Scent Work Class
Scent Class is a great opportunity for dogs to have fun, build confidence, develop focus and use mental and physical energy! The sport of scent work is a rewarding game that uses your dog’s natural ability while strengthening the bond between you and your dog. This sport is based on the work of professional detection dogs such as drug dogs. In AKC Scent Work, dogs search for cotton swabs saturated with the essential oils of Birch, Anise, Clove and Cypress. Teamwork is necessary! When the dog finds the scent, they have to communicate the find to the handler. The goal of this six- week course is for dogs to love the game of searching and to build a solid indication directly at the hidden target odor.
Dogs have a sense of smell that’s between 10,000 and 100,000 times more acute than ours! We have about 6 million olfactory receptors, dogs have 300 million. Their epithelium is about 30 times larger than ours. While humans have between 12 million and 40 million olfactory neurons (cells involved in transmitting odor information to the brain) dogs, depending on breed, can have 220 million to 2 billion. Dogs have the ability to wiggle each nostril independently, breathe through the holes in the front of their nose and exhale through the side slits. They can discern individual odors making up what we call “scent.” It’s incredible what they can do with their nose!
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Benefits of Scent Work
· Burn lots of mental and physical energy doing searches
· Provides much needed mental enrichment for any dog
· Human learns to observe and understand their dog’s body language
· Great for dogs of any breed, size or age (from puppy to seniors)
· Prevent or resolve other behavior problems through mental enrichment
· Shy, fearful or anxious dogs build confidence
· Overactive dogs put excess energy into searches
· Searches can be done anywhere you take your dog
· Great activity for bad weather days to relieve boredom
· Minimal cost, no expensive equipment necessary
· Strengthened relationship and teamwork with your dog
In this Class, you will learn
· Marker/reward system of training and its use in scent work
· Trained final response or indication
· Trained systematic search
· Basic concepts in searching for odor
· Proper use of equipment and leash handling
· How to handle odor
· Building independence from the handler
· Building start line routines and pre-cues
Supplies needed for class
· High Value Rewards – rewards the dog finds highly motivating, even in what might be a distracting situation. Example, a dog might be very excited about steak rewards (high value), while they would not always be interested in a piece of kibble (lower value). Reward should be a plentiful amount of small pea sized treats (cooked chicken, hot dogs, cheese, liver treats)
· Treat pouch/bag
· 8 to 15 ft. leash/ long line
· Flat collar, not a correction style collar
· Three or more cardboard boxes, similar in size – homework practice
· Scent work kit included with class – container to store target odor, metal tin with magnet, sweet birch essential oil scented q- tip, glass jar with airtight lid, tweezers, gloves and 3 containers
· Dogs six months and older
· Dogs must have good food drive for class!
Length: Six, One hour lessons meeting once a week
Class Size: Up to five dogs
Group class is not appropriate for human or dog aggressive dogs. We can help you through private scent work lessons in conjunction with behavioral modification work. You can schedule an evaluation visit if you have any reservations about your dog’s ability to be in a room with other dogs and people.
The Pend Oreille Pet Lodge K9 Training Team is here to help you lead the way to an obedient loving companion!