We’re excited to announce our new Scent Work class!
You might know that dog noses are at least 10,000x stronger than ours. It is easily a dog’s most resourceful instrument, yet they don’t always have a chance to fine-tune it. This class provides dogs with enriching exercises to use their noses and brains and track down scents for rewards.
How it works
Dogs begin by learning to pair odor with the smell of treats. In a very Pavlovian fashion, dogs come to associate the search-odor with treat-rewards. Once they understand the positive association between work and reward, they’re eager to track down the odor without the treats there.
In our scent work class, dogs advance through over 25 levels of searches in different environments to become the ultimate “scent detective.” As dogs master each level, they earn badges to mark their accomplishments. Searches get more advanced as the trainer hides odors in different containers and settings. Dogs gain confidence and skill as they master each level.
All dogs have the ability to search and detect search-odor, making this class accessible to all dogs regardless of skill level or experience. This is also a great activity for shy or nervous dogs as participants do the exercises one at a time with the instructor.
How scent work benefits dogs
Scent work benefits dogs in so many ways, but here are just a few:
- Dogs gain confidence by learning to detect odor on their own. Besides facilitating the searches, our trainer is fairly hands-off and encourages participants to trust their senses.
- Dogs get satisfaction from a sense of purpose and getting rewarded for their good work.
- This class provides lots of mental stimulation which sharpens our dog’s brains, making them happy and tired after just a few searches.
Meet your dog’s scent work trainer
We are excited to announce our new training partnership with Sylvia Wes!
Sylvia has over 10 years of experience in the pet care industry. It all started when she worked at a shelter caring for over 200 dogs, where she met her first rescue. It was this experience that inspired Sylvia to seriously consider working with animals. “When I got into the rescue business I realized that I could effect change as a trainer. My goal became helping more pets stay in homes than get relinquished to shelters.”
Sylvia studied with highly accredited dog behaviorist and trainer Penny Scott-Fox.
The best part of Sylvia’s job goes beyond her time spent with the animals. “Watching people’s relationships with their dogs improve is the best part of my job.” To be the bridge that allows dogs to stay in their forever homes keeps her inspired.
Sylvia’s hope for the future of dog care is “to see more facilities investing in enrichment programs for the dogs in their care.” While many daycares provide supervision and socialization, a lack of structure can often result in dogs find entertainment of their own means, which is usually expressed through boredom or bad behavior.
“Boredom is one of the leading causes of canine outbursts,” says Sylvia. “Appropriate mental stimulation can help your dog feel better and ultimately improve their bad behavior. I want more focus to be placed on this crucial aspect of dog development. A tired dog is a good dog!”
Join us for Scent Works!
Scent Works takes place every Wednesday at 2:00 PM at Pet Food Express in Beverly Hills. The class is led by our training partner, Sylvia Wes. Get started by signing up through the Fitdog app.