Scent training for dogs in Dorset

Dorset Dogs Scent World

At Muttley Solutions in Dorset, we offer dog scent training for all dog breeds regardless of breed, age or size in the Dorset area. We can use our vast knowledge and experience to train these breeds further to enhance their life experience and relationship with you. If you don’t give these dogs a job, they will find one!!

This is one dog activity where all dogs are equal. Speed, size, stamina and age have little impact on what dog breed can do scent work. Your dog’s greatest sense is its sense of smell, so let’s use it, give your dog a purpose, and build a bond between you and them.

Searches are actually done on a 1:1 basis, so this is a great sport for those dogs who can be reactive to other dogs. We actually have a scent training area called Dorset Dogs Scent World so that you can have a 1:1 session. Contact us if you would like more information on this.

1:1 scent training Dorset
1:1 Scent Training in Dorset

The dog scent experience

Our bespoke Dorset Dogs Scent World is the perfect location for dog scent work. The live environment replicates the real world, ensuring your dog can learn valuable skills that they can use. We pride ourselves on our modern training techniques, and we aspire to give you the training you need to give your dog a great quality of life regardless of age or breed.

Your scent training will start in a hall setting to get the basics in place and condition the dog to the target scent. We will then start the process of searching and indicating the equipment. Once we have done several of these classroom workshops, it is time to take it to Dorset Dogs Scent World and have some fun. You will learn how to read your dog and the environment so you can work as a team searching for those scent targets. As part of your training, you will discover how to use a systematic approach to your searches just as the professionals use.

What is on offer at Dorset Dogs Scent World

  • Scent dog orienteering
  • Team orienteering
  • Crime scene solving
  • Scent training free play
  • Scent training obstacle course.
  • Scent work time trial competitions
  • In-house competitions
Dog Scent Training in Dorset
Dog Scent Training in Dorset

Scent Training For Reactive and Fearful Dogs

As a dog trainer in Dorset one of the saddest things, I see on a regular basis other dogs who are reactive and fearful. This can have happened for a variety of reasons. Some the owner will be aware of another’s there appears no reason. Dogs can start to become reactive and fearful of their environment, other dogs reason people. When it owner finds themselves in this position it can change the whole relationship with the dog. Unless a planned adoption of the fearful or reactive dog then the majority of owners never envisage the trauma having a dog like this can cause. They are suddenly excluded from most of the activities most dog owners take for granted. This exclusion can actually exaggerate the issues around having a reactive and fearful dog. Thankfully there is a solution.

One to One Scent Training for Reactive or Fearful Dogs

We offer one-to-one scent training for dogs who are reactive around other dogs and their environment and dogs who are fearful. PLEASE NOTE. We do not offer any behavioural advice or training around this reactivity or fear. This is the role of a qualified behaviourist and I am happy to recommend someone that I do refer to. Also, note that under no circumstances do I work with dogs who are aggressive to people.

Scent training is a fantastic activity for reactive and fearful dogs for two reasons. The activities are done in isolation and the actual action of sniffing can be very relaxing. This activity also helps to repair broken relationships between owner and dog because suddenly they can do something together without the overriding issues of reactivity or fear.

We have a purpose-built scent training facility at our Merley which is near Wimborne. This area can take you from absolute novice to seasoned searcher and will challenge both the owner and the dog. We do an initial assessment to see how the dog reacts to the environment and the training arena. Depending on the level of reactivity or fear will determine how your dog feels about being in this environment. Very high value rewards usually focus on the dog and they soon learn to relax. Because each dog’s needs around reactivity and fearfulness can be complex I am more than happy to discuss with you to see if this activity is suitable. I am happy to work with your behaviourist/vet, if you have one, and will take referrals from them. If you would like more information please contact me.

Scent training for your pet dog

Regardless of breed, age or ability the activity of scent training and participation can be a brilliant pastime for your dog and yourself. This is an excellent activity when you have a reactive or nervous dog as it can easily be done as a 1:1 session.

Dog scent training for pet gundogs

If you have one of the gundog breeds or a crossbreed from the gundog family, then you will quickly understand why we need to give them focus. Their strongest sense is their sense of smell, so what better way to give focus and fun than use it with dog scent training.

Dog scent training for retired working gundogs

No one likes to retire and have no purpose. If you have a gundog breed who has faithfully worked for you and has now retired, you can still challenge their mind without the rigours of the shoot. Dog scent training is perfect for the older dog as minimal impact and fast movements are not required.

My scent training background

I have studied with the UK College of Scent Dogs and attained my City and Guilds as a Scent Detection Dog Instructor. This is a recognised qualification with assured standards. Many scent dog instructors may have done an online course or attended a two-day workshop. To attain my City and Guilds, I attended a three-week residential course, including a week of assessments and a final exam.

dorset scent instructor
Dorset pet dog scent instructor.
Dorset Pet Dog Scent Instructor
Pet dog scent training in Dorset
Dorset Scent Training

Scent training for gundogs who are pets, retired working gundogs and other pet dogs.

