Who can do Scent Work?
Scent work is suitable for all dogs aged 6 months plus. Any breed can participate and even dogs with joint or spinal issues, or any other disability such as blindness or deafness. Anxious and/or reactive can learn quickly to relax and enjoy scent work. Older dogs with limited exercise tolerance can benefit and excitable dogs can learn to focus more readily. Scent work is a fun training activity which is rewarding and mentally tiring for your dog.
Does scent work promote scavenging and continual ground sniffing?
This is most certainly a myth. When the dog is trained to search and locate a specific odour, this is memorised by the dog and combined with a cue to begin the search. It is only on the trained in cue that the dog will search for that odour. The desire to search and want to find the specific odour releases a huge amount of feel good chemicals to the brain. Odour obedience is part of the dog’s training so this can aid in lessening scavenging behaviour. By participating in nose work the dog is fulfilling this instinctual desire so lessening other frustrated behaviours.
Can reactive dogs participate?
Scent Work is one of the only dog sports that reactive dogs can participate in and often thrive in. With the benefit of focus work and added connection with their handler, fulfilling an instinctual need to scent and locate. This additional positive reinforcement-based training can truly help reactive dogs. Reactive dogs can be given space from other leaded dogs and worked in an area with no other dogs when necessary.