Has the brilliance of your dog ever hit you like a ton of bricks?
Do you find yourself gobsmacked watching your dog work their tail off in a search?
Are you learning the small ways in which they communicate to you from start to finish?
Do you feel a deeper connection and understanding with them?
If not, that is okay. It will come.
These are byproducts of Scent Work and occur in the background without us even noticing. However, the benefits of each cannot be overstated.
To truly see your dog for the first time as the complicated, thinking, opinionated and talented creature they are who CHOOSES to share their world with us is an unforgettable experience.
Their ability to solve odor puzzles can be exhilarating, addicting and make us feel quite inferior. We stand in the shadow of their greatness and wonder where our place is on the team. We feel discombobulated handling our leash or trying to read their tells. Attempting to grasp the dynamics of an odor we cannot see, nor experience, can be daunting. Then there are those “other teams” that seem to have everything together, excel at everything as we seemingly bumble along, causing our light to dim even more.
Then, just when you feel the walls of self-doubt creeping in, you do another practice search with your dog, and they demonstrate you are indeed a crucial part of puzzle. They choose to play this game with you. To welcome you into their world and share the experience with their person.
Your dog beams when they find a hide and looks to you as if to say, “Did you see me, I found it! We did it!” Even when we waffle in making an alert call, our dogs will patiently wait for our tiny human brains to catch up and are delighted when it finally does.
The journey into this sniffing world can be a bumpy one at times. It can feel alien, so unlike other journeys we may have taken with our dogs. Yet it is a magical journey.
Allow yourself to be blanketed by the joy that is searching with your dog. Smile. Laugh. Marvel at this experience you have with this little furry creature. These are special occasions. Treat them as such and go have some sniffy fun with your pup.
Dianna has been training dogs professionally since 2011. She has done everything from teaching group training classes and private lessons, to specializing in working with fearful, reactive and aggressive dogs, to being a trial official and competition organization staff member.
Following a serious neck and back injury, Dianna was forced to retire from in-person dog training. But she was not ready to give up her passion! So, she created Pet Dog U, Dog Sport University and Scent Work University to provide outstanding online dog training to as many dog handlers, owners and trainers possible…regardless of where they live! Dianna is incredibly grateful to the amazingly talented group of instructors who have joined PDU, DSU and SWU and she looks forward to the continued growth of PDU, DSU and SWU and increased learning opportunities all of these online dog training platforms can provide.
In June 2021, Dianna and her business partner, Sean McMurray launched Cyber Scent Work, Inc., an organization that operates in the gray space between training and trialing in Scent Work. With Cyber Scent Work, Inc., handlers have the opportunity to earn Qs, titles and ribbons while also receiving helpful training advice regardless of whether they qualify or not! Be sure to check out Cyber Scent Work, Inc., you will be happy you did!