The sport of Scent Work celebrates the joy of sniffing, and asks a dog to sniff to their heart’s content; turning your dog’s favorite activity into a rewarding game. It is a terrific sport for all kinds of dogs, and is a wonderful way to build confidence in a shy dog.

In so many dog sports the handler is in control but this isn’t true in Scent Work. Neither the dog nor handler knows where the target odor is hidden. The handler has to rely on the dog, and follow the dog’s nose to success. In Scent Work, it is the canine who is the star of the show.

The sport of Scent Work is based on the work of professional detection dogs (such as drug dogs), employed by humans to detect a wide variety of scents and substances. In AKC Scent Work, dogs search for cotton swabs saturated with the essential oils of Birch, Anise, Clove, and Cypress. The cotton swabs are hidden out of sight in a pre-determined search area, and the dog has to find them. Teamwork is necessary: when the dog finds the scent, he has to communicate the find to the handler, who calls it out to the judge.


Introduction to Scent Work

Course: 8 weeks

Prerequisite: Family Dog/Puppy or basic skills and Instructor Permission

Class Fee: $120; $72 for MOTC members

This course introduces dogs to odor used in AKC scent work.  We will work to establish clear communication between dog and handler to find and indicate the location of odor.  Dogs will be introduced to container and interior searches.
For this class, please bring your dog in a flat collar or fitted harness (not a no-pull or front attaching harness).  You will also need plenty of treats and a 6 foot or longer leash.

Advanced Scent Work

Course: 8 weeks

Prerequisite: Introduction to Scent Work, basic scent work skills and/or Instructor Permission

Class Fee: $120; $72 for MOTC members

This course will work to improve handler and dog skills in container and interior searches as well as teaching exterior and buried searches (as weather allows).  This course is designed to prepare dog and handler teams to compete in AKC scent work trials.

For this class, please bring your dog in a flat collar or fitted harness (not a no-pull or front attaching harness).  You will also need plenty of treats and a 6 foot or longer leash.

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