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Support Skills

Upskill your detector dog, reskill your pet dog.

Upskill your detector dog


Your dog doesn't need to know anything to do Talking Dogs Scentwork® Literally no pre-trained skills are required!

But some exercises can enhance your dog's performance, make the whole process more efficient, and make you and your dog's lives easier. Improving mutual communication and understanding is always advantageous both while you're engaged in scentwork and in your day to day interactions.

  • No more chasing around if she picks up random items during the search
  • No more prising the scented article from your dog's jaws
  • No more worrying that your dog will run away during off lead searches
  • No more frantic catches as your dog launches off platforms
  • No more agitated dog who isn't able to relax and settle between searches

I use these valuable skills every day with my own dogs. They help us live together as a pretty harmonious mixed species family (2 humans, 6 dogs and 1 cat) For example:

  • Drop and retrieve help prevent guarding behaviour
  • Leave helps stop my dogs from eating waste on walks
  • Recall gives the dogs freedom and helps keep them fit
  • Stay let's me open the front door without them running into the street
  • Settle allows us to go for pub lunches and adventures
  • And learning and practising them all keeps the dogs, and me, mentally and physically stimulated, strengthens our relationships and helps us communicate effectively thus avoiding frustration and misunderstandings.



Whatever life stage your dog is at, you will find these exercises super useful. All the training methods I use are reward based and are suitable for young pups, teenagers, adults and seniors. Your dog shouldn't notice a difference between training and playtime so all exercises are pleasurable, rewarding and effective.

This course is under construction.

Lectures are being filmed, notes are being written,

I can't wait to share them all with you!

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

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 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

This course is not open for enrollment.