Odor Hygiene at Nosework Competitions

Welcome! I’m excited to be judging at Canada’s first Sniffing Dog Sports nosework competition, for Sniff Alberta in Calgary, this weekend. We want every team to succeed. [...]

Please vote for Nosework!

Your support counts! Please take 30 seconds to answer the Canadian Kennel Club’s 1 question nosework poll at Virtually every dog can enjoy scent [...]

SDS Distance Game Demonstrations

Can your scent dog search independently at a distance? Watch demonstrations with coaching as our students test their skills with the fun SDS Distance Handling Game Version 1, [...]

Work for the Whites of His Eyes

Scent work is a game, and some rewards are better than others. You know you’re on the right track when your dog is so excited you can see the whites of his eyes. What did [...]

How to Enter a UKC Nosework Trial

This 33 minute tutorial explains how to enter a UKC Nosework Trial, using Sniff Alberta’s Premium list and entry forms as examples. It answers FAQ’s including how [...]

Shopping for Nosework Supplies

Question: Where do you buy your shipping labels, cardboard boxes and blotting papers for cocktailing hides? I think I’d like to set up some kind of scent lab in my [...]


Thanks to all participants who attended Scent 101, Scentscapes on Fri. Feb. 24, 2017, at Kayenna Kennels. Get a glimpse into your dog’s fascinating world of scent. [...]

Students Scent Detection Highlights

Highlights from a few of our students’ scent dog detection searches at Sniff Alberta’s match last weekend in Calgary: Congratulations to E and Truffle (her young [...]

What’s Next? (FAQ)

Question: As we progress with scent training what is the plan you might envision to keep pushing the puppies. I wasn’t sure how this all works as time goes on I do [...]

Comparing SDDA and UKC Nosework

In today’s blog, I’ll compare and contrast nosework competition under the Sporting Detection Dogs Association (SDDA) and United Kennel Club (UKC). Please note that [...]

Nosework Safety

Have you seen a dog get his head stuck in a nosework box? If you watch a few pre-trial or container searches, you’ll observe that many dogs do. While that’s not [...]

Why Wind Matters in Nosework

  Wind is complicated, but it’s important to succeeding in scent detection. Depending on wind direction, you may need to check all sides of a vehicle (or any object) [...]

Why Scent Travels

Why does scent disperse, instead of just staying inside the hide? It’s a law of nature. Scent spreads out. Read on if you want to learn more about the science behind scent [...]

How Close is Close Enough?

How close should your dog get to source? Will you know it when you see it? After your dog indicates and you call “alert”, the judge can ask “where is [...]

Fringe Responses

If a dog indicates when he’s within the scent cone, without following it back to source, that’s an undesirable “fringe” response that may reflect a [...]

Comparing Dog and Human Olfaction

A dog’s sense of smell (aka olfaction) is 10,000 – 100,000 times stronger than a human’s. What does that mind-numbing number mean? Picture it on a map. [...]

Differences Between Nostrils

When a dog enters the scent cone and detects odor, how does he follow it back to its source? A dog’s sense of smell is so fine-tuned that he can distinguish which nostril [...]

Types of Nosework Events

Types of Nosework Events (Printable PDF File) The main types of searches in Nosework include: Container searches, Interior, Vehicle and Exterior and Handler Discrimination. [...]

UKC Nosework Requirements by Level

I confess: I can never remember the requirements for nosework searches at different levels of UKC competition. This table helps me and my students when we’re planning [...]

Vary Everything But The Odor

Over time, you should vary all aspects of the hides besides the odor itself. For example, don’t just use metal tins. You should practice with hides made of many [...]

Why Bother Making Hides?

You may be wondering if all the steps in making hides are really necessary. Why can’t you just put out some oil out for the dog to find? There are several reasons why we [...]

Should I be able to smell the odor?

The human sense of smell is so much weaker than a dog’s that most people have a difficult time trying to understand what their dog is doing. The human can’t usually help [...]

Making Cocktailed Hides

Once your dog is searching for odor, you’ll need some hides in order to practice nosework at home. (A “hide” is the package of target odor inside a ventilated [...]

Storing Scent

Storing your scent properly is important to your success in nosework. You always want to know where odor is, and where it isn’t. Here are some key tips. One of the [...]

Nosework Kits and Supplies

Once your dog is trained to search for odor, you’ll need to acquire some hides in order to practice nosework at home. (A “hide” is the package of target odor [...]

Recipe: Noncrumbling Tuna Fudge

Every canine scent detection class I teach begins with a taste test of the available food rewards, because building drive depends on making it rewarding for each individual [...]

How to Reward

In the scent detection lab, these are the steps the trainer will take to reward your dog: Say “Yes” or click the instant dog’s nose touches the food bowl (or hole in [...]

The Trainer’s Role

At first, your dog will learn to search for food in a food bowl. The cues to searching are the lab setup and the handler bangs the bowl on the floor. Your trainer will: Start [...]

The Dog’s Role

In the nosework lab, the dog’s job is to search the area and find the food bowl and/or target odor. He should: Put his nose as close to the food bowl and/or target odor as [...]

The Handler’s Role

When you take lessons in the scent detection lab, you are the handler and the instructor is the trainer. This blog focusses on the role of the handler. Once your dog is [...]

Rules and Etiquette

There are some rules we follow in our scent work events, classes and competitions, so searches run smoothly, and all participants have the greatest chance of succeeding and [...]

Preparing for Nosework Lessons

Whenever you’ve scheduled a nosework lesson, it is critically important to bring a hungry dog with his highest value treats, (not the usual dry dog food dinner or [...]

Obedience to Odor

Our nosework training in the lab is based on obedience to odor. That might sound pretty scary, but it’s all based on rewarding your dog. A dog that’s obedient to odor is [...]

Nosework Training in the Lab

Hunter’s Heart scent detection training is inspired by Andrew Ramsey (renowned law enforcement canine detection trainer, who helped advise the United Kennel Club while [...]

Scent Detection Terms in Nosework Training and Scent Work

A "hide" is the package of target odor inside a ventilated container that is hidden in the search are for the dog to find. The photo shows a very common type of hide, made from blotting paper scented with target odor inside a metal tin with magnets, which easily secure the hide to a metal surface. Other favorite hide containers include metal tins with holes, shipping labels, plastic tubes, etc.. [...]