Jen Johnson started working with Paws Plus in 2008 working with the Tracking program. The joy of watching dogs identify a scent and follow it to the end was fascinating to Jen and gave her the spark to delve into the world of canine scenting sports.
Jen became a K9 Nose Work fan after taking her first class with Shadow, her black lab, in 2010. Shadow was environmentally fearful and K9 Nose Work changed her life. She went from being shy and trembling to an outgoing searcher. Seeing the positive changes in Shadow’s life, Jen began teaching K9 Nose Work classes in the Richmond, VA area with her parents, Jim and Janie Simmons. Through Paws Plus Training, LLC, Jen works with students of all levels to discover and enhance the amazing scenting abilities of dogs. Jen enjoys watching dogs come out of their shell while participating in Nose Work and watching the bonds develop between dogs and their handlers.
Jen graduated from James Madison University and Penn State University, but left the health care field to work with dogs full-time. She and Shadow earned the Elite Championship in 2019, and her younger dog, Ruby, earned her Elite Championship in 2021.
Jen has been a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) since 2011. Together with Janie and Jim, she has helped host more than 30 trial days in Virginia and volunteered at countless trials. She is a NACSW Score Room Lead. In addition, Jen is a Certifying Official and Judge for NACSW. In addition, she is a judge for all levels for AKC Scent Work. She enjoys setting level appropriate challenges for teams and watching teams across the country solve odor problems. In 2021, she became a Supervising Certifying Official and helps train certifying officials for NACSW.
Jen resides near Richmond, Virginia with her husband, son and daughter. She currently trains Ruby in Nose Work and Tracking. In her spare time, she is often watching her kids who are active in sports. She loves watching dogs and their human partners bond and enriching the lives of dogs.