Protection Dogs Worldwide logo

Engaging your dog’s scent

10 Nov 2023

Scent is any dog’s most powerful sense. Dogs perceive and process the world around them primarily through their noses much in the same way that humans do with their eyes. Dogs can smell far more strongly and discerningly than humans, and it is imperative that all owners allow their pets or working dogs to fully engage their scent. Allowing dogs to engage their scent is one of the easiest ways to promote and ensure their wellbeing, and has an oversized impact despite its ease of facilitation.

At a very basic level, owners should encourage their dogs to explore with their noses and sniff freely while out on walks and exercising. Modern houses are relatively sensorily sterile environments, so can prove under stimulating to many dogs. In contrast, simply being outside offers access to a range of novel, exciting, and interesting stimuli, especially scents. A half hour of slow walking where a dog can sniff freely will be highly beneficial, arguably more so than a faster and longer walk or jog where scents cannot be explored.

More proactive scentwork will pay dividends and can be surprisingly easy to implement. Hiding treats around your house or garden for your dog to sniff out will often be a fun and stimulating game, whereas tracking or substance detection is very achievable with the help of a professional trainer. Pets as well as working dogs will benefit from this type of training and enrichment, and its seeming lack of real-world application is not a reason to discount its value.

Understanding how dogs relate to scent can also contribute to a calmer and easier environment when you are out of the house. While dogs need and indeed thrive off human companionship, leaving them alone at times is a sad necessity. When separation anxiety arises, this can be alleviated by giving your dog access and proximity to items of clothing which carry your unique scent. Socks or an old jumper placed on top of your dog’s crate often work excellently.

For more advice from our training team on how to engage your dog’s scent, please email [email protected].

Next Up

10 Nov 2023

Getting a Cane Corso Puppy

Cane Corsos are one of the most popular and effective breeds used for family protection work. They are a large and athletic mastiff-type dog originating from Italy where it was developed to hunt and protect its owners. While still somewhat rare in the UK, it is becoming more popular and…

Read More

Contact Us

We welcome any queries and are happy to provide further information, so please get in touch – we would love to hear from you!

Message Us