The first sense that a puppy develops is the sense of smell. And for the life of your dog that will remain his first and foremost sense as he learns to explore the world that he lives in.
It is estimated that the dog’s sense of smell is about 2,000 times greater than a human’s sense of smell.
Humans determined long ago that it might be a good idea to put that natural ability to good use. And so many dogs have been partnered with their human companion, to hunt with their nose or track with their nose. Others have been trained to detect drugs, gas leaks, and many other things. It seems that there is no limit to the dog’s ability to find things through its sense of smell.
If you ever thought about doing something with your dog but are not keen on the discipline required to train for obedience, agility or Rally you might consider a sport that is a lot less rigorous. No running involved at all! Exploring the world of canine scent detection is a totally positive and rewarding sport that gives your dog a job to do that he already knows how to do better than you do! All that you have to do is teach him exactly what it is that you want him to find and go from there. Sport scent detection is a new dog sport that includes dogs from every size and shape. Any breed or mix of breeds can be involved in doing scent dog work. All that is required is a nose!
Nose work training teaches your dog to find one of three scents, wherever you decide to hide it. In nose work competitions, there are four locations involved in searching: interiors, exteriors, containers, and vehicles.
Canine scent detection is good for shy dogs, older dogs and some dogs that are not as comfortable in strange places. It gives them a job to do that involves a skill that they already possess.
Nose work training begins with encouraging the dog to hunt. This is encouraged through the use of positive reinforcement, while you learn how to read your dog’s body language to determine when your dog has found the required scent. Positive reinforcement can be food, a ball or something like a tug toy.
Gradually scent detection is enhanced and developed by encouraging the dog to search in increasingly difficult locations and with less and less scent.
We are pleased to announce that we are again teaching a canine sport scent detection class in November. This class will be held in Peterborough and limited to only 6 students.