Scent Work

Scent Work is a sport that is based on the task of working detection dogs to locate an odour and communicate to the handler that the odour has been found. Detection is done in a variety of environments and often during changing weather or environmental conditions.


Scent Work is a positive, challenging activity that allows dogs the opportunity to use their strongest natural sense in a way that is fun, engaging, and builds and strengthens a foundation of trust between the handler and dog.

Dogs are trained to recognise specific odours, and to alert their handlers when the odours are detected. Dogs may paw, bark, point with their nose or body, sit, lie down, or use any other non-destructive behaviour to communicate the location of the odour. Handlers take their dogs through a search area which may be set up in a variety of environments.


The dog and handler must work together as a team. The handler is part of the team, using body language and verbal encouragement to ensure all sections of the search area are covered, directing the dog’s search only when necessary and indicating to the Judge when the dog has found the odour. Communication with and praise of the dog during the search are encouraged.


Scent Work Trials

The scheduling of any Scent Work trial shall be subject to the approval of the relevant member body. An Affiliate conducting a Scent Work trial may offer some or all of the elements within the titling classes listed in Rule 6.1 below.

6.1 Titling Classes
The following titling classes are available: 

Scent Work - Class and Element
(a) Novice: For dogs that have not obtained the Qualifying Certificates necessary for the Scent Work Novice Class title or have not obtained two (2) Qualifying Certificates in the Novice class for an Element as part of qualifying towards the relevant Scent Work Element title.
(b) Advanced: For dogs that have qualified for the Scent Work Novice Class title or have gained two (2) Qualifying Certificates in the Novice class for an Element as part of qualifying towards the relevant Scent Work Element title.
(c) Excellent: For dogs that have qualified for the Scent Work Advanced Class title or have gained three (3) Qualifying Certificates in the Advanced class for an Element as part of qualifying towards the relevant Scent Work Element title.
(d) Master: For dogs that have qualified for the Scent Work Excellent Class title or have gained three (3) Qualifying Certificates in the Excellent class for an Element as part of qualifying towards the relevant Scent Work Element title.


6.2 Progression through titling classes
6.2.1 Dogs may progress through Elements at different speeds (eg a dog may compete in Novice Interior and Advanced Containers at the same trial).
6.2.2 A dog which has completed two (2) Qualifying Certificates in any Element at the Novice level or three (3) Qualifying Certificates in any Element at the Advanced level may not compete further in that Element at that level.
6.2.3 A dog which has attained an Excellent or Masters title may continue to compete in either level.
6.2.3 At the discretion of the Affiliate’s nominee, a competitor who completes the necessary Qualifying Certificates for a title and has applied for that title after the closing of entries may request and be transferred to the next higher class in the relevant Division.

7.0 EXHIBIT REQUIREMENTS
7.1 Eligibility of exhibits Scent Work trials are open to dogs that are: (a) registered with the relevant member body; and (b) 6 months of age or over on the first day of a sanctioned event which includes a Scent Work trial.

REFERENCES: 
Extract from ANKC Scent Work Rules
(4. It is at the discretion of the Affiliate conducting the event whether some or all Divisions, Elements and Classes are offered at any trial.)

All images by Felicity McIntyre

Scent Work Working Party Contacts:

Convenor: Christine Stani - cms@cmspublicity.com.au
Member: Peta Clarke - peta.clarke@me.com
Member: Teresa Kernahan - teresakernahan@gmail.com
Member: Dr Penny Mead -pamead@bigpond.net.au
Member: Natasha Neppl - natasha.neppl@bigpond.com
Member: Sue Turner – suevizsla9162@gmail.com


Relevant Links:

@dogsnsw