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Frequently Asked Questions - Scentwork

What training methods do you use?

I am a science-led, reward-based trainer. I do not use any aversive equipment or methods. I like to train through fun games that you and your dog will enjoy and learn from. It is virtually impossible to teach a dog scentwork using aversive methods, as scentwork is essentially a big game and we want to build excitement and motivation.

What makes scentwork so great for dogs?

Scentwork is a fun hobby for you and your dog to share! It taps into their innate ability to see the world through their nose. Unlike other dog sports, scentwork is suited to dogs of all ages, breeds and abilities (and all ages and abilities of owners!).

Think of what a police sniffer dog does, but instead of guns, drugs and criminals, we will be finding a safe target scent in a fun environment!

Where do you train?

Our scentwork group classes are held at various venues across Portsmouth. Please check the course you book for the precise location. We run workshops at a variety of venues. If you have a venue idea in mind, please let us know!

Is your venue accessible?

Most of our venues are accessible, but please get in touch to let us know of any accessibility needs or questions. We can provide information about facilities, access, dimensions, bathrooms, alternative mediums for training materials etc. 

 

Scentwork should and can be enjoyed by everyone. If you have any access queries, please drop us a message. If there are any adaptations we can make, let us know.

What do I need to bring with me to classes?

Bring a supply of your dog's favourite treats (we recommend cheese, sausages or sprats if you're not sure!), a flat collar and clip-on lead, a harness if you use one, a clicker if you use one, and some poo bags (just in case!). Please note that we do not allow aversive equipment such as choke chains or prong collars. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

My dog is very young/ old/ nervous/ reactive. Can they do scentwork?

Short answer- yes. Scentwork is suited to all dogs! It can be a great way to enrich an older dog's life without straining their body, and it can be a huge confidence and focus boost for nervous and reactive dogs. 

 

However, a group class may not be the right environment for some dogs, particularly young puppies and reactive dogs. We can offer 1-2-1 scentwork courses that may be better suited. Drop us a message if you would like to talk about the best course for your dog.

My dog's breed isn't known for scentwork- will they be able to do it?

Yes! Even if you've never seen your dog's breed working in scent detection, I promise you your dog's nose is thousands of times more sensitive than your own. Scentwork is for all dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions - Mantrailing

What is mantrailing?

Mantrailing is a sport where dog and handler teams work together to find a specific person who has laid a trail. You can think of it as recreational search and rescue training.

When people move around their environment, they leave a trail of scent unique to them. Our dogs noses are so fine-tuned, they can pick up a specific person's scent from a discarded item of clothing, and identify where they went, even hours after that person left the area.

A typical mantrailing training session has 4-5 mantrailing teams, alternating laying trails for each other (or being the "missing person") and working their dog on a trail. Sessions are typically 3 hours long, and your dog will do 2-4 trails in that time. You can read more about mantrailing here.

What makes mantrailing so great for dogs?

Mantrailing is a low-impact, high-reward sport for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Mantrailing is a great activity for dogs because it allows them to tap into their natural scenting abilities to search and track. It provides mental stimulation, exercise, and helps build a strong bond between the dog and handler. Mantrailing is also a great way to help dogs feel confident and secure in their environment. 

Where do you trail?

We trail in locations in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas. We travel up to 20 minutes outside of Portsmouth by car. The approximate area will be specified on session listings, but the exact location will not be confirmed until 48 hours before the session.

 

We may travel further afield to trail in areas that meet certain training criteria, but we will disclose those locations before booking. If you have a suggestion for a trailing location, please let us know, we love finding new spots!

Is mantrailing accessible?

Yes- if we know about your requirements. Mantrailing is an outdoor sport, which leads us to some uneven, steep and remote environments. It also leads us to urban areas, shopping centres and coastal promenades.

 

If you let us know your accessibility requirements, we should be able to plan sessions that are accessible to you. All are welcome at mantrailing. 

What do I need to bring with me to sessions?

You will need:

  • A well-fitted, Y-fronted harness (no tightening harnesses)

  • A 7-10 metre longline

  • An article of lightly-worn clothing in a ziplock bag

  • 6 small pots of wet, highly rewarding food for your dog (sardines, cat food and tuna are popular choices!)

  • Your regular training treats in a treat pouch

  • Your dog, dressed in their regular flat collar and short lead

  • Weather-appropriate clothing for yourself (and your dog if applicable!)

  • Your car, set up for your dog to rest inside

My dog is very young/ old/ nervous/ reactive. Can they do mantrailing?

Short answer- yes. Mantrailing is suited to all dogs! It can be a great way to enrich an older or disabled dog's life without straining their body, and it can be a huge confidence boost for nervous and reactive dogs. 

At mantrailing, we only ever work one dog at a time, and all dogs are always on lead. We can make other adjustments to suit your dog. Please get in touch to discuss any requirements your dog (or handler) might have.

My dog isn't used to resting in the car, what can I do?

Many dogs aren't accustomed to resting in the car, particularly if they only get in the car to go for a walk/ to the vets etc. Your dog will need to rest in the car between goes, so other dogs can have their turn, so you can have your turn laying trails, and so they learn to rest their body and mind (trailing is hard work!). We never leave the cars unattended, but you may need to be away from your vehicle for periods of time.

In the short term, make sure your car is set up to promote resting. You might look at blocking windows out, ensuring the car is comfortable and providing distractions like filled Kongs. If you have someone who can come stay by the car and reassure your dog, bring them along. 

In the longer term, practice driving somewhere and getting in and out of the car, leaving your dog to settle in the vehicle. Please don't leave your dog to panic, and of course make sure your car is safe for your dog to be in at all times. 

I've done a Mantrailing Global introduction before, can I trail with you?

Yes! Please do! 

Anyone who has done an introduction with any Mantrailing Global (formerly Mantrailing UK!) instructor is more than welcome on our progression sessions. And equally, we would encourage any of our students to train with other Mantrailing Global instructors if you have the chance. You can also keep an eye out for webinars, workshops and multi-day mantrailing sessions by keeping an eye on Mantrailing Global.

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