One of the remarkable features of your canine companion is their highly sensitive sense of smell which makes them incredible sniffers. Scent work or scent training for dogs is the best way to fine-tune their skills; as well as such activities can strengthen the love bond between you and your little pet.
Scent work can also sharpen the mental stimulation of your little pooches, alleviate stress levels, and boost their quality of life. Some dogs are so trained that they can detect specific odors or other animals. You surely want to know about scent training and dogs so keep reading the blog.
Canine scent training also called nose work is a type of dog sport that allows them to learn the detection of different kinds of whiffs by using their nose. The training process comprises many interesting exercises that are fun to perform for both pet and the pet parents.
Remember that the purpose of scent training is not to teach your pooch the use of their nose to smell, they are already experts in that field. Rather the scent work is meant to train dogs to efficiently discriminate between different forms of odor either human scents, dog scents or it might be the scent of some drugs or even essential oils.
Benefits of Scent Work
Have you ever wondered how the scent works magic on your dogs? Well, here are the reasons how beneficial scent training for dogs is.
1) Scent work is meant for every kind of dog
Well, scent training can work for every breed whether you have poodle types, terriers, or Great Dane dogs. All dogs have a strong sense of smell and can detect a wide range of aromas. So choose your favorite pup and get him trained for scent work mastery.
2) You can start scent work by yourself
You do not have a professional trainer? No worries. Scent work is not a difficult task though it is challenging and takes time to get your dog familiarized with a wide range of odors. Even if you are not a certified trainer, you can begin on your own.
Your canine partner has the extraordinary sniffing ability so start your pet with some basic scent training activities at home.
3) Scent training for dogs boosts their mental stimulation
Dogs can smell about 10,000 to 100,000 times more accurately than humans and are masters at tracking minute scent particles. Also, your pooch can precisely tell how long the smell has been in a certain place.
Training your dog with different scent work games nurtures their innate sense of smell and stimulates their brain to recognize distinct types of odors with even more accuracy.
4) Best leisure time for dogs and their owner
Scent training activities are not only important from a learning point of view but besides this, it is great leisure time for both the poodle and his owner to spend together. Performing such exercises mutually gives the best opportunity to promote the love bond that is shared between the pup and his guardian.
How To Start Scent Training For Dogs?
Before starting the training process, your dog should aware of some basic commands such as Come, sit-stay, etc. Being a pet parent, you definitely understand the body language of your dog and surely you can make a guess whether they are happy with the process of scent training or not.
Do not start the training process until your dog is house-trained. Once they get acquainted with the basic commands then start the scent work by using the following steps:
1. Bring all the required materials
Start the training process with basic scents. Go for essential oils as they are strong and easiest for your dogs to find them. Besides this, you also need some other materials to start the scent training process. Some of them are:
- Cotton swabs
- Essential oils (these should be pet-safe)
- Disposable gloves
- Scent vessels (the vessel container should have holes to escape scents so that dogs can find them)
- Pet’s favorite treats
2. Preparation of scent vessel
Prepare your scent vessel by wearing gloves so that the scent might not get on you After that, place a few drops of essential oil on the cotton swabs and place them in the glass jar. Now you can wipe out your gloves and discard them immediately so that your pup does not catch the scent.
Use tweezers to bring out cotton swabs from a glass jar and insert them in the scent vessel. Make sure to prepare a scent vessel away from the place of training or maybe in another room so that your dog might not get confused accidentally.
3. Introduce your pet to the scent
Once, you have done with the scent vessel, now present your furry friend with the scent. Always bring high-value treats such as boiled chicken breast during the session to make this game quite exciting for dogs.
Hold the treat and scent vessel in opposite hands and allow your dog to investigate the scent vessel. Reward your pet with the correct guess. Now switch the hands of the treat and scent vessel and repeat the exercise to check how efficiently they rely on their memory.
4. Reward your dog
To achieve the desired behavior, you must present your canine partner with treats to make sure that they do not lose interest in the training activities. Always leave treats near the scent vessel and repeat the game many times so that the dog can understand that if they find the correct scent, they will get their favorite treat.
5. Repeat the session regularly
Well, practice is the key to perfection. Repeat the session regularly. We do not recommend lasting the training sessions for hours per day as your dog has a short attention span. Keep the session short mainly 15 minutes and end the activity when you observe that your dog gets frustrated.
Key Tips to Make Your Pup Love For Scent Work
When it comes to scent training for dogs, various thoughts might have crossed your head. Whether the little pooch will enjoy his sessions or not? You surely do not want the scent work a negative experience for them.
Follow these key tips to make scent work a pleasant adventure for your canine companion.
Scent Training sessions are quite tiring and your dog might feel parched. Therefore, make sure to keep your pup hydrated throughout the game.
You should carry out the training process in an environment with the least distraction. As your furry fellow, cannot focus his mind on discerning the particular scent. It is advised to not pet your dog while the duration of the exercise.
Make it Fun
The training session should be fun and engaging. Always offer the pup’s favorite treats to them. If your little friend is a toy lover then present his toy as a reward.
Do not demoralize your pet
Do not discourage your pet if he does not succeed or show the desired behavior that you want. Remember scent training is a lengthy process you cannot achieve the results on the first go. Always motivate your four-pawed furry companion to engage in such exercises with his full devotion.
Scent Training Games For Dogs
You can start scent training at home through several games that are the best brain activities to sharpen your doggy’s olfactory skills. Below are some games encouraging scent training for dogs that are super-easy to perform and are a thrilling adventure for your little poodle.
Muffin Tin Game
It is a simpler yet interesting game for your dog. The required items to start the game are tennis balls, a muffin tin, and the dog’s favorite treats(that should have an aroma). Start the game by putting treats in the empty holes of muffin tins and let your pet discover the treat to eat with.
Repeat the activity by putting a tennis ball as a barrier on top of the treat in a muffin tin. In this way, your four-pawed friend will have to remove the tennis ball to get his favorite treats.
To play this game, collect several empty boxes and place them on the floor while your puppy is in another room. Put treats in a few of the boxes and allow your dog to sniff at the box to find out their treat. Reward them when they take it out all the hidden food items.
Find the Scent
Instead of smelly dog food, you can also start the game with the scent itself. Take some kind of essential oils as they have strong smells. Sprinkle little drops of essential oil on the ball and hide the scented ball in a shoebox.
Allow them to sniff and locate the ball by saying “find the ball”. When your pooch succeeds in finding the scented balls, reward him with high-value treats.
Scent training for dogs is a thrilling experience for both you and your little fellow. Scent training has a healthy impact on the dog as it provokes their mental stimulation and makes them the best partner at work.
Start with the simple scent work activities at home. Do not get frustrated if your pup does not bring the desired outcomes. Always present them with their favorite treats to make scent training a fun and engaging adventure for your poodles.