Scent Work University Blog

Where we discuss all things Scent Work-related!
JUN
20
0

No Ribbon Is Worth Ruining a Dog

Ribbons-Banner

Nothing like starting a blog post with a bang...

There is no denying Scent Work is exploding in popularity, which in and of itself is a wonderful thing. More dogs sniffing, fantastic!

Scent Work is an activity that is open to ALL dogs and carries with it real benefits trainers, instructors, competitors and dog owners worldwide are beginning to truly grasp and recognize.

However, I fear that for some dogs, the quest to shift from the beneficial and fun activity of playing the Game of Scent Work to competing in the Sport of Scent Work could very well spell their doom.

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MAY
08
0

When Training At-Home Backfires

Training-At-Home-Backfires

You've been practicing Scent Work with your dog. Maybe you've been following the K9 Nose Work® training method that we cover in our Foundation Scent Work learning path. Perhaps you are using an operant training approach. Or an entirely different training approach altogether. Regardless, you may be noticing an issue: your dog finds the hides perfectly when you're practicing with them at-home...but not so much when you are at a trial or when someone else is setting the hides for you. But why?! Let's discuss some potential causes. 

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APR
30
2

Celebrate the Dog You Have

Terrier-Banner

A heartbreaking trend I've encountered throughout my professional dog training career is dog owners desperately wanting their dogs to be something they are not. The older dog to be spry again. The shy dog to be without any self-preservation. The reserved dog to suddenly go head-first into any given situation without a care. The careful and methodical dog to turn into a Tasmanian devil of activity. This is a surefire way to remove all the joy from any activity you are doing with your dog, especially Scent Work.

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APR
22
0

Maybe You Should Take Up Tennis

Maybe-Take-Up-Tennis

Self-doubt and self-loathing can steal away any joy you would otherwise enjoy in Scent Work. It's crucially important to fight against these urges and focus on what is actually important: having fun with your dog.

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APR
08
0

Allow Your Dog Time to Learn

Dog-Time-to-Learn-Blog

One the common themes I noticed teaching in-person group dog training classes was how hard it was for handlers to allow their dogs the time necessary to learn. As in give them time to truly work out a given problem.

This pattern was not solely relegated to Scent Work, it was something I noticed across the board. Handlers rushing in either to help the dog or, worst still, getting horrendously frustrated with the dog for not coming up with the answer sooner. Both approaches are detrimental to all aspects of dog training, but can be devastating when we are talking about Scent Work.

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MAR
16
0

Rainproof Your Parade

Rainproof-Your-Parade

​I went back and forth about whether to cover this topic in a blog post or a podcast episode...I decided this format would be less conducive to rage-induced cursing, so a blog post it is. 

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FEB
23
0

Are You Suffering From Odor Blindness?

Odor-Blind
​You love Scent Work. You're passionate about it. Your dog loves it, they look forward to their practice sessions and if you compete, they enjoy doing that too. But is everything really unicorns and rainbows? Or, are you suffering from a severe form of odor blindness? Infliction of Odor Blindness  "WHAT IS THAT?! IT SOUNDS SERIOUS!" It is.&nbs...
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FEB
12
2

Starting Your Puppy: Odor or No?

Puppy-Sniffing-Blog-Post

You've got a new puppy and you are ready to hit the ground running with your Scent Work training! You have an important question to ask yourself: start on odor right away, or not?

In this blog post, I provide my opinions on this topic. Look them over and see what you think.

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JAN
24
0

Who is Scent Work For REALLY?

Sniffing-Jack

"Only people who do that competing stuff would do Scent Work."

"Why would I spend money to teach my dog to sniff...that sounds stupid, I just want them to be well-behaved!"

"That looks boring, I like exciting stuff like agility!"

These are all real statements that I have heard from clients over the years. Every single one of them humored me to give Scent Work a try. Every single one of them never looked back.

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JAN
18
0

You're Not Perfect, and That's Okay

Your're Not Perfect, and That's Okay

You are a human being, not some infallible celestial being. You will make mistakes in your training or when you when are trialing, and that is completely okay. 

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JAN
12
1

Do. Not. Drill. This.

Don't. Drill. This.

Human beings are an interesting species. We crave for perfection, doing a task over and over and over again to ensure it is 100% perfect. This, however, is not how dogs are wired. Using this approach in Scent Work is a surefire way to turn this fun game into something your dog dreads.

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DEC
30
0

Great Search? Equally Great Reward.

Excited-Dog

​You set-up a challenging training search for your dog. It was designed to be a learning opportunity. A chance to stretch them, all while setting them up to succeed. Wouldn't you know it, they nailed it!

You give them a reward and end your session.

What you do next is really important. Are you maximizing on this?

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DEC
15
0

Ring in the New Year by Going Back to Basics

Basics

The start of a New Year is a great time to set goals, put new plans in place and quit some bad habits both in our personal lives and our dog training! I think New Year's Resolutions are meant to be broken…but plans and goals are not! 

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DEC
06
0

It’s Raining! Time to Train.

Raining-Blog-Image

In case you are not aware, Dobermans melt in the rain. As in, they develop what is lovingly referred to as airplane ears, they squint and freeze in place. That is assuming you were actually able to get them outside in the first place. Many a Doberman has suffered from practically bursting bladders from their utter refusal to potty when it is even slightly drizzling outside. 

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NOV
24
0

How to be Mindful With Your Odor

Tins

You're training in Scent Work. You may or may not be interested in eventually competing. Working on your own, your dog is now working to find target odors. You then come across a post talking about how important it is for trial officials to be careful with their odors. You read about how trial officials should wear gloves, have other people open and close doors for them, and how they should be mindful of where they put their odor kit in regard to the search area itself…the list of all the things a trial official should do to be as careful as they can goes on and on, and on and on! 

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NOV
14
0

Is Your Head in the Game?

Mentally-Prepared

So, you've been practicing hard with your dog. You're nailing those threshold hides. Your dog's odor obedience is top notch. Distractions? What distractions?? You've got this! Your dog is ready to head to the next trial…but are you? 

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OCT
29
0

Advocate for Your Dog, Always

Advocate

Let me stress that Scent Work is a truly incredible activity. It taps into an innate instinct. It provides a much needed mental and physical outlet for our canine companions. And, as a sport, it is open to "reactive" dogs. However, this also means we must advocate for our dogs, always. 

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OCT
14
0

Add FUN to Your Scent Work Training…While Preparing for Trial

Dog-Head-Tilt

I truly believe that no matter what kind of dog training you're doing, it should always be FUN for both you and your dog. I'm not a fan of "training for trial." Of course, there's a time and a place for that, but it shouldn't be the norm. My schedule doesn't always cooperate, but I'm really trying to make my in-person classes more fun and game driven and offering more "Mock Trials" or "Sniff n' Gos" for students to get that "trial-like" feeling. 

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OCT
07
0

Sniffing for Fun…Far More Important Than Titles

Close-Up-of-Nose

Nothing like starting off a blog post with a bang…

Alright, once again it is time for some real-talk. The sniffing game is just that, a game. No matter how many titles or accolades you earn, you are still playing a game with your dog and creating memories. We're not finding dead bodies or bombs at Scent Work trials. We are not certifying our dogs to join a FEMA or SAR team. We are having fun with our dogs and testing our training. This is a simple truth, and I think (and hope) we can all agree on that. 

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SEP
29
0

Ruining It For Everyone

No-Dogs

 "They'll never know."

"It will be quick."

"I need to practice for a trial."

"My dog needs to be familiar with the area to be successful, it is only fair!"

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