dog scent training

The sense of smell of a dog since birth is developed when their eyes are not open yet. Dog scent training is a popular sport in the USA among dog owners.

This training helps many other fields like gun dog training, dog tracking training, and bird dog training.

Scent dogs can be trained for two purposes first for fun and second for competition. In this article, we will learn how you can train your dog as a scent dog at home for fun?

What Is Dog Scent Work?

Dog scent work is a sport in which the dog tracks down a scent and communicates with their handler when they found the scent.

All we know is that dogs have the best sniffing power. Dog scent training is a challenging activity that helps to build a strong relationship between the puppy and the handler.

Police canines are trained in scent training, so they help police to find out narcotics or explosives. This training helps your pooch to recognize a variety of smells.

The smell of treat, the smell of essential oil, etc. Dog handlers play an important role in this training because this is a team sport.

Gun Dog Scent Training

The scent is the most important thing when you are working with the gun dog. A dog has hundreds of millions of receptors in its snout and that makes its sniffing power most powerful.

There are many scent products available in the market to support the training. Some oil and rubbing wax is applied or injected into the training dummies and ask your dog to find these dummies.

Gun Dog Scent Training

The primary goal of a gun dog is to locate the bird in the field with scent. So, these dummies work like an original bird for your puppy in the beginning phase of the training.

The tennis ball is also a good device for training and the puppy can play with this for an hour. The tennis ball motivates the canine to go after the ball with their greatest speed.

If you launch the ball at its largest speed in a bushy or forest area, dogs will find out the ball with their sense of smell.

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Benefits of Scent Training For Dogs

If you have a dog then you must know that the most powerful feather of a dog is its sense of smell. It’s 10000 to 100000 times better than human beings.

Dogs can track cancer cells in our body and also people who are lost in natural disasters. Here are some benefits of dog scent training:

Strengthen the Bond

Teaching your puppy scenting, is a great way to strengthen your bond. You will start to observe your dog, how he reacts when he finds things, understand his signals, the way of communicating with you.

Helpful in Building Confidence

Scent training is helpful for your dog in building confidence. Your canine learns how to solve problems. A dog can do anything to make their owner happy.

Improve the Ability to Work

All we know dog loves sniffing and they recognize anything with their nose. Scenting things help dogs to perform better and learn things faster. If you are into dog agility training and your canine has to go through a tunnel. He must sniff the tunnel first to observe better.

Best Breed for Dog Scent Training

Dogs use their nose almost everywhere; you might see him while walking on a leash and chasing the squirrel. Some dog breeds aid hospitals to sniff out cancer in patients.

They have the natural amazing ability to sniff. Here are the top 5 breeds that are best in dog scent training:

German Shepherd

German Shepherd breed for scent dog training

German Shepherd is the breed that is used by police personnel to find out the lost people in the natural disaster. Bomb detectors also use this breed and you get an idea of how powerful sniffing power this breed has. They are loving and strong dogs.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever for scent dog training

This breed also has an incredible nose, these dogs are used in hospitals. Because they are experts in scenting medical issues with patients. They give an alert to doctors and hospitals if they find out any cancer patients. They are family dogs and fit in all conditions.


Bloodhound breed for scent dog training

The specialty of this breed is, they never give up until they find the things they are inquiring about. They are determined and build for this type of task. Scenting and finding things is the easiest work for them and they love to do this.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound breed for scent dog training

This breed’s dog is short in height but strong and well known as a tracking dog. They are persistent at their work and have a big nose which helps them sniff things better.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever breed for dog scent training

Golden Retriever breed is intelligent and friendly; they are family dogs. This is the favorite breed for the hunter in the field. This is the reason why this breed in this list.

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Dog Scent Training Games

Do you know? Dogs know the world with their sense of smell. They take information with their nose and we humans never notice.

There are a few games, these games are for your dog to tell you what they smell. There are some games which can be played in your backyard or may in your living room.

Food Finding Game

In this game, you will need your puppy’s favorite food. Hide this food in any random place in your home but not far in the starting. Make sure you are hiding the food in three to four places. Once your puppy finds the one place food, he will go to find the others too.

Hand Picking Game

In this game, make small pieces of the dog’s favorite food that can fit into your hand. Take food in your palm and make it lose down fist. Now, sit in front of your dog and offer to your dog, he will sniff and choose the food fist. Once he gets the food fist, appreciate him saying ‘good job’ or ‘good boy’.

