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Building Independence in Scent Work

Scent Work is one of the few dog sports where the dog must take the lead. After all, they are the one with the amazing sense of smell! For many of our dogs, it is scary or unnerving to the take the reins as it were. Oftentimes, it is even harder for handlers to give up a level of control! We will address both of these concerns head-on! We will help your dog to develop a level of independence and confidence while helping you know the difference between hindering v. helping. 

Course Details

Dogs must showcase a certain level of confidence and independence to be successful in Scent Work. The ability to work independently, make decisions and not simply cue off the handler is of paramount importance. In this 6-week course, we will go over a variety of exerises designed to help your dog develop the confidence and independence they need. These exercises will also help you as handler have a better understanding of when you should step back and let your dog work, or when you may need to step in help. 

What You Will Need:

  • your dog
  • flat or martingale collar
  • back-clip harness (optional)
  • 6'-8' leash
  • 10'-15' long line
  • LOTS of high-value and smelly treats
  • crate or area you can stage your dog in while setting up your searches
  • minimum of 10 boxes of various sizes (good excuse to shop at Amazon!)
  • minimum of 10 novel containers (Tupperware containers, purses, bag, etc.)
  • earthquake putty or GlueDots
  • q-tips
  • Birch ("Sweet Birch" aka Betula Lenta)
  • Anise ("Aniseed" aka Pimpinella Anisum)
  • Clove ("Clove Bud" aka Eugenia Caryophylatta)
  • minimum of 10 tins with holes

Course Outline

  • Trusting the Dog
  • Reading the Dog v. Leading the Dog
  • Independent Searches
  • What About Patterns?
  • When to Step In v. When to Push
  • Test Your Progress

Meet Dianna L. Santos

Dianna L. Santos

Owner and Lead Instructor

KPA-CTP

CPDT-KA

CNWI

AKC Scent Work Judge

USCSS CSD and Judge

AKC CGC Evaluator

C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator and Instructor

Learn More

Student Enrollment

Intensive learning experience

Full access to all course materials

Full access to course forum

Submit homework and videos

Detailed review from instructor


 $230.00

Auditor Enrollment

Perfect intermediary

Full access to all course materials

Full access to general forum

May view homework forum

May ask instructor questions


 $185.00

Watcher Enrollment

Self-taught option

Full access to all course materials

May view general forum

May view homework forum

May not post or ask questions


 $95.00

NOTE: You will be directed to the Online Dog Training University website to complete your purchase.

This is where you will login and access your course and forum.

Online Scent Work Skills Programs

Foundation Scent Work Program

Foundation Scent Work Program

Intro to Odor Program

Intro to Odor Program

Advanced Skills Program

Advanced Skills Program

Handler Skills Program

Handler Skills Program

Virtual Coaching Program

Virtual Coaching Program

Private Video Lessons

Private Video Lessons