Welcome to Hunter’s Heart free blog on canine scent detection.

How do we get sniffer dogs to search for hours, even when there is no scent present? The secret is making it fun.

  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel

Our proven protocols have worked for thousands of students worldwide, since 1999. When you train smarter, it won’t take long to get to the next level. In our 7-Day Scent Challenge, imprinting only takes 7 days.

We’ll show you exactly how to train your dog to search for scent, find it and indicate (to show you where it is by sitting, lying down or focused attention). Questions are welcome, and troubleshooting is included in the price.

     The Training Process

   take your scent detection to the next level

Sniffer dogs have 2 main jobs:

  • #1) Find the highest concentration of the target scent (where to go), using a process known as “imprinting”.
  • #2) Indicate to show the handler where scent is located, by performing a behavior such as freezing like a statue, or sitting.
  • We train each component in a separate class.
  • Once the dog is proficient, we add them together into the final performance.
     Imprinting a New Scent

This video shows highlights of imprinting with Domino. Her target odor is a  handler scented sock. The imprinting process took 7 short, motivational training sessions.

Hunter’s Heart 7-Day Challenge online course walks you through every step of the imprinting process.  Click here to learn more about the 7-day Challenge course.


In this demonstration video, Boo indicates by freezing like a statue, to communicate the location of bed bugs.

Hunter’s Heart Show Me online course walks you through every step of training a bombproof indication. Click here to learn about the Show Me course.

   what our clients say

“The new learning experience for my three Border Collies (ages: 10 yrs., 7 and 3) went very well… I really liked how you structured the class, splitting the behaviors down very small. It seemed ‘perfect’ to me. They continually built on what they learned previously. My dogs are trained for agility. The temperatures here in Arizona have been 110 – 115 almost every day in July and Aug. This was a perfect indoor activity. Thank you very much.” LK, Agility competitor

“Carla is an incredible instructor… despite taking many classes with her, I keep learning more and improving my skills as a handler. Most importantly, she has brought the fun back into what we do. My dog LOVES the way we train and is always happy to “work” on scent detection.” CASSIE, Search and Rescue Handler

“I’m currently doing your online 7 day scent challenge, and I’m loving it! It’s perfectly step-by-step, and easy to visualize what it would look like with your dog before trying it. Thank you so much for creating that, I know a lot of owners (and their dogs!) will absolutely love it.” Scarlett, Professional Dog Trainer

“I can vouch for this excellent online class! Carla gives wonderful feedback and helps me gain confidence in training Walter and Wellesley in finding source in a more precise way. It’s fun and the dogs I train can’t get enough… really amazing protocol!” Leila, Doggie Daycare Owner

   Get in touch

Questions and comments are always welcome. Sorry, we cannot respond while we are training the dogs. Email is the best way to reach us.   Email: webmaster@huntersheart.com   Phone: (403) 813-9831