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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!

Thoughtful Trialing

Dianna L. Santos

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

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.

Time for Empathy

Dianna L. Santos

The state of the world at the time of this podcast is tumultuous, painful and filled with heartbreak. So we are taking the time to challenge everyone in the Scent Work-training community, and the dog training, owning and loving community as a whole, to be better. Leverage your amazing ability to empathize and strive to better understand an alien species, meaning your dog, and apply those very same skills to your fellow human beings.

Now is the time for introspection. For self-improvement. To sit with this discomfort, to learn from it and try to propel our species forward in the right direction.

We hope that you give this episode a listen. All of us in this community have a skill set that can greatly help the populace as a whole if we choose to apply it, share it and practice it ourselves. If we all do our part, things can get better. Bit by bit.

Stay safe. Hang in there. Enjoy your dogs.

What is Failure?

Dianna L. Santos
Michael McManus

When it comes to training and trialing in Scent Work...what is failure? Is there such a thing a complete and total failure? Or, is how we react to how something went while we were training or trialing affect our emotional state and that, in turn, feeds into the possibility of a total failure? Meaning, if we react horribly to how something went, does that reaction then lead to failure as opposed to what we are reacting to? Should we be shying away from failure or should we be including it in our training, to inoculate ourselves from that negative emotional response? If so, how do we go about doing this? Are there pitfalls doing this? Could we be souring a relationship between the handler and their dog? And if it is an instructor doing this, could they be potentially pushing their clients too far and souring that relationship?

These are some of the questions we discuss with Michael McManus in this podcast episode. At the very least, it will get everyone thinking about what their perceptions of "failure" may be, whether they need to be adjusted or not and how it is important to be mindful of our approaches with long-term consequences in-mind.

How Smart Dogs Hunt

Dianna L. Santos
Michael McManus

In Scent Work, we oftentimes harp on our desire for our dog to focus on one thing and one thing alone: the target odor they have been trained to find. But do dogs actually do this? Are they truly discounting the immense amount of information the environment at their disposal? Is doing so not only possible, is it preferable?!

We discuss this and more with Michael McManus in hopes of painting a more honest picture of how smart dogs hunt (and all of our dogs are smart), why that matters and how we may need to adjust our expectations and how we train in response to these realities.

Ethology v. Interpretation

Dianna L. Santos
Michael McManus

"My dog is distracted by the grass" or "My dog is not focused". These are common things we may hear others, or even ourselves, say when we are doing Scent Work. But what information does this really give us? Are we able to maximize on actionable plans on these statements alone, or are we missing a bigger piece of the puzzle?

In this episode, we discuss the differences between ethology and interpretation with Michael McManus, delving into the advantages of using ethology to help in developing better training plans and approaches in Scent Work.

Trials Cancelled...Now What?!

Dianna L. Santos
Michael McManus

Recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the purpose of this discussion with Michael McManus CAPE, CATT, CNWI is to delve into why people compete in the first place, how those people will cope with trials being cancelled nationwide while also highlighting ways handlers can use this time to further improve their skills during an otherwise unsettling and uncertain time.

The main takeaway should be that we will all get through this. Use this opportunity to reignite your joy for the game of Scent Work and spending valuable time with our dogs.

Demystifying Pooling Odor

Dianna L. Santos
Michael McManus

Pooling odor: a thing that competitors fret about in competition. But what IS pooling odor REALLY?

We sit down with Michael McManus, CAPE, CATT, CNWI in this podcast episode to discuss this topic, how training approaches may affect a dog's ability to work through a pooling odor problem, how inaccessible hides may worsen the issue and much more!

Idols Need Not Apply

Dianna L. Santos

When it comes to teaching Scent Work, a great deal of harm can occur when idolization enters the mix.

We direct this episode to our fellow professional instructors and trainers, urging them to remember that they do NOT need to be perfect, that doing so distances them from their clients, and to reject any attempts of idolization since this can cause serious harm to the human and canine client. A thought-provoking episode for certain, but all topics every professional instructor and trainer should take to heart. We hope you enjoy it and welcome any discussions that may come from it.

Scent Work is Not an Exclusive Club

Dianna L. Santos

With more and more people being introduced to the activity of Scent Work, it is important for all of us to remember that EVERY dog can do this activity and that this is NOT meant to be a special invitation-only type of exclusive club. Rather, Scent Work should be incredibly INCLUSIVE. We discuss why this is and how we as a community need to do better in this podcast episode. Strap in for blunt real-talk.

Definition and Key Rules of Scent Work

Dianna L. Santos

With the explosion of the popularity of Scent Work, it is important that we all understand what Scent Work actually IS, the difference between the competition element and the activity as well as some key rules for playing the game, especially when you are using target odors. There is a TON of misinformation out there, so in this podcast we attempt to set the record straight.

Why Humility Matters

Dianna L. Santos

Humility. Something everyone from instructors, trainers, trial officials and dog owners should be practicing. Otherwise, you're limiting your own potential! If you close yourself off from learning, you will stifle your own development that will eventually backfire on both yourself and your dog.

In this podcast episode, we discuss the importance of practicing humility in all things dog-training, but especially Scent Work. Hopefully, this will elicit some criticial thinking and discussions at the very least.

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Contact Us: dianna@scentworku.com