Scentwork is something that comes naturally to dogs so they're bound to find nose-work games appealing. Teaching specific Scentwork tasks can be great fun and very useful too. In this video Hannah Molloy from Pawfect Dogsense
, shows step-by-step how to training a dog to "find it" using their nose.
- Start in a low distraction area before building to distracting places
- Be aware of air flow as this will strongly affect the scent around an item
- Progress on to working at different heights gradually as this can be particularly difficult for many dogs
- Be aware if you handle the item they are finding, that they will also be finding the scent of you. You can deliberately train this, or you can avoid this by always wearing gloves to handle the item they are finding
- If your dog struggles to find a specific scent under the towel, you could try simply 'find the treat' under the towel or around the room
- Advanced scent games can include hiding the item without the dog seeing it, then let them into the room to find it with just their nose.
This video shows how to teach fun nose work, if you are interested in training your dog more seriously for competitive, medical or search work, it is better to be a lot more careful with contamination of the area (e.g. not putting the scent down in multiple locations in one area, not handling the scent or unscented items etc) so we would recommend finding someone who specialises in scent work in your area.