Scent Detection

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The goal of our intro to nose work course is to teach your dog to recognize, find and stay at the scent regardless of any distractions. We want to develop a dog that has a strong drive to find odour, and an equally strong desire to show you what they have found and commit to it. Equally important is training you on how to properly handle the scent to avoid contamination. This is extremely important because if you inadvertently get scent on your hands, the outside of the tin, etc., your dog will have a difficult time. Scent must be in only one place – the tin.

In this course we will use food as a reward for recognizing, finding and committing to the scent. As dogs are great at figuring out the most efficient way to get food, your dog will quickly understand the value of scent as we establish a connection between finding the scent, staying at the source of the scent, and receiving a reward for doing so. We will use shaping to teach your dog to actively hunt for the source of the identified scent and to remain committed to it once found. Balancing your dog’s drive to find odor with their commitment to stay at odor are equally important.

This course will prepare your dog to have fun searching for hidden odour, whether you choose to do it just as an enrichment activity or you want to enter an Odour Recognition Test (ODT). However, remember that training is not a race and you need to work with the dog in front of you and go at the pace that is right for you and your dog. We recommend keeping training sessions short – only 3-4 minutes, no more than a couple times a day.

Remember that rather than moving forward each session, it is better to master each step before first and you will have access to the course for six months from date of registration, so take your time and have fun!