Julie Symons has been involved in dog sports for over 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) and repeat 60 weave pole champs at the All Star tournament in 2002.

Julie’s current terv Savvy is nearing retirement, having earned a CH, MACH2, UD, TDX, VCD3 and the following nose/scent work titles: ELT-CH, SWN, SIM, SCE, SEE, L2C, L1V, L2I. Earning their TDX and competing in nosework has intensified Julie's love for scent sports! Julie also shares her household with her Belgian Malinois Drac, earning his NW3, SWN and SHDN titles and focusing their efforts on tracking, herding and nosework. The newest member of the family is her young terv Moxie. Finishing her breed CH and NW1 titles at 1 years old, they will be starting their competitive agilty career soon! All of Julie's dogs keep her 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 teenage 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: 

Julie's Current and Upcoming Courses

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

N130J: NW130 - Developing Advanced Nosework Skills

Want to continue the Nosework fun?  Then this class is for you!     This is the third skills level course in our nose/scent work program and will ...

October 1, 2020

OB330: Obedience Games

If you like to think of training as a game, then this is the class for you! If you have a busy schedule and are always on the go and finding your obedience training tak...

October 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...

December 1, 2020

NW415: Nosework Handler's Choice

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

December 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...

February 1, 2021

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...

February 1, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

Self Study Classes - lectures available for purchase

NW620: Introduction to Handler Discrimination Scent Work

Want to learn a new aspect of scent detection sport training? In both UKC and the upcoming AKC program, there is a Handler Discrimination class where the handler's s...

Julie Symons (Faculty)

NW640: Advanced Handler Discrimination Scent Work Skills

Get ready to trial in the new AKC Handler Discrimination Scent Work division!! This class will cover the advanced skills needed to trial at Advanced, Excellent and Master AKC ...

Julie Symons (Faculty)

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.

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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