Are you looking for dog scent training for gundogs in Dorset? Here at Muttley Solutions, we provide a wide array of training options specifically designed around your pet. Pet gundog scent training is a complex process, but our unique one-to-one approach will help bring you and your dog closer together and teach them the skills needed for dog scent work.

A dog’s sense of smell

A dog’s ability to smell is one of the most powerful senses that they have. That is why you should be helping your beloved pet utilise this sense. Dog scent training in Dorset works best when you begin the process while your dog is still a young dog. Starting as early will ensure that they flourish and grow into an adult with a potent scent ability.

For humans, scent can help enhance flavour, entice us towards something, or push us away from danger. However, for a dog, the scent is an essential way of how they engage with the world around them and informs them of their current environment. While humans might only have around five million scent receptors, a bloodhound is known to have over 300 million!

What is dog scent work?

Every dog loves using their nose, and dog scent work has been an essential part of law enforcement and tracking for many years. Dog scent work can be used for a wide range of reasons, but some of the most common substances that these dogs are able to detect include:

  • Explosives
  • Drugs
  • Money
  • Wildlife
  • Blood
  • Contraband
  • Electronic devices
  • Cadavers
  • Food

However, in recent years, dog scent work had branched out into more innovative areas. This includes looking to see if these animals can be used to detect tumours, assist with search and rescue operations and even pick up disease and illness.

The history of dog scent work

Before looking at how dog scent training in Dorset can help your pet, it is important to understand the long and vibrant history it has. Humans and canines have been working together for hundreds of years, with gun dogs once being used to help flush out prey.

However, the use of canines to help detect unseen items is a relatively new area. In America, bomb dogs began to come into use in the 1940s to discover German mines in North Africa. This slowly morphed into the dogs being used to identify illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin during the 1970s. In the UK, scent dogs were first employed on our borders in 1978 and have remained in place ever since.

These highly sensitive dogs are specifically trained to detect a certain substance. That means that a dog trained to sniff out narcotics will not be able to detect explosives and vice versa. Since the 1970s, the use of dog scent work has continued to rise significantly, and they are now a regular sight at airports, concerts, large events, and stadiums.

Where is dog scent work used, and why is it important?

Dog scent training is a highly skilled process, and it can be used in a wide range of commercial and residential settings. Typically, canines that have undergone dog scent training will fall into one of two categories, Proactive or Passive.

Proactive dog scent work involves the canine being incredibly active and hunting out the substances. These types of dogs are usually used by law enforcement, border control and search and rescue teams. A proactive scent dog will run around buildings, search through cars, boats, aircraft and over suitcases picking up the smell of the narcotics, blood, or whatever substance it has been trained to detect. Once the dog has found the item, they will give a passive signal to their handler, typically sitting next to the illicit substance.

On the other hand, a passive scent dog will scan people as they walk past. This makes them a far better solution in busy places such as workplaces, festivals, nightclubs and sporting events. They are also sometimes employed on the entrance and exit of customs at the border. The dog will make no contact with the people or belongings they are scanning. Instead, their highly sensitive smell will allow them to detect controlled items from a short distance. If drugs or other illegal substances are detected, the dog will sit before the suspect, allowing law enforcement or security to search.

Thanks to a dog’s incredible sense of smell, they can detect substances and items that humans otherwise miss. While X-ray and scanners are becoming increasingly more advanced, they still lack the real-world ability that dog scent work provides.

Dog scent training provides various benefits and can be used in commercial settings and around the home. In a work environment, some of the most common uses include:

  • Drug detection

Drug detection is one of the most common uses for pet gundog scent training. Law enforcement will use these trained animals in various environments, from airports and borders to mass events. These dogs will be specifically trained to detect certain drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or ecstasy.

  • Explosive detection

Another widespread use of dog scent work is to detect explosives. A dog trained to sniff out bombs is still one of the most highly effective and reliable methods to search buildings, vehicles and parcels at major events, conferences, meetings and public spaces.

  • Tobacco detection

Although it might not seem like it, tobacco smuggling is a major problem, and these types of dogs are trained to detect hidden packages. These dogs are instrumental on the border when criminals try to smuggle large quantities of illicit tobacco. They can also be used in places such as hospitals where tobacco is not allowed.

  • Firearm detection

Alongside being able to sniff out explosives, dog scent work can also detect firearms. These dogs can quickly find both guns and ammunition, helping to increase the safety of public events or the country’s border.

  • Wildlife and conservation

Dog scent training in Dorset is a wide and varied skill, and one such area of focus is the detection of wildlife and bio-security hazards. The smuggling of animals is a major concern. Still, these dogs can also detect biohazards such as organic matter or seeds that people might be unwittingly carrying into the country.

