Increasing the Challenge

Your dog's search skills are better than yours, how do you stay engaged and stop your training becoming boring and predictable? Stick with me, I will show you.

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Now that you and your dog are addicted to scentwork, how do you increase the challenge without decreasing the fun?

Your dog has learned to search for a specific scent, you have learned how to use the search plan and now you are ready to increase the challenge. But how?

Your dog finds the scented article before you've had a chance to participate, frustrating!

Never worry, I'm here to help keep you both on track, keep the teamwork strong, maintain the attention and response you've already fostered and open up searches so that you can do them anytime, anywhere.

In this course I detail multiple methods for increasing the challenge, from working outdoors to searching for more than one find, making the scent picture smaller to conducting blank searches. The lectures take you through how to use these techniques to build you and your dog's search skills to allow you to search for longer and find scented articles in a greater variety of hides. Video lectures showing a variety of breeds, downloadable handouts, graded quizzes and more will take your searches to the next level. On completion you will receive a graduation certificate. And you'll have a brilliant scentwork dog!

Don't get left behind, keep building your team, strengthening your dog's response to you in scentwork and beyond. Engagement, attention and trust all come from working together for a common goal and this in the course that will teach you how to do that.

This is a Core course, Next Steps level, so work through one of our Starter courses (Teach you dog to sniff!, Puppy Scentwork or Senior Scentwork) and our Scentwork Skills course first.

Get started now!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 14 days and we will give you a full refund.
Does this course teach an active or passive indication?
I teach an active indication. This allows everyone to be successful.
Do I have to work a specific breed of dog?
No. You can work any breed type / mix. All dogs can participate successfully in scentwork.
Do I need to have completed any training before enrolling on this course?
Yes, you need to have taught your dog the basics of scentwork, as taught in our Teach Your Dog to Sniff! course. Your dog should be able to locate a specific scent before beginning this course. Additionally, you should understand how to keep your dog safe, how to follow a search plan and work together using directed searches, as taught in our Scentwork Skills course.
Do I receive a certificate if I successfully complete the course?
I worry about the cost of the course.
If you factor in the cost of travel to and from a workshop, the ticket price, plus arranging to get time away from home, perhaps taking time off work, engaging a dog sitter or child minder, you will see that this course is very competitively priced. Plus you have constant access to all the lectures and course materials. But hey, if you're not happy with the course for any reason, you can claim the 30 day money back guarantee. Enrolling is not low risk, it's NO risk!
I don't have specialist equipment for scentwork.
Good! All you need you can find around your home and workplace. Save boxes from shopping; use old buckets, basins, baskets and bins; stationery clips, hooks and pouches are all useful. Using things that would be in the search area already will always make the best finds. So save your money, recycle, reuse and reduce waste - use everything for scentwork!

Your Instructor

Pam Mackinnon
Pam Mackinnon
As a professional dog trainer for 30+ years, I have used scentwork to help thousands of dogs work with their owners to be more attentive, less reactive, more relaxed, less agitated. As a universal skill that can be learned by all dogs and all owners, the flexibility, fast results and good old fashioned fun found in scentwork led me to form Talking Dogs Scentwork® in 2011.

Since then I've been working hard to keep up with demand, such is the interest in scentwork. I work hard to stay at the forefront of my profession, staying creative, pushing boundaries and confounding expectations of what pet dogs can do. As the first national provider of scentwork training for non-selected (pet) dogs in Great Britain, TDS has quickly grown into the go-to scentwork training provider, with the TDS Detector Dog manual proving more popular than I could have ever imagined, selling well all over the world, but particularly in the UK, Europe and USA. I specialise in teaching all breed types, all ages, all abilities (physical, mental and emotional) Combining my years as a professional drug detector dog handler for HM Customs with my experience as a pet dog training and behaviour consultant, I tailor my teaching to dogs who don't have jobs, those who have been selected as companions rather than tools of the trade.

I work full time teaching Talking Dogs Scentwork® at workshops. online, at conferences and with major organisations, including Dogs Trust, Puppy School, Victoria Stilwell and the prestigious Woof! Conference.

Some of my working highlights include:

  • Drug Detector Dog Handler with HM Customs & Excise
  • Sirius Puppy Trainer in association with Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • Assistance Dog Trainer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
  • Behaviourist for Wood Green Animal Shelters
  • Founding & running Talking Dogs Scentwork®, part of Talking Dogs Ltd.
  • Creating TD Rally® - a sport for pet dogs & their people