Lesson 9 of 23
In Progress

New pot

Scent Identification – choice games

In the last phase I told you that there are 3 elements to scentwork:

  • Scent identification – getting the scent ‘up the dog’s nose’ 
  • The indication – the freeze, which we are starting to build up over the scent bowls
  • The search itself 

This phase we’re still looking at scent identification, but with a focus on discriminating it from other scents!

The scent picture contains a lot of variants: the plastic, the cotton wool, labels, ink, etc. How do our dogs know that it’s the gun oil we want them to smell? Well, so far they don’t. Today we are going to introduce different kinds of containers so that the consistent scent is the gun oil.

Then, we need to allow our dogs to make the right choice between the pot with the target scent inside and an identical container without the scent. 

Choice-based learning is the best way of training dogs.

The choice game introduces the smallest of searches and slowly begins to ignite the dog’s seeking system.

But first! We need to ensure we’re capturing a sniff and not a nose touch!


  • Sample pot
  • Scented cotton pad


  1. Sit at table alongside 20 treats
  2. Attract dog’s attention while offering pot
  3. Listen for sniffing – when dog sniffs pot click/mark and reward.