Sniffing For A New Home

The slogan on his ChicagoDogPads site reads, “Real Estate Is My Business; Dogs Are My Passion” so you would expect that, among all his other dog resources, people would be able to find homes that allow dogs.  But now Roger Lautt has taken his passion a step farther, and turned his latest endeavor, Chicago Dog Nose, to helping DOGS find new people with homes!

Roger’s quest for knowledge motivated him to earn his credentials as one of only two Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) in Chicago, and as such he has been offering K9 Nose Work® classes at his training studio, Chicago Dog Nose, to dog owners who want a fun activity to do with their dogs.

K9 Nose Work® is a game that uses the dogs’ natural scenting ability to develop problem solving skills. Dogs learn to find “objects” in various locations, at different heights, indoors, and outdoors. And for the advanced skills-level dog, they learn to do searches on the exterior of autos.  Nose Work is fast becoming the new urban dog sport in Chicago.

What is unique about this sport is that any dog can participate and there is no previous training required. Each dog is worked in solo sessions, with the remaining participants in another room awaiting their turn, which means that a shy dog, fearful dog, or even a “dog-reactive” dog can have fun. And this takes a lot of pressure off a dog owner who can then relax while participating with their dog without worrying about the other dogs in class.

Many owners have reported that their dogs not only thoroughly love coming to the class, but that their dogs return home exhausted from the mental workout! Dogs that were previously shy, fearful, aggressive or even hyper tend to blossom given the chance to build confidence and or find an outlet for their unused energy. In fact many of the thousands of dogs who are relinquished to shelters are given up because of these behavioral issues. This got Roger thinking that since K9 Nose Work® is such a great way of helping to keep dogs in their homes, then why not use this new game to help dogs, who are already in shelters, find new homes?

Roger contacted a few shelter organizations who rounded up some of their steady volunteers and has since begun his new Sniffing For A New Home program instructing shelters how to enrich the lives of their resident dogs using K9 Nose Work®. Most shelter workers can tell you the heartbreak of watching these poor souls, who were once somebody’s pet, become depressed, lethargic or very stressed out and basically give up. But by implementing his Sniffing For A New Home program, there is hope that the dogs will get adopted faster, as their environment becomes more enriching. And of course the new pet parents will be able to continue enriching their dog’s life by becoming K9 Nose Work® participants!   The ultimate goal is helping dogs find homes in some of Chicago’s best neighborhoods.  Roger’s thoughts and questions include:  What good is a home without a dog in it?

Shelter directors and volunteers are encouraged to contact Roger Lautt at 312-617-8000 or through e-mail at for complete details of his Sniffing For A New Home  program. In the meantime check out for more information, testimonials and great videos of dogs having fun!


© Fran Berry, CPDT-KA, 2011

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