  • Controlled areas

Increasingly, controlled areas such as prisons and hospitals employ dog scent work to keep illicit substances out. Typically, a passive trained dog can give handlers a non-intrusive alert when a visitor brings a banned substance into the premises.

  • Electronics

Whether it is mobile phones or laptops, dog scent training in Dorset can teach the canine to sniff these items out amongst the crowd. This is a beneficial option in major airports or prisons when visitors sneak a phone into an inmate.

  • Human remains

Police forces regularly employ the use of dog scent work when it comes to trying to find human remains. These dogs can detect the scent of a human body, even if it has been some years or are buried underground.

  • Search and rescue

Of course, pet gundog scent training is not only about detecting dead bodies. These animals can also be trained to sniff out blood and living people, which is a fantastic tool in assisting search and rescue teams. This could be after a major incident where a building might have collapsed or in a vast open wilderness where someone might have become lost.

  • Currency

Finally, another major use of dog scent work is to detect large sums of money. This type of dog is used regularly in airports and on the border when criminals try to smuggle money abroad or into the country. However, police forces also use these dogs when searching properties, particularly in drugs or laundering.

However, while dog scent work is typically used to find controlled substances or illicit material, that is always the case. They are also regularly being used to detect a range of other scents. This could include allergens or pests within the home or on your property, allowing you to quickly identify areas of concern or a nest. They can also act as a level of pest management, hunting out infestations and scaring these creatures away.

More recently, dog scent work is moving into the medical field. Researchers are examining how pet gundog scent training could be used to detect life-threatening diseases or illnesses in humans. Work is ongoing, but some dogs have been able to pick up things such as cancerous tumours, and there have even been trials of canines detecting COVID-19.

Even if you are not looking to use dog scent work commercially, dog scent training in Dorset can provide regular owners with many benefits. These dogs can demonstrate great control and obedience. A dog’s sense of smell is incredibly powerful, and when they are out in the park or walking around, they will pick up on a wide range of animals and items. This means scent training can be an incredibly useful tool and provide your pet with a range of benefits.

Benefits of scent training in dog training

Dog scent training for gundogs in Dorset is an essential process for your pet. While it might typically be associated with working dogs, even regular pets can benefit. Some of the biggest positives you will notice include:

  • Harness their natural ability

Pet gundog scent training is about harnessing your dog’s natural ability. Dogs are naturally inquisitive animals, and their sense of smell is how they work out their surroundings. Scent training will give them the skills and ability to do this safely and can even become a fun game to play.

  • Stimulate them

While physical exercise is vital for dogs, stimulating them mentally is equally as vital. Dog scent training in Dorset will provide them with the stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored. You will be teaching your pet how to focus and locate odours, giving them a new skill.

  • Improve self-control

Undertaking pet gundog scent training also teaches your dog greater self-control. When an untrained animal picks up a smell they might not know, they can run off or become agitated. Your dog will be able to remain calm and in control.

  • Build a greater connection

Scent dogs and their owners have some of the strongest human and animal connections there is. Dog scent training in Dorset will bring you and your pet closer together, helping you to build a lasting relationship with them. It will instil a level of trust from your dog in you while giving you the skills to take control when needed.

  • Improves behaviour

When your pet is engaged and kept active, they are far less likely to have behavioural issues. Dog scent training for gundogs in Dorset will help you keep your pet stimulated, improving their obedience and behaviour.

If you are looking to improve your pet’s behaviour, teach them a new skill and build a closer relationship, then Muttley Solutions is here to help you. Get in touch today and discover how our team can help you.

What breed of dog can do scent training?

The simple answer is all breeds of dogs can participate in scent work. If you have a French Bulldog, it can compete on equal terms as any other dog. One of the best dogs I have seen on scent work was a Papillion, and she is amazing to watch. I work with many pet gundogs and retired gundogs, making up a large part of my client base. However, many small breeds of dogs have an advantage because they can get into tiny areas. Don’t be put off having a go at scent training; it is one area of dog activity where all dogs are equal.

Is scent training suitable for older dogs?

Absolutely. This is a low impact, steady pace activity tailored for the need of the owner and dog. The dog may be a little slow or not as nimble, but that sense of smell will still be working. Scent work for dogs is a great way to keep the brain active and give your dog a job to do.

Where do we training to do scent training in Dorset

I have a hall where we do the initial scent training on a Saturday morning. We will do a course in the hall. Once the dog and handler are more confident, we start taking things outside and applying scenario games to make things more challenging and fun. We offer 1:1 scent training for those whose dogs can be reactive around other dogs in the classroom setting.

What areas do you cover for dog scent training

We cover the whole of Dorset or as far as you are prepared to travel. We have a training hall in Upton near Poole. We also have a training field in Merley, which is close to Wimborne.

Do we need to buy any special equipment for scent training

We supply a basic starter kit you can purchase off use, so you get started with conditioning your dog to our chosen scent. Many find a harness a line works best. However, I will only work with clients who have a suitable harness. This will be discussed when you book.