Toy Fetching Game

Use your dog’s favorite toy instead of food in this game. Throw the toy 10 to 20 feet and give the command to your canine ‘Find it’. Once he finds the toy, throw the toy now farther and again give the command to find the toy. Try to play this game in your backyard or in the park in dark, so dog use their scent to find the toy.

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Hunting Dog Scent Training

We all know dogs have been hunting for hundreds of years, the nose is the biggest weapon dogs use in hunting.

But before taking out your dog for hunting make sure you train him well in hunting and scent. Dog scent training also depends on some factors. These factors can be wind, humidity, ground condition, etc.

Here are a few things you can start your dog’s scent training with:

Bird Dummies

Bird dummies have the same biological features (not real but look like real), falling bird with head and wings. Use these dummies in the field with hunting dogs and these dummies have bird scents injected inside. So, whenever your dog encounters a real bird, he won’t be confused. These are available in different shapes, sizes, colors, etc.

Essential Oil

You have to apply this essential oil to your dog’s favorite toy or tennis ball. Throw that object far (20 to 30 feet) in a bushy area, now give command your dog ‘Find It’. Your dog will start scenting that oil odor in the air and try to find the object. Once he finds the object always reward him with a treat.

Scent Training Wax

Scent wax is generally used for hunting dogs but this is used only to increase the sniffing power of a dog. This wax applies to any dummy or toy and the scent won’t off in the water also. This is very useful and easy to carry in the fields, this comes in a 15-oz package.

Dog Scent Training Kit

Snuffle Mat: This toy for your dog and some treats hide in this, your dog sniff and find out the hidden treats. You can hide any type of treats in this mat as per your dog’s interest. This is a machine washable snuffle mat that can fold and store. This mat is for all breeds of dogs, whether large breed or small.

Essential Oils: Essential oils are an unforgettable part of dog scent training. I recommend you to use Clove essential oil because clove odor is very strong. You can apply this oil to your canine’s favorite toy or tennis ball. This oil is all-natural contains no harmful chemicals.

Dog Collar: You must choose your dog’s collar without causing psychological harm and pain. E-Collar is very useful and safe for nose training. This collar is designed for odor training and hunting training for the larger breed with neck size 5″-22″. This collar is waterproof with 50-70 hours of battery backup in one charge.

Nose Work Exercises For Dogs

Dogs use their nose whether they are exploring the new area or going out for potty. With the help of the nose, your pooch understands things and improves its positive outlook.

Dog scent training exercises are helpful for the dog to understand the odor details. These fun nose work exercise will filter their olfactory skills and are important for your dog’s brain.

  1. Teach your dog ‘Find it’ treats, how you can teach him? Here is a simple way, first grab a tasty treat in your hand and show that to your canine. Now, throw that far and ask your dog to ‘Find it. Repeat this until your dog understands the phrase ‘Find it’.
  1. In this next exercise, you give a command to your dog to ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ or any other one can hold his collar. Now, walk a few steps away, show him some treats and hide treats three to four places in the backyard. Now, give the command to ‘Find it.
  1. The next game is more fun, in this game you have to give the command to the puppy to ‘stay’ or ‘down’. Now, hide somewhere in the home, your dog will start sniffing your smell to find you.



What scents are dogs most attracted to?

In dog scent training you trained your pooch how to use their nose. Dogs have a more evolved sense of smell than humans, they have more millions of scent receptors. 
Filthy Smell: As we all know that dogs are wild animals and also they are hunters. So, they attract filthy smells the most like feces, rotten plants, and dead animals.
Food: No dog can resist the smell of food, especially when you are talking about – meat. Whether you are grilling beef or opening a can of dog food.
Familiar Odor: Dogs prefer familiar smell; smell they know and can trust. The smell of family member socks or shoes.

How do you start a dog scent training?

Dog sniffing skill comes to them, even when they are newborn. A newborn dog can sniff his mother with his nose when their eyes have not opened yet.
You can start dog scent training with some fun games like finding the treat or catching the tennis ball.
If you are training hunting dogs then you can use bird dummies. The essential oil also plays a vital role, apply some essential oil on any of your dog’s favorite toys and hide that somewhere in the home.
Your dog will find that out with the help of essential oil odor.


Categories: Dog Training


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