• Scent Work University
  • Getting Started in Scent Work
  • Building Your Skills in Scent Work
  • Preparing for a Scent Work Trial

How Can Scent Work University Help You?

Getting Started in Scent Work

Getting Started in Scent Work

Are you new to Scent Work? Get a solid start in the activity that all dogs should participate in!

Building Skills for Scent Work

Building Skills for Scent Work

Find the ways you can expand your Scent Work skills, whether you are interested in recreation or competition.

Prepping for a Scent Work Trial

Prepping for a Scent Work Trial

Find out how you can be successful when you are trialing with a specific competition organization.

Courses to Check Out

Introduction to Scent Work

Does your dog love to sniff? Are you looking for a way to work them out mentally and physically with an activity that is still easy for you to do and fit into your busy schedule? Do you need something to help build your dog's confidence or curb unwanted behaviors stemming from boredom? Great! Then the Introduction to Scent Work course is for you!

NACSW: NW2 Trial Prep

The NW2 Trial Prep class will mentally and physically prepare teams for NACSW™ NW2 trials. Some of the topics covered include training with distractions, searching for multiple hides and solving converging odor problems, how to read your dog sourcing an inaccessible hide, covering the search area, working under pressure as well as tips on how to prepare for the day of the trial will be covered.

AKC Scent Work: Handler Discrimination

In AKC Scent Work , competitors also have the opportunity to enter the handler discrimination class, where the dog will locate an article with their scent in the Novice levels, or a scented q-tip or cotton ball in the upper levels of competition. We will cover how you can introduce this concept to your dog and ensure their success!

Judge and CSD Certification Course

Judges and CSDs are the backbone of USCSS™ . They must have a full understanding of the Official Rules, how the Classes and Games are to be organized, designed, run and officiated as well as understand their overall roles at a trial. While a requirement for all USCSS™ officials, competitors will also find this course exceedingly helpful.

Hide Placement for Trial

Whenever an official sets a hide at a trial, it should be a thoughtful and well-planned process in an attempt to pose a particular odor puzzle to each dog and handler team. A course geared toward all trial officials, especially those with United States Canine Scent Sports , you will learn how to ensure each hide is successful at your next trial!

Reading Your Dog

One of the most important skills for any Scent Work handler to hone is being able to read their dog. Every dog will develop their own personal "tell". In this course we will break down the common signs your dog is in odor, heading toward and finding the hide as opposed to what it looks like when they get distracted, are crittering or investigating "dog odor".

Building Endurance in Scent Work

Scent Work is an exhausting activity for the dog, both mentally and physically. Therefore, we must consciously train to build upon our dog's endurance, especially as we prepare to enter the higher levels of competition. In this course, we will outline how you can get your dog comfortable with routinely finding 8, 10, 15 or even more hides within a single search area!

Exteriors and Vehicles with Birch

Has your dog graduated from the Introducing Birch course ? Are they ready to take their skills to the next level? Wonderful! This 6-week online course will cover how to introduce your dog to the concept of searching for Birch in exterior and vehicle search areas, both of which can be rather challenging. Gain the skills you need to succeed!

Exteriors and Vehicles with Primary

Have you graduated from the Introduction to Scent Work course and are looking for ways to take your Scent Work training to the next level? Wonderful, you are in the right place! The goal with this course is having your dog approach each of these highly distracting, and oftentimes difficult, areas with focus and enthusiasm! Let the fun begin!

Webinars to Check Out

Teaching Scent Work Webinar

You have been an instructor for a few years and have enjoyed playing Scent Work with your own dog. You are considering teaching Scent Work to your clients. It cannot be that hard, right? In this webinar, we will go over some of the considerations as well as a few of the resources you can look into to help develop the knowledge-base necessary to best serve your clients.

Box Smashers Webinar

Do you dread doing a Container search with your dog? Afraid there will be a destroyed pile of containers left in their wake? In this webinar, we will delve into why our dogs love to smash containers so much and what we can do to help prevent this.

AKC Scent Work v. NACSW: A Comparison Webinar

Maybe you're just getting ready to compete in AKC Scent Work but are uncertain what it is all about. Perhaps you're more familiar with NACSW. Or vice versa. Lucky for you, we're going to dive into the differences between these two Scent Work competition options in this webinar.

