ability to use their nose to locate odors. We teach them to find specific odors in order to earn high value rewards. It's a positive and enjoyable experience!

I’ve been a K9 handler with Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and CARDA (California Rescue Dog Assoc.) since 2011, and with El Dorado County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue for the last 2 years. With these entities, I train and deploy dogs in search efforts for missing/deceased individuals in suburban and backcountry terrains. 

In 2016 I became a certified dog trainer through Animal Behavior College, and in 2018 I left my job as an Animal Control Officer to strike out on my own as a dog trainer.

In June of 2020 I attended a 3 day K9 Handler development class with Cameron Ford of Ford K9. In October of 2020 I attended a 2 week K9 Police/Professional detection dog training class, again with Ford K9. In March of 2021 I will attend a 1 week K9 Sport detection dog training class as well as a 3 day Canine Cognition Clinic in November. Needless to say, I like doing any type of scent detection work with dogs. 

Search and Rescue sparked my interest in dog training and more specifically, K9 scent work. I love teaching handlers and their dogs how to build drive and utilize that drive to hunt specific odor. Whether it’s human scent, natural oils, or even narcotics, teaching a dog the game of how to find what we’re looking for is sometimes challenging and always rewarding.

In scent work classes, we teach the dog to associate the odor (birch, anise & clove) with a reward-either a high value food or a toy. Once the dog understands the association between odor and reward, then we create the game of hunt for odor.​

Training & Lessons


Email or call/text Rich to sign-up

5-week classes begin in May 2021
Wednesdays - Time TBD  (3 hours)
Rich Cassens
Essential K9 Training
(530) 205-5536