With more and more people being introduced to the activity of Scent Work, it is important for all of us to remember that EVERY dog can do this activity and that this is NOT meant to be a special invitation-only type of exclusive club. Rather, Scent Work should be incredibly INCLUSIVE. We discuss why this is and how we as a community need to do better in this podcast episode. Strap in for blunt real-talk.

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With the explosion of the popularity of Scent Work, it is important that we all understand what Scent Work actually IS, the difference between the competition element and the activity as well as some key rules for playing the game, especially when you are using target odors. There is a TON of misinformation out there, so in this podcast we attempt to set the record straight.

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November 30, 2019

Why Humility Matters

Humility. Something everyone from instructors, trainers, trial officials and dog owners should be practicing. Otherwise, you're limiting your own potential! If you close yourself off from learning, you will stifle your own development that will eventually backfire on both yourself and your dog.

In this podcast episode, we discuss the importance of practicing humility in all things dog-training, but especially Scent Work. Hopefully, this will elicit some criticial thinking and discussions at the very least.

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A disturbing trend trial officials are noticing coast-to-coast is that dogs do not seem to know how to hunt when they are going to trial. Instead of knowing what they are doing as they step to the start line, dogs are instead being lead...or dragged...around search areas and tripping over hides.

In this episode, we discuss this problematic trend, how an overabundance of trialing opportunities are opening up the possibility for more and more dog and handlers teams to rush to trial and a quick test you can do at home to tell whether your dog knows how to hunt or not.

We are not trying to disparage any training approach or school of thought. There are lots of ways to get to the same end goal. But that goal should be the dog tapping into their amazing sense of smell and be allowed to be a dog, not the handler taking over the search. 

At the very least, this podcast will get you thinking.

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A disheartening trend happening at the moment is handlers and their dogs are NOT having fun when they are doing Scent Work. Instead, their training and practice sessions are riddled with stress, angst and frustration and this bleeds over to painful-to-watch trialing experiences. This activity is SUPPOSED to enjoyable for both YOU and YOUR DOG...if it isn't, you need to find out why. 

We discuss this troubling trend, and spark some discussion about it, in this podcast episode. Ask yourself honestly: am I and my dog having fun playing Scent Work...and if not, why not?

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Nose Work. Scent Work. Detection. SAR. Tracking. Trialing. ... What the heck do all of these terms mean?! It is enough to cause someone to rip their hair out!

In this episode, we try to break down what each of these terms mean, where they come from and how they relate to one another. Is Nose Work and Scent Work really interchangeable? How does Detection and SAR relate to Nose Work or Scent Work...or do they at all? Where does tracking fit in? What about trialing?! For anyone who is more experienced, we also stress the important of remembering just how confusing all of this CAN be and the daunting amount of lingo associated with this activity.

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Our dogs at some point in their lives will become injured. Maybe they have to undergo a surgical procedure or are coming off an illness. In any case, your dog will be laid up and your options of what to do with them may be limited. This is where Scent Work, or simply allowing our dogs to sniff, can take center stage and shine. 

In this podcast episode, Dianna discusses how she used Scent Work to rehab her own personal dog and the importance of organizing searches and celebrations thoughtfully and carefully. At the very least, this episode should get everyone thinking about how they can apply Scent Work outside of simply getting their dogs ready to trial.

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Summit trials. One of the most challenging trialing experiences offered in all Scent Work competitions. A 2-day competition featuring expansive search areas, difficult hides and odor problems, and a system where only those competitors who are in the top 20% will earn a title.

In this podcast episode, we speak with Scent Work University Instructor, Natalie McManus, to hear about her Summit Trial experience, what she thinks dogs and handlers need to do prepare to successfully compete at this level as well as some pros and cons of this type of trial. There is a TON of information packed into this short podcast episode that competitors at ALL levels would benefit from, so be sure to check it out!

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Competitors will oftentimes become flummoxed when their trials are going on longer than they had initially expected, the question being, "WHAT ON EARTH IS TAKING SO LONG?!"

In this podcast episode, we cover some of the reasons why a Scent Work trial may be taking longer than you expected. Additionally, we underline the need for everyone to recognize how difficult it is to put on a trial, that everyone involved is doing there best and how everyone needs to take a deep breath before we jump all over one another.

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A slogan that is making the rounds as of late is, "Just Train for It!". This has come about in response to people claiming they are having difficulties at trials, especially when it come to potential distractions or distractors. Asking people to train for what they may see at trial is a sound principle on it's face...but is this slogan potentially doing more harm than good?

In this podcast episode, we discuss the inadvertent downsides to "Just Train For It", the need to be clear and thorough as well as how, as community, we need to reassess how we approach trialing and training. A ton of information jammed into one little podcast episode! Let's get to it!

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