All breeds and types of dogs (including older and handicapped dogs) can participate in this fun, challenging sport that builds on a dog's strongest natural sense, smell. Scent work strengthens the relationship between handler and dog as it builds confidence in dogs. Sight, hearing, and mobility impaired dogs are welcome.
Beginner Scent Work
For the first class, bring lots of high-value treats broken into small pieces (e.g., cheese, cooked chicken) and a 6′-8′ long leash (flat collars or harness — no pinch or chain collars). Dogs will work initially with containers and treats and progress to locating a single scent (Birch) and communicating with the handler. As dogs progress they are introduced to additional scents and interior searches.
Prerequisites: Dogs must be at least 4 months old.
Intermediate Scent Work
Dogs will be trained at detecting additional scents (Birch, Clove, Anise, Cypress, Vetiver) as well as working above floor height, searching interior and exterior areas and vehicle searches. Dogs will be introduced to distractions (non-food), buried (sand and water) and leash handling etc. Dogs are working at a distance, they must be run on a long leash (10 - 16′ in length, no auto-retractors) in class.
Prerequisites: Beginning Scent Work and recommendation of the Beginning Scent Work instructor.
Advanced Scent Work
Intermediate skills will be refined and extended, working a greater variety of heights and complexity of environments and hides. Dogs/handlers will be introduced to new skills such as inaccessible hides, new distractions (food, light, noise etc.) converging odor etc.
Prerequisites: Intermediate Scent Work and recommendation of the Intermediate Scent Work instructor.