All About Scent Work Podcast

All About Scent Work Podcast

Get ready to discuss all things Scent Work! Topics will be helpful for both companion dog owners and serious dog sport competitors. #allaboutscentworkpodcast #scentwork #nosework #scentworktraining #noseworktraining #scentworktrialing #noseworktrialing #scentworku #scentworkuniversity


April 26, 2024 24 mins

Competing in Scent Work involves receiving qualifying or non-qualifying scores, earning titles or even placements...but what does all of this really mean?!

Does every Q earned mean our training is utterly perfect, unicorns and rainbows, whereas every NQ should be met with blowing up our training and starting over from scratch? If we do not earn a placement at a trial, do we have a ton of work ahead of us whereas earning a placement...

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We are living through an exciting time where there is a plethora of learning opportunities within the Scent Work training community! This includes access to countless experienced instructors and trainers who offer unique viewpoints and training approaches, creative training exercises and much more.

The way we take in and utilize all this information matters.

In this episode, we discuss the importance of being a critical consumer, a...

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April 5, 2024 37 mins

As we play Scent Work, we work to develop skills for the dog, handler and team in our classes and training sessions. Especially for teams who are interested in competing, testing those skills with blind hides, time limits and other potential stressors is key. Traditionally, mock trials and Sniff N' Gos were the type of events that met this need. However, we can all agree the more creative the event, the more likely we are to partic...

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March 29, 2024 37 mins

One of the many wonderful aspects of Scent Work is how it is a benefical activity for so many categories of dogs, including reactive dogs.

In this episode, we have the privilege to speak with Christina Young of Positive Dog, a certified dog behavior consultant with IAABC and PPG, about playing the Scent Work game with reactive dogs.

Learn more about Christina:

Positive Dog Website

Leash Reactivity: Make Walks Fun Again Webinar


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March 22, 2024 42 mins

Whether it be due to old age, injuries, illness or simply not wanting to play the game anymore, we may find ourselves faced with the prospect of retiring our dogs from Nose Work.

In this episode, we speak with Lori Timberlake of Do Over Dog Training about her personal journey with her senior girl Daisy who, while still full of spice and vinegar, made it clear she much preferred romps in the woods over playing Nose Work. 

We are so ...

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March 15, 2024 19 mins

We are all incredibly busy, fluttering around doing a million things at once. How often have you found yourself trying to squeeze in a Scent Work training session? "I've got a few minutes...let's do a quick search!"

In this episode, Dianna explains how one such "I can do this quick!" training session went completely off the rails, how breathing and staying mindful would have been a far better solution yet the learning she was able ...

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March 8, 2024 16 mins

Regardless of why we are playing Scent Work or what our goals are, we should take time to better understand odor, odor theory and hide placement.

In this episode, we discuss the benefits of better understanding these concepts and how doing so can ensure our dogs to have more successful repetitions in their Scent Work training sessions.

Looking to learn more about odor theory and hide placement? Check out these resources:

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March 1, 2024 26 mins

Dealing with absolutes is riddled with issues. Yet it is far too common for statements containing "always" and "never" to be thrown around when discussing Scent Work. Black and white type thinking can be problematic to stay the very least.

In this episode, we delve into the importance of embracing the grey to take into account all the variables including the dog, handler, team, search area, environmental factors and more.



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February 23, 2024 27 mins

Handlers should absolutely advocate for their dogs. They know their dogs best and will be the ones who will decide the short-term and long-term goals for themselves, their dog and their team as a unit. Handlers working with an instructor should view this professional as an integral part of the team. These professionals can ensure all these goals are met, avoid common pitfalls or course correct if necessary. However, doing so can be...

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February 17, 2024 35 mins

As we are training and trialing in Scent Work, we will start accumulating successes. However, we should evaluate these successes objectively and honestly, otherwise we can start experiencing some issues.

In this episode, we discuss why this type of honest assessment is crucially important to ensure the future progression of ourselves and our dogs as we continue to play the sniffing game.


Dianna L. Santos



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February 10, 2024 44 mins

Being a Scent Work instructor is an honor and a privilege. You devote countless hours learning and honing your craft, perfecting it with your own dogs and then transferring that knowledge to your clients. Those clients then go on to play the wonderful sniffing game, having successes and a blast doing so.

However, to be an effective teacher requires one also be a student, someone open to learning new information, approaches and pers...

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February 3, 2024 43 mins

When it comes to Scent Work, we work to to ensure our dog has solid odor recognition, that they find their hides valuable and are able to competently solve odor puzzles and source their hides both efficiently and effectively. However, to truly be successful, our dogs must also master a myriad of other skills which have nothing at all to do with searching.

In this episode, we delve into this topic, providing a few examples of the ty...

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In this episode, we discuss Cyber Scent Work and some of the changes, updates and new offerings including the launch of the Cyber Sniffing Games Program, the revamped Traditional Cyber Scent Work Program as well as introducing in-person assessments with the new Evaluator Program. YAY!

To learn more, be certain to check out:

Cyber Scent Work website

Cyber Sniffing Games Program

Traditional Cyber Scent Work Program

Evaluator Program


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For our 100th episode, we have the distinct privilege of speaking with the Co-Founders of NACSW, Amy Herot and Jill Marie O'Brien about all things odor, K9 Nose Work, training, trialing and more.



  • Dianna L. Santos
  • Amy Herot
  • Jill Marie O'Brien

Scent Work University is an online dog training platform focused on all things Scent Work. Our online coursesseminarswebinars and eBooks are not only for t...

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August 19, 2023 29 mins

Are you going a million miles a minute when it comes to Scent Work? Doing all the training, learning, trialing possible, essentially all the things all the time? Or, do you feel as though MUST do all the things all the time to be a "good" Scent Work handler, instructor, trainer or trial official?

In this episode, we discuss the potential issues of doing too much for too long, lacking balance in your life and how it is NOT necessary...

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As Scent Work Instructors, given our learning, background and expertise, we oftentimes have a fairly solid grasp for how a sniffy journey may go, common pitfalls teams may fall into and ways to avoid those pitfalls. Our desire is to help guide our clients to have the smoothest and most successful journey possible. However, some learning can only be obtained by doing.

In this episode, Dianna discusses how challenging it can be for i...

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August 13, 2023 30 mins

"It depends", one of the most common responses Scent Work instructors will give regarding what to do when a dog misses a hide in training. While this may be met with frustration and consternation from our clients, there is good reason for it. Solutions are NOT one-size-fits all. There are a multitude of factors which may result in drastically different approaches being implemented for the best outcome.

In this episode, we discuss a...

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August 5, 2023 16 mins

Watching baby puppies tackle a Scent Work search is endearing to say the very least. We can easily get swept away by how amazing these tiny little babies are at solving their searches. Before we know it, we are offering more and more challenging searches for them to tackle. However, we must remember that they are indeed babies, not simply small adult dogs. 

In this episode, we discuss how it is fantastic to play Scent Work with our...

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July 7, 2023 54 mins

In this episode, we speak with Lori Timberlake of Do Over Dog Training regarding one of her favorite topics: training dirty in Scent Work. This discussion highlights the power of this training approach, how and when teams should incorporate these concepts and clearing up any misconceptions regarding how this may differ from the proper handling of our odor training aids.

This is an excellent discussion which will benefit all dog and...

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April 21, 2023 36 mins
A common approach teams take when they are prepping for a Scent Work trial is to focus on the requirements for a given level. However, that oftentimes means teams are solely obsessing about tackling super difficult searches in the upper levels whereas newer teams are holding off on introducing key concepts until much later in their training journey. This can be problematic. Enter all-level trial prep as an alternative approach! ...
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