Making Scent Work Fun for the Handler Webinar

A common complaint for people who are first getting involved in Scent Work is that it is boring for the handler. Not as fun and high-octane as agility! It is true that Scent Work focuses more on the dog, but that is part of the allure! In this webinar, we will discuss some ways instructors and handlers alike can ensure Scent Work practice sessions are more engaging for handlers and their dogs.

Scent Work Trial Realities Webinar

Scent Work is exploding in popularity across the United States as a sport, which is wonderful! More dogs sniffing. More handlers taking the plunge to trial. However, if you have never been to a Scent Work trial before, it can be daunting to say the least! In this webinar, we discuss some realities that go along with trialing in Scent Work.

Start Lines: From Beginning to End Webinar

How you start your search can have a significant impact on the results of your search. In this webinar, we will discuss how to plan your start line routine to give your team the best advantage. We will also cover training for threshold hides.

It's About More Than Just Stuff Webinar

You are getting ready for a Scent Work practice session with your dog. Immediately, you begin bringing in lots of items for your search area. Chairs. Buckets. Stuff. You run your dog, and notice that they are checking all the items, but are not really searching the entire space. What about the corners? What about the walls? A dread falls over you...is there a hole in your training?! We will give you some suggestions in this webinar about how you can avoid the "just stuff" trap.

Best Practices for Securing a Trial Site Webinar

Maybe you are working with a training club or group who is interested in hosting a Scent Work trial. How exciting! One of the largest hurdles is trying to find a site for your trial. One that will have the space and elements you need...and an owner that will be open to welcoming hordes of dogs and handlers onto their property! In this webinar we will go over some tips that can help you secure that dream trial site.

Creative Searches at Home Webinar

Are you feeling as though your Scent Work practice sessions are getting stale? Does the thought of having to scour the neighborhood for a place to practice not sound like your ideal cup of tea? In this webinar, we will discuss how you can set-up some creative and challenging, yet fair and fun searches right at home.

More Scent Work Awesomeness to Check Out!

Quality Instruction

With a combination of informative narration, detailed video examples and helpful handouts, you will walk away understanding the hows and whys of each exercise.

Incredible Convenience

You have access to all the course and webinar materials for 1 full year. Refer back to this material as often as you like! Take your time and never feel rushed.

Flexible Learning

Choose the enrollment option that works best for you. Use the course forum to ask questions to the instructor as well as your fellow participants.

What SWU Students Say

  • One word to sum up my experience is tremendous. After taking the Building Speed in Scent Work and Odor Only Proofing, Guinness and I have grown by leaps and bounds. The format is fantastic, in a traditional class setting nuances are missed or you don't realize you're doing or not doing something, but when your training session videos are critiqued, you are coached through the minute details; it’s these little things that make a huge impact. Thank you SWU!!
  • Currently taking Building Endurance in Scent Work and loving it! I am learning so much about myself and my dog, Dianna's feed back is wonderful and so motivating! I selected this course because even though we have been very successful a the lower trial levels as we move on to advanced work we are facing some challenges and this course is helping us immensely! Thank you Dianna! You rock!
  • Thus far, the courses at SWU have surpassed my expectations. They are so informative and the amount of feedback a student gets is a lot. I am impressed with the paragraphs of in-depth response to my videos. I also really like the fact that the course is designed for dogs of all abilities and there are ample tips for how to set them up for success. Presentations were a good length - informative, not too short and not too long. They were easy to fit into a busy work week.
  • I've take a lot of on-line courses and I'm really happy with how well this is set up and how professional the website, registration, course materials, etc were. I already signed up for a second course!!
  • Very well thought out and explained. The Handler Discrimination course was extremely helpful and fun.
  • Lots of useful information in the Judge and CSD Certification course without useless "fluff". Quizzes were very helpful.
  • Course was well organized. I found the video examples to be helpful.
  • SWU provided great information on why we are doing what we are doing. I appreciate information about how scent moves across different surfaces, tips for handlers, etc. It can take years to pick up these tips in the field. The great thing about an online class is that you have to intentionally provide information and I don't have to count on a real person remembering to pass on the information in a live class.

Give It a Try

Want to see what a SWU course is like? Give it a test drive? You can! With our FREE Course Example, you can do this and receive a tutorial on how to get the most out of your learning experience!