How to Progress in Your Scent Work Training

You're thinking about getting started in Scent Work, but you are uncertain where to start and where your training path will lead you. Allow us to give you some suggestions.

Progression for SWU Correct 1

There are essentially two learning paths you can take to get started with your Scent Work training: the Foundation Learning Path and the Intro to Odor Learning Path.

For either learning path, you would first need to take and complete the Introduction to Scent Work course.

Foundation Learning Path

This learning path includes the Exteriors and Vehicles with Primary and Advanced Skills with Primary courses.

Who Is This Learning Path For?

  • Dogs who are more environmentally sensitive
  • Dogs who have a lower-level of drive
  • Dogs who have a low-level of confidence
  • Dogs who needed a number of adjustments to complete the exercises featured in the Introduction to Scent Work course
  • Experienced dogs who are looking to improve their enthusiasm and love for the game (hides can be paired instead of simply using primary alone)

What To Do When You're Done?

After you have completed the Advanced Skills with Primary course, you can then jump into the Introducing Birch course, and then follow the Intro to Odor Learning Path!

Do I Have to Move Onto a Target Odor?

No! You can use primary-alone for as long as you like! That means you can take any of the Advanced Scent Work courses and simply use primary-alone instead of a target odor. It is entirely up to you!

If at a later date you became interested in competing, you can then start using a target odor. We would recommend taking the Introducing Birch course, since we walk you through the best way of doing this.

Can I Jump Into the Intro to Odor Learning Path After the Exteriors and Vehicles with Primary Course?

Yes! If you think your dog is doing well (hasn't needed many adjustments to be successful, is showing engagement and jouy about playing the game), you are welcome to enroll in the Introducing Birch course.

Intro to Odor Learning Path

This learning path includes the Introducing Birch and Exteriors and Vehicles with Birch courses.

Who is This Learning Path For?

  • Dogs who are not as environmentally sensitive
  • Dogs who have a higher-level of drive
  • Dogs who are confident
  • Dogs who did not need many adjustments to complete the exercise featured in the Introduction to Scent Work course

What to Do When You're Done?

After you've completed the Exteriors and Vehicles with Birch course, we would recommend that you then enroll in the Introducing Anise course. In this course, we not only introduce a new target odor to your dog, we also walk you through how you can begin to fade the pairing for the Birch hides. From there, you can decide to take some of the Advanced Scent Work courses or go onto the Introducing Clove and All Elements and Odors courses.

Still Have Questions?

We're always happy to help you! Feel free to reach out to the Owner and Lead Instructor of Scent Work University, Dianna L. Santos at dianna@scentworkuniversity.com and she will walk you through what your ideal Scent Work learning journey would be. 

Happy Training!