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What is Scentwork

Scent Work, based on the task of working detection dogs, is a positive, challenging activity that allows dogs to use their strongest natural sense in a way that is fun and engaging. Because it is an exercise that requires the dog to locate an odour and communicate this to the handler, it also establishes a building of trust between dog and handler.

Working as a team, while negotiating through a variety of environments*, dogs are trained to indicate the location a specific odour by pawing, pointing or assuming a specific body position. While searching, the dog does all the active work while the handler offers only guidance and encouragement. Communication and praise of the dog during the search are greatly encouraged. When, however, the dog indicates where it believes the odour is located, the handler informs and seeks corroboration from the judge.

*Currently only Container Searches are trained for, but this is expected to grow as it develops.

Eligibility
Dogs must be at least twelve months of age; In good health on the day of each scent trial; and been imprinted with the appropriate DNZ approved Essential Oil.
Handlers must be over the age of sixteen.

Dogs NZ Scentwork Certification
A Dogs New Zealand Detection Certificate will be awarded following successful completion of each of one of the two container patterns. Detection Certificates also provides a means toward achieving Scent Work titles for the dog, and a right to advance to higher levels of Scent Work.
Certificates will be made available to clubs conducting authorized DNZ Scent Work Trials.

Training
As for any canine activity, training is essential. Dogs NZ Scent Work is available through a variety of Dogs NZ organizations, and a list of these (continually updated) is available in the “Information” section.

On request, Dogs NZ Scentwork workshops are also offered periodically within geographical areas to provide:
•    A brief summary of Dogs NZ involvement in Scentwork.
•    Scent Imprinting.
•    An introduction to training dogs for Novice Container Search Trials.
•    Dogs NZ Scent Work Instructor training.
 
These Scent Work workshops are full-day workshops and limited, purely for management purposes, to twenty attendees (per presenter) at a time.