SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Sniffing, it’s one thing every dog loves to do. 

A dog’s nose can lead them to a lot of places and that trait is making owners put their smell to the test. 

“Sniffing is using their natural abilities to do something they enjoy” Misty Bowen said. Dog owners brought their pets to the Side Kick Dog Training Academy, where pets learned Scent Work. But what is Scent Work? 

The American Kennel Club defines it as an imitation of scent detection where dogs find a scent and communicate that to their handler. There are competitions for this exercise or people can engage in it casually. 

Jennifer Kimberlin attended the training at Side Kick Sunday and says dogs need more than just a walk. 

“Our dogs need mental stimulation where as well as physical stimulation and when you work in a scent work type of competition or even just training class, we’re exercising the brain and we’re making them think and we’re making them work out puzzles so that’s their seductive puzzle.” Kimberlin said. 

Bowen has had her border terrier for almost five years, and Scent Work gives her pet more time to sniff. “This has been invaluable to me. I’ve met tons of great people from all over the country. This is one of the primary things that I do with my dog.” Bowen added.

The training Sunday wasn’t a competition but the seminar included an AKC judge and provided many with quality time. 

“It also gives my dog an outlet so that she can do something that she loves doing. And we meet people and just have a great time hanging out with our friends.” Bowen said.  “I love spending time with my dogs. I didn’t get my dogs just to let them be lawn ornaments or to sit on my couch. I got my dogs to do stuff with them. So this is about building that relationship, building that trust, and building that bond.” Kimberlin added.