Nosework uses birch, anise, and clove scents in competitions. It is important to use a scent which is not commonly used, as this can confuse the dog. All three of these scents are rather novel and uncommon.
We chose Anise because it is known to attract and excite dogs, so much so that it is considered a dog’s version of catnip. Anise is a great starting scent because you’ll immediately capture your dog’s interest with this new and unusual smell. Our nosework program will reward this natural curiosity, and your dog will quickly connect the dots. Imagine that your sense of smell was forty times more powerful- a new scent would quickly gain your interest!
Indeed, Anise has been used in scent related activities for many years by professional dog sniffers. Foxhounds are trained to follow trails scented with Anise oil, and the artificial hare that greyhounds chase is doused with Anise.
What exactly is Anise?
Anise is a flowering plant that grows near the Mediterranian and Southwest Asia. It has a pleasant scent similar to liquorice. The roots and leaves are edible, but the seeds are most used, and are the basis for Anise essential oil.
Anise has been considered a valuable back to biblical times, even being used as a currency. It has been attributed to various health and spiritual properties. Ancient greeks and Romans mixed it with wine to cure asp bites, and folklore used anise to ward off the evil eye.
There are many culinary uses for Anise. The seeds are infused into baking or spiced in cakes and liquids. The ancient Romans would serve Anise after their meals as a digestive. It is also used to flavor various liquors, from Greek Ouzo to absinthe, and included in some root beers.
Anise in the Nosey Nose Product
Our nosework game kit includes a unique and natural blend of various forms of Anise with corn cob, which absorbs odors, in five reusable pouches. We’ve included the whole anise seeds, so as the pouches are pressed together more of the scent is released. These are refillable, so you can make the game easier or harder depending on location, and the age and amount of scent.
Roxy, ready for some Nosework!
Encyclopedia of Cultivated Plants: From Acacia to Zinnia [3 volumes]: By Christopher Martin Cumo