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Does your pup have a nose? Then this post is for you!

Up close picture of a dogs nose

Incorporating your dog's exceptional sense of smell can prove to be a valuable asset in your training endeavors. So, we ask you- Does your pup have a nose? Your beloved pet can experience a multitude of enriching experiences using their adorable booper. Before we delve into the perks of scent training your dog, let's uncover the extraordinary potential of the K9 nose.

Did you know that your dog's nose can smell 10,000-100,000 times better than your human nose? While the human nose has 6 million smell receptors, your dog has about 300 million smell receptors, making your dog's brain power for sniffing 40 times larger than ours.

Your dog's sense of smell is its most powerful sense, so sensitive that dogs can sniff out the equivalent of 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool! They can use their nose to help us hunt, find missing people, locate bombs, drugs, aid in medical detection of cancers, blood sugar levels, blood pressure spikes, and so much more!

Fun fact: Dogs were even used in mines to find different types of ores and gems such as diamonds from several feet underground! That's a really good nose!

The dog's sense of smell is the only thing that doesn't decline with age. So, while older dogs start to lose their hearing and vision, their sense of nose power will always be with them. Teaching them to utilize their strongest sense can be beneficial for older dogs. Scent training can be an extremely powerful tool to use when working with blind dogs to help them find access to certain things and areas of the house when owners move to a new home. By learning how to harness this power, you can provide easy enrichment that not only mentally enriches your dog but also helps tire them out at the same time. This makes scent training an amazing tool to utilize for high-energy dogs or to help with rainy days!

There are many ways to provide this form of enrichment. It can be as easy as having them forage and find their food, which we discuss in another blog. It can be as simple as providing a herb garden for them in the backyard filled with enriching, dog-safe herbs such as basil, parsley, cilantro, lavender, and sage. Or it can be as fun as teaching your dog to find hidden scents around the house such as a spoon of peanut butter or a certain essential oil.

Happy dog with a big smile

When working with scent training, you give your dog an outlet they are naturally driven to do. If you have a hound that loves to drag you down to sniff every blade of grass, working on scent training prior to your walks can aid in your loose leash walking skills. Many breeds, such as German Shepherds, Hounds, Terriers, and Retrievers, are extremely driven to utilize their nose. You can make a chicken smoothie trail that ends to a jackpot of chicken to help satisfy your birddog's drive. Or you can even get a dummy bird and inject it with bird scent and work on having them find the scented dummy in the woods or around the yard to help provide their breed with genetically specific scent training. Your terrier that was bred to hunt and kill rats or prey may have a good old time doing barn hunt mazes. Regardless of the breed, all dogs can benefit from scent training, but I definitely recommend it for most working dog breeds as it will give them a fulfilling job.

I utilize scent training to help service dogs detect changes in their handler's health and help them find certain items for their handlers through scent training of different scents. Using different scents can help your dog differentiate the tasks you are asking for. You can teach your dog to find the remote, your keys, or even your phone if done properly. If you're anything like me, and would lose your head if it wasn't attached to your body, this can be a super helpful skill. So not only can it provide mental stimulation for your furry friend, but it can also aid you in finding things that you always lose, and help you achieve a calmer dog. That's a Win-Win right there!

If you're passionate about scent training, we invite you to connect with us today. Our blog will be a growing go-to source for all things dog- including scent training, as we dive deep into this fascinating topic and share our insights. As we move into 2024, we're excited to offer even more valuable content, including in-depth product reviews of the tools and equipment we use and recommend. So stay tuned, and let's explore the world of scent training together!

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