Workshops 2016

28 February 2016: Introduction to Scentwork

Location: Daisy Dogs, Manor Nursery, Wimbish, near Saffron Walden

Time: 10.30 am – 1 pm (tea and coffee available from 10 am)

Cost: £30

Contact: to book a place or for further information


This workshop is for beginners to scentwork who would like to find out more about the sport and start their dog off finding a target scent for fun, mental and physical enrichment or competition.

The workshop is intended to introduce beginners to the principles of scentwork  and start them off with the skills needed to teach their dogs to search for and indicate a target scent.

We will cover:

  • An introduction to scent detection, discrimination and source location in dogs
  • Scentwork as a team activity
  • Sequence of a search
  • Teaching an alert: The find
  • Reinforcement
  • Starting to look at the next stage: Building enthusiasm, motivation, focus and perseverance

A little bit of background….

Why do scentwork?

For fun

Scentwork is growing in popularity in the UK and deservedly so, as it can be enjoyed by just about any dog, regardless of breed, age, physical fitness or stamina.  Owners can do fun scentwork in and around the house and garden, on walks, or join the regular Daisy Dogs scentwork sessions to hone and test their dog’s skills and pass levels to achieve Daisy Dogs certification and win prizes!

Best of all is seeing the sheer pleasure that the dogs get from being sent off to ‘find it’ – their enthusiasm and motivation for the game means it becomes a reward in itself, valuable for reward-based trainers who want to expand their use of rewards beyond the treatbag and into joint activities .  Useful for adolescent dogs, but equally valuable for older dogs, perhaps retired from a more active sport, who still retain their desire to explore, sniff, and feel like they are involved in a partnership with their owner.

For mental and physical enrichment

Properly carried out, scentwork is pleasurable ‘work’ for dogs – one they are naturally born to and do every day for themselves on walks.  Harnessing that into a partnership activity can give them a new level of enjoyment and a new tool for owners to use when walks are curtailed by weather or injury/illness or when their dogs need a little bit extra engagement, stimulation and activity.  Only when we have fulfilled our dogs needs for physical and mental activity  is it fair to ask them to settle down and relax – and highly energetic sports such as fetching a ball or running around is not always going to be the most appropriate way to provide that stimulation while preparing your dog for relaxation.

For sport,  competition and personal challenge

Scentwork as a sport is growing in popularity in the UK but still well behind the participation it enjoys in the US, Germany and Australia.  The meaning of competition in Latin is ‘to seek together’; trials, competitions and personal challenges can can help us develop our skills as well as our dogs’, motivate us to get the best out of our dogs and seek these together while having fun with like-minded people.