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All About Scent Work Podcast

Want more Scent Work training tips? A behind-the-curtain look at what your instructor or trial official is going through? Geek out on all things Scent Work?

Then give our All About Scent Work Podcast a listen! We post new episodes regularly, and are certain you will enjoy it.

You can find the All About Scent Work Podcast on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Podbay and a variety of other locations, in addition to our website.

Like our podcast? Leave a positive review on any of the platforms!

Scent Work is For All Dogs Period

Dianna L. Santos
46

Strap in, our speaker is worked up.

Every single dog on the planet should be doing Scent Work. Full stop. This should NOT be some exclusive club that is only open to top tier of dog and handler teams. People should not be rushing out to get dogs with professional detection dog breeding or background to do this activity. Every. Single. Dog. Can. Do. Scent. Work.

As a community, we need to be more mindful about how we discuss this activity, the training options or approaches available and how we frame what the activity, and sport is. Because we can take this wonderful gift that we are FINALLY giving to our dogs, which celebrates them being a dog, and ruin it.

We hope you give this episode a listen. It is blunt. There is raw emotion in it. But we owe it to our dogs to keep this activity fun and something that celebrates them being dogs...not just another way we as handlers can stroke our ego.

Confessions of a Terrible Student

Dianna L. Santos
45

In our latest blog post, Trials and Tribulations of a Terrible Student, we discuss just how challenging it is to be a dog handler. Having to LEARN a skill yourself and then TEACH your dog a skill at the very same time is HARD!

We build off of this topic in this episode by sharing the experiences of a terrible student and how her mental baggage derailed her more often than not. But it not all doom and gloom. We also offer some creative ways people can avoid these same pitfalls and better partner with their trainer and instructor.

These types of open and honest discussions are important for our community to have. We hope you find this episode helpful.

Training On Your Own

Dianna L. Santos
44

Many of us will train on our own at some point when doing Scent Work with our dogs. You may even be doing all of your training one your own, preparing your hides, designing your searches and running your dog.

In this podcast episode, we discuss the various factors we should keep in mind when training on our own so as to avoid leading our dog astray unintentionally. Some of the pointers covered in this podcast were also discussed in our latest blog, Where We See a Tree, Our Dog Sees a Forest, so be sure to check that out.

Clarity of Cues in Scent Work

Dianna L. Santos
43

When it comes to dog training, we are constantly giving our dogs cues to indicate what we would like for them to do in any given moment. "Sit", "Down", "Come" and so on. The same can hold true in Scent Work. But what if the cue you may be using in your everyday life would have an unintended consequence if you used it in Scent Work? Is that even possible?! Yes, yes it is.

In this episode, we discuss the importance of being as clear and mindful as we can when using cues, knowing what the true meaning of those cues are (to the dog), and whether using a certain cue could undermine the very thing we are trying to build in our Scent Work training.

Training for Fun v. Training to Compete

Dianna L. Santos
42

This episode is designed more as a discussion-piece rather than a "listen as we declare answers on a given subject".

The question is rather simple: should there be an observable difference between a team playing Scent Work simply for "fun" and a team solely interested in competing? My gut tells me the answer should be "No". If that is the case, are we as a community, myself included, shooting ourselves in the foot with how we describe the delineation of the type of teams participating in Scent Work?

Who knows?! Let's discuss!

Open Discussions and Humility

Dianna L. Santos and Bill Gaskins
41

There is something about human nature that promotes insular thinking, creating echo chambers of like-mindedness, tribes of "us v. them". This is especially true in the dog training community and even more so in the Scent Work world. Step out of your lane and prepare to feel the wrath of the masses! However, having open discussions about training techniques, topics and the overall direction of our sport is essential for everyone's benefit! It is for this reason that it is refreshing and impressive the way that Bill Gaskins of Integrity Nose Worx consistently does just the opposite of the norm by promoting such open discussions and debate.

In this episode, we speak with Bill to have a better understanding of his background and why he feels taking on this role is so important (hint: it shouldn't be so rare, we ALL should be following in his example in promoting more open and honest discussions, being humble in doing so).

Hard Hide...Now What

Dianna L. Santos
40

At some point in your Scent Work training journey, you will set a super challenging hide for your dog, oftentimes inadvertently. You then have to choose...what do you do? Do you just allow them the time and space to solve the problem, no matter how long that may take? Do you put them up, make an adjustment to the hide and let them immediately run it again? Or, do you put them up, essentially leaving the hide behind and unfound, so that you can tackle that specific problem in a completely different training session later?

In this episode, we talk about these three options, the need to make split-second decisions and also owning up who are as a handler and trainer, not to mention how fluid all of this can truly be.

Properly Training v. Overtraining

Dianna L. Santos
39

A common human trait is to drill, practice and run repetitions ad nauseam. This is counterproductive, especially when we are talking about Scent Work. Doing so can undercut the very skills you are trying to build for yourself and your dog!

In this episode, we delve into the difference between properly preparing training in Scent Work and overtraining, highlighting why we should avoid doing the latter. We also discuss why this not only important when building our dog's skills, but our own handler skills as well.

Silence! Or Not So Much

Dianna L. Santos
38

A common myth you hear about Scent Work is that instructors will demand absolute silence...as if this were some sort of military operation where there shall be NO noise and NO fun and NO joy!

In this episode, we work to bust this myth and explain the reasoning behind why instructors may ask for handlers to be quiet as the dog is actively searching early in their career, but the major issues of trying to bake in absolute silence into your training and how this can come back to bite you later.

Being Smart About Equipment

Dianna L. Santos
37

When it comes to Scent Work, there are certain types of equipment for both dogs and handlers that are common and trendy. But does this mean that these would be a good choice for you and your dog?

In this episode, we discuss the importance of making smart equipment choices, how they may shift and change over time and the reasons why we should introduce certain types of equipment outside the context of Scent Work first.

Thoughtful Trialing

Dianna L. Santos
36

When we are trialing with our dogs in Scent Work, there is no reason you should abandon the very same principles you have come to rely upon on in training simply because your trialing! Yet, time and time again, you will see competitors doing this very thing!

For instance, if you know a certain routine will set your dog up for success in training, you should absolutely try to use that same routine when you are trialing!

At the very least, this episode will get you thinking and consider how you can approach your trialing experiences more thoughtfully.

Supporting, Crowding and Hindering

Dianna L. Santos
Michael McManus
35

When we are doing Scent Work with our dogs, what WE do as handlers can have a large impact on whether our dogs can be successful or not.

In this episode, we discuss the topics of supporting, crowding and hindering with Michael McManus, in an attempt to better nail down what these concepts truly mean and how we can all be better handlers and teammates to our dogs.

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