Teach your dog to sniff!

Is your dog tireless, bored, inattentive? Teach your dog to be a clever, calm canine by harnessing an activity she already loves.


It can be exhausting and frustrating living with a tireless dog, one with boundless energy and no off switch! These dogs often find it hard to concentrate, to listen and respond to you, and to feel calm and relaxed.

This course teaches you how to harness your dog's natural ability to sniff and to use this skill to improve your life, and your dog's life. By engaging with your dog in an activity that she already loves you can quickly help your dog to pay more attention to you, to be able to concentrate and in turn feel tired and relaxed. Calm dogs live longer (stress has been shown to be detrimental to the health of dogs and people), are happier and are more rewarding companions.

I've designed this course to allow all dogs to learn how to search for a specific scent for fun. It's a fallacy to think that dogs can automatically sniff out target scents, maintain concentration, demonstrate reliability and work efficiently despite distractions and in many environments. But with this course you can quickly maximise your dog's potential. All the techniques and skills are based on professional detector dog training combined with my experience as a pet dog training and behaviour consultant. This means that all advice is positive reward based, designed to help all dogs, whether food or toy oriented, no matter their age or breed type, and requires zero prior training or scentwork experience.

I take you through all the core steps to begin your scentwork journey: from choosing the scent for your dog to detect, to preparing the scented articles, to your first searches. I'll be with you every step of the way, giving advice and showing you how to succeed. See how to get the most from scentwork by watching videos of dogs learning, demonstrating each step so that you can easily follow along.

Graded quizzes ensure you get the best from the course, and on completion you will receive a graduation certificate. Plus with our bonus lectures, discover how the dog's nose works and how scent works. Follow the advice in these lectures so that by the end of this course you will have taught your dog to find a specific scent. Brilliant!


My most popular course

and the starting point for a world of scentwork adventures.

"I loved this course! My dog really enjoyed scent work and as he's six now I did the senior course as well. Loads of info, nicely presented and engaging. I loved the little quiz at the end of each section to really make sure I understood."

- Rona Gregory

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.
Does this course teach an active or passive indication?
I teach an active indication. This allows everyone to be successful without having any prior training.
Can my puppy participate in this course?
Yes, this training is appropriate for all ages. Teaching your puppy scentwork will help enhance your bond and teamwork, will give your pup a super useful skill early in life, will help you observe your puppy's body language and let your puppy know that it's always rewarding to work with you.
My dog has some physical limitations, can s/he participate in this course?
Yes. Scentwork is a wonderful confidence booster for dogs who are blind, deaf, have joint issues, carry injuries from other sports, have senior dog related issues, etc. This activity has inbuilt flexibility so that each search can be tailored for the individual dog.
Do I have to work a specific breed of dog?
No. You can work any breed type/mix. All dogs can participate successfully in this course.
Do I receive a certificate when I successfully complete the course?
I'm worried that my dog will go off hunting alone on walks if I encourage her to sniff.
Your dog is already sniffing on every walk, teaching scentwork doesn't affect that. In fact you can use scentwork to help reduce self-employed hunting trips! If you find that this course increases your dog's desire to go hunting alone, I will happily give you a full refund!
I've been to training classes with my dog and she still ignores me. How will this training course be any different?
I teach you how to have fun with your dog, working towards a common goal using a skill she is already great at - she won't be able to resist paying attention to you!
I'm concerned 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 find this course is very competitively priced and may even SAVE you money! Plus you have constant access to all the lectures and course materials, But hey, if you are not happy with the course, you can claim the 30 day money back guarantee. Signing up is not low risk, it's NO risk!
Does my dog need to have any prior scentwork skills to do this course?
No, this course is designed for complete novices. Zero prior training is required.

This is a Core Course, Starter Level, so you don't need to have done any training before enrolling. You are in safe, experienced hands and, unlike attending a workshop, you can rewind, revisit and review all the lectures and course materials as often and whenever you need them.

Get started now!

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