Introducing Birch

In this 6-week online course, your dog will learn to find a new novel odor: Birch. Teams will be concentrating on searching interior and container search areas. Handlers will also learn the importance of reward placement and timing, as well as how they can further support their canine partner, all while following the K9 Nose Work® methodology. Get ready to take your searching to the next level!

Course Details

Have you graduated the Introduction to Scent Work course, or similar, and are ready to introduce your dog to concept of searching for Birch? Great! 

In this 6-week online course, we will discuss how odor works differently from food, how to prepare and set your hides and to ensure your dog still loves the game. 

We will be relying heavily on an approach called pairing, where we will be placing a treat directly with the hide. This will ensure the dog understands exactly what the rewardable behavior is: finding the hide! 

Utilizing the K9 Nose Work® training methodology will not only ensure your dog has the preparation necessary to succeed in NACSW™ trials, but in any Scent Work competition organization.

Meet Your Instructor

Dianna L. Santos

Dianna L. Santos

Owner and Lead Instructor

AKC Scent Work Judge
USCSS Judge and CSD
AKC CGC Evaluator
C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator and Instructor

Should I Take This Course?

Have you taken the Introduction to Scent Work course or a similar course? Now that your dog has an understanding of what the Scent Work game is all about, we can introduce them to the concept of hunting for novel target odors.

Are you interested in competing in Scent Work trials? Birch is one of the most common novel target odors used in Scent Work competition organizations. By taking this course, your dog will have a solid understanding that Birch is indeed valuable and worth hunting for!

Are you already competing and noticing issues (lack of enthusiasm, holes in your foundation training, etc)? It is always beneficial to go and shore up your foundation if you beging ot notice issues when training or trialing. We will do just that in this course!

What You Will Need for This Course

  • 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!)

  • minimum of 5 novel containers (e.g. Tupperware, purse, bag, etc.)

  • earthquake putty or GlueDots

  • q-tips

  • Birch (“Sweet Birch” aka Betula Lenta)

  • minimum of 3 tins with holes

Course Outline

The Introduction to Birch course is designed to provide the same exact learning experience we provided to our in-person group dog training classes in a virtual format. Same great quality with more flexibility and convenience!

Here is a quick breakdown of the types of topics that will be covered each week:

  • Proper Introduction to Birch

  • Using Boxes to Build Drive

  • Broadening the Search with Birch

  • Interior Searches with Birch

  • Honing Your Handling Skills

  • Putting it All Together

We're Privileged to Share This Course With You!

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 course is created by, owned by, and the rights to the content, are reserved to Dianna L. Santos.


Check out the other online

Intro to Odor courses we have to offer!