Reading Your Dog

One of the most important skills for any Scent Work handler to hone is being able to read their dog. Every dog will develop their own personal "tell". In this course we will break down the common signs your dog is in odor, heading toward and finding the hide as opposed to what it looks like when they get distracted, are crittering or investigating "dog odor".

Dianna L. Santos

Dianna L. Santos


If there was a common request among Scent Work handlers it would be, "I want to know when my dog has found the hide!" In other words, they want to be positive of what their dog is telling them.

Now, every dog is an individual and what one dog does may be entirely different to what another dog does. However, there are some blanket rules we can apply to build to a foundation of understanding of what our dog is "telling" us. We will do just that in this course.

Additionally, we will discuss exercises you can do as a handler to find out those subtle cues your own personal dog gives, when they are in odor, heading to the hide, at source, distracted, crittering, in "dog odor" or about to mark!


  • your dog

  • flat or martingale collar

  • back-clip harness (optional)

  • 6'-8' leash

  • 10'-15' long line

  • LOTS of high-value and smelly treats

  • crate or area you can stage your dog in while setting up your searches

  • minimum of 10 boxes of various sizes (good excuse to shop at Amazon!)

  • plastic lid container from a yogurt or similar container

  • earthquake putty or GlueDots


  • Noticing, Chasing and Finding Odor

  • Cataloging and Triangulating

  • Crittering and Dog Odor

  • Frustration and Signs of Stress

  • Overheating and Exhaustion

  • Analyzing Search Videos


Are you unsure when your dog has truly found a hide? Learn how to better identify all of your dog's tells throughout the entirety of the search, including when they have found source.

Are you interested in competing or are you already competing? Being able to properly read your dog is key when trialing in Scent Work! After all, you have no idea where the hides are...or how many there are...or if there are any at all in the upper levels of competition. Learn how to read YOUR dog's tells and utilize these skills at your next trial and beyond.

Are you an instructor? Garner tips on how to help your clients better read their dogs throughout the entirety of the search.

Reading Your Dog

Online Scent Work Course

6 weeks

Reading Your Dog Auditor


Course features:

  • Effective training methods.

  • Convenient virtual learning.

  • Access on all devices.

    • Mobile.

    • Tablet.

    • Laptop.

    • Desktop.

  • Access material at any time. 

    • Continual access.

    • No deadlines.

    • No cut-off dates.​

Dianna Santos


Dianna L. Santos

Owner and Lead Instructor


The President of Online Dog Training, Inc. and Cyber Scent Work, Inc., Dianna is the Owner and Lead Instructor for Scent Work University. She is passionate about Scent Work and loves the benefits it awards dogs and handlers alike.



Scent Work University is fortunate to have Dianna grant us license to feature her courses, seminars and webinars on our online dog training platform. All of the content in this offering is created by, owned by, and the rights to the content, are reserved to Dianna L. Santos.