Scent Training

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by slimbek, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. slimbek Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have experience with Scent Training for dogs?

    I love the idea of teaching our 18month old Spoodle to track down items - more for his own entertainment and game play than anything else.
    But is a Spoodle (cross poodle/cockerspaniel) a good breed for this? Is he too young? What are the challenges or steps to take?

    Any advice/links etc. would be great!
    blacknym and Tâmara Vaz like this.

  2. Mutt Experienced Member

    Every breed is suitable for scent/search games, it's THE ability of a dog. Age also isn't an issue though needless to say that a young dog gets less advanced/long training sessions, same for an inexperienced dog.

    I also do scent/search games for fun.

    I woukd just start by hiding a ball and encouraging your dog to find it. Start easy and increase criteria step by step. Don't make the sessions too long (mentally it's a real workout). Than you can start adding more balls but only one with your scent.

    You could also use a treat but I prefere a ball (even with my two very food orientated dogs) as they will get the treat when they give me the ball.
    Dogster, Dlilly and Tâmara Vaz like this.
  3. slimbek Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that.

    We did try this last night and he definitely searched (and found) the ball we had hidden - and seemed to enjoy it! At first there was certainly a puzzled look on his face as he learned the new game, but it didn't take long to catch on. :)

    So right now he's simply locating the ball as he knows it, rather than any scent... what are the different criteria you speak of? Is it simply better hiding places/more items?
    Also - I'm guessing I'd have to teach him more objects before he can find more items (such as toy/bone etc.) he only knows 1-2 of his toys by name.
    Mutt likes this.
  4. blacknym Experienced Member

    I'd like to learn more as well! :)
  5. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Slimbek, I'm not sure - are you in the US? If so, have you heard of the sport of K9 Nosework? It's relatively new (in the big scheme of dog sports - it was introduced within the last 5 years or so). Here's a previous thread, it may be something you'd be interested in.:
    http://www.dogtrickacademy.com/forum/threads/k9-nosework-anyone.5104/
    I've been doing it with my dogs for 3 years, and there are just about every size (from Chihuahuas to Great Danes), breed (from every pure breed to every mix you could imagine), and age of dog doing it. I think the youngest dog I know of started at around 3-1/2 mos old, and not long ago I was volunteering at a Nosework trial and there was a 13 or 14 yr old hound who was trialing (and who had the entire crowd cheering for him!). Doing any kind of scentwork or Nosework takes the dog back to basics. Following their noses is what they do best - and to make a game out of it, and pay them for being successful is a total win/win!!
    Dogster and Mutt like this.
  6. Mutt Experienced Member

    Exactly start with 'hiding' the ball in plain sight. Than on more unusual places (higher, under the couch etc.). Than out of sight completely. With the dog seeing what you are doing, without the dog seeing what you are doing. Multiple items but only one with a scent.

    I personally don't learn items by name for this. I would just let them sniff the item and than ask for a 'search'.

    Though for a more advanced exercise that could be very useful:
    take 3 (or more toys) which the dog knows by name. Hide all three of them. Ask for a specific toy and reward when the dog comes back with the right toy and than ask for the others (one by one).

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