Does your dog enjoy sniffing?
Have you answered yes to this? Of course you have! All dogs, all breeds, young and old, LOVE to use their nose.
Over the years, dogs have been trained to detect diabetes, bodies, drugs, money, rare wildlife, bombs and more recently COVID-19! Everything has a scent and dogs can use their amazing noses to find it.
Dogs have around 300 million scent receptors, versus our measly 6 million so you can imagine what that roast dinner smells like to them when you are cooking! Your dog may not be the next superhero in the fight against COVID-19, but you can certainly teach them the principles of scent detection and have lots of fun on the journey.
There are two types of scent work -
Passive Indication – this is where your dog shows you where the find is with an indication, often a freeze, but in the case of bomb dogs would be more like a back up as you obviously can’t have them getting too close!
Active indication - this is when you hide an item and your dog goes out, retrieves the item and brings it back to you. Both are great fun.
Why would you want to do scent work?
- Your dog might be on limited exercise due to an operation or they are getting older and are not as mobile as they used to be – this is the perfect activity to keep them entertained and without having to move much.
- Your puppy has lots of energy, but you can’t go for a two mile hike as it’s important to keep their joints healthy, so using their noses will help to mentally stimulate them and therefore be more content.
- Relaxing and stimulating – for all dogs, this activity uses their brains as they are processing all the information while they are sniffing. It therefore helps to relax them mentally and you have an overall calmer dog.
- Reactive dogs – many people with reactive dogs have noticed a considerable difference in their dogs once they have introduced them to scent work.
- Teamwork – although your dog is doing all the hard work, you are doing it as a team so it is a fabulous relationship builder – you dog will love doing this with you.
- Anywhere and everywhere – you can do this inside, outside, in small areas and big areas so you can keep your dog entertained wherever you are.
- No expensive equipment – although you might get the bug and start collecting a “kit”, but to get started you don’t need much and most of it are things you will likely already have in the house.
- You do not need to be an expert dog trainer to do this, in fact it is easier than a lot of things we try and teach our dogs! We just point them in the right direction – they do the rest!
The best reason though is your dog will LOVE IT and love you (more than they already do) for doing it with them.
So, what are you waiting for – head over to our Training Tails Facebook Community Page for some free tutorials or get in touch to find out about the next classes or set up some 121 training.