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Scent detection for pet dogs is a hugely rewarding and enriching sport. Using the same operational techniques as working detection dogs, we will train you and you dog to work as a team to find a target odor in a variety of environments. Prepare your dog for the mental workout of their life.

Darwin Scentwork Stansted

At Darwin's Dog Training School, we specialise in scent detection for pet dogs. Scent detection as a sport is an incredible way to engage your dog's nose and brain. Research suggests that a mere 20 minutes of sniffing activity is as mentally enriching as an hour's exercise for your dog. If you are looking for a sport that will allow you to understand how your dog sees the world, scentwork is for you. 


We will show you how to build scent ID for a target odor, how to effectively search environments and how to build an indication for successful finds. In our small group classes, you will progress your all-important handler skills alongside your dog's search ability - a team is only as strong as it's weakest member! You will build your dog's search duration and ability to indicate at a distance. You will use equipment similar to that used by working detection dogs in training to develop your dog's precision and determination when searching.

Our group classes are deliberately small to allow each team plenty of opportunities to search. We arrange the hall to keep dogs separate, and all dogs are kept on lead unless directed otherwise in a safe environment. Scentwork is a sport suitable to all shapes, sizes, breeds, ages, and abilities of dogs. For dogs working through reactivity or nervousness, our scentwork classes are an excellent opportunity to allow your dog to build confidence in a safe environment.


Getting Started

We periodically offer beginner's scentwork courses. In a beginners class, you will be introduced to the concept of building scent ID, you'll learn to handle your dog safely and we will begin to shape search patterns and indications.


Your dog doesn't need to have any specific training before joining a beginner's class, but it would be advantageous to have an established marker and reward for your dog, and some basics like "sit" to help us shape behaviours in class. You will need a well-fitted harness and/or flat collar to start scentwork. Due to the nature of the sport, it is both unsafe and counterproductive to try to search with a dog in any kind of "anti-pull" equipment. You will also need to bring a lead (a 3 metre lead is the preferred length, but any lead will do to start with), a good supply of high value rewards in a treat pouch (not kibble!), a toy reward if your dog likes one and a clicker if you use one.


A beginner's scentwork kit is included in price of your course, containing all you need to practice scentwork at home. Once you have completed the beginner's scentwork course, you can enrol in our progression courses.

Ready to get started? 

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