Bio

Julie Symons has been involved in dog sports for 25 years. Starting with her mix, Dreyfus, in flyball, she went on to train and compete in conformation, agility, obedience, herding and tracking with her first Belgian tervuren, Rival. Rival was the first CH OTCH MACH Belgian tervuren and they competed and placed in many regional and national events, winning Ultimate Dog (High Combined in Utility and Agility) at the All Star tournament in 2002.

Julie’s current Belgian tervuren, Savvy, has earned a CH, MACH2, UD, TDX, VCD3 and the following nose/scent work titles: ELITE3, NW3 Elite, SWN, SCA, SIE, SEA, SHDN, SHDA, L2C, L1V, L2I. Earning their TDX and competing in nosework has intensified their love for scent sports! Julie also shares her household with her young malinois Drac, who is is well on his way as another versatile teammate, earning his NW2, SWN and SHDN titles and actively training in tracking, obedience, and agility. The newest member of the family is Moxie, an 8 month old Belgian Tervuren who is keeping Julie very busy!

Julie is an AKC licensed Scent Work judge for all levels of competition as well as an "expert judge", providing apprenticeship and mentoring to judges in training. 

One of Julie’s favorite things is a versatile team!  She truly believes that participating in multiple sports is enriching to both person and dog and builds on that mutual partnership and trust. Nosework is an ideal sport to compliment your other activities. It’s intrinsically motivating for the dog and it’s also pretty cool to have a pet detection dog! 

Julie is a consummate learner and energetic instructor, immersing herself in everything dog training!  While teaching agility in the early 2000s, she found how rewarding it was to teach and help others. The simple truth? People just really love their dogs and enjoy doing activities with them. Knowing this helps set the tone for how she runs her classes: giving students ample working time, staying positive when things get challenging, and giving more than 100 percent of her efforts toward their development.

In her other life, she is married with a 15-year-old son. As a family they enjoy skiing, participating in kid sports and staying home with the dogs! It goes to show that you can “do it all” with just a little bit of planning and smart training.  Julie is also owner of Savvy Dog Sports, a local dog school covering many sports including nosework, obedience, agility and more!  More information can be found at: www.SavvyDogSports.com 

Julie's Current and Upcoming Courses

N101J: NW101 - Introduction to Nosework

Nosework is easily the hottest new sport around, and it’s easy to see why!  It’s fun for humans, dogs love to participate, and it’s good for building confidence and focus...

December 1, 2019

NW315: NW Incredible Interiors and Confident Containers

  This course will focus on skills and strategies for succeeding at interior and containers searches in all venues. Wouldn't we all love to be more confident with c...

December 1, 2019

N120J: NW120 - Introduction to NW Search Elements

Nosework is the popular new dog sport that is sweeping the nation, and you can get in on the fun! Our nosework classes are taught with the method used to produce the nati...

February 1, 2020

NW415: Nosework Handler's Choice

I asked and FDSA responded! I will be offering the first Nosework Handlers Choice class and am VERY excited about it! During this 6weeks course, the handler can decide on WH...

February 1, 2020

NW180: Developing Scent-sational Skills for Competition

You’ve learned the basics, even dabbled in some advanced skills but are you ready for competition? With so many scent detection organizations out there now (up to 11 and count...

April 1, 2020

OB320: Obedience Starter Games

This class is a "prequel" to the popular OB330 Obedience Games class. This is not a skills class but designed to present many short, fun, and fast paced games for be...

April 1, 2020

N101J: NW101 - Introduction to Nosework

Nosework is easily the hottest new sport around, and it’s easy to see why!  It’s fun for humans, dogs love to participate, and it’s good for building confidence and focus...

June 1, 2020

N120J: NW120 - Introduction to NW Search Elements

Nosework is the popular new dog sport that is sweeping the nation, and you can get in on the fun! Our nosework classes are taught with the method used to produce the nati...

August 1, 2020

Self Study Classes - lectures available for purchase

Contact Information

Have a question about an upcoming course taught by Julie?  Not sure if your dog is suitable for a specific class?  We welcome you to contact instructors by email to make sure the course is suitable for you and your dog.

Click here to contact.

Student Testimonials

We throughly enjoyed Nosework with Julie. She was a patient and kind instructor who really cared about how we did. The lectures were interesting and easy to understand and Julie was quick to respond with encouraging and helpful replies. Thanks Julie :) Sherri R.


Julie is a gifted and extremely caring teacher, both for dogs and humans.                   


You are a great instructor and very patient with all of us students! Your lectures are well written and you were very prompt to answer questions and comment on videos. I appreciate everything you did for me in this class!           


NW130 was one of the best classes Ive taken yet. It was so perfect for our skill level and Julie gave us SO much help. I hope she teaches many more classes at FDSA. She's not only an awesome trainer but she's also an awesome individual.


Julie is a phenomenal instructor, meeting each student where she is and helping us to move forward. Initially I signed up for this class at Bronze, as I didn't feel we were quite ready. I upgraded to Gold. Am I glad I did! I learned so much from Julie's clear, concise instructions and examples. And even though we didn't get through all of the lessons, we have a clear path for moving ahead. Thanks, Julie! Jolynn W.


Julie provided prompt, detailed analysis and well reasoned and tailored recommendations for each student. She definitely wanted to see her students succeed in whatever phase of nosework they were doing - so she provided very helpful suggestions for preparing for various upcoming trials.


Julie was so awesome and supportive.... She was one of the main reasons why Judd and I passed NW2!! She always had an encouraging word and comstructive help.


Julie is the best instructor I have had at FDSA. She is an amazing woman, and is truly passionate about nose work.  Every time I take a nose work class my dog and myself come out ahead. The instructors are awesome, they make you want to work your dog to the best they can. 5 stars from me. Nancy Steinbrecher