Lesson 3 of 4
In Progress

Stressed and reactive, bored and distracted to Scentventure Superstar!

As we’re going to be spending a lot of time together, I wanted to introduce myself properly. I’m Katie, your Scentventure Guide. I help dog owners solve problems and get the best out of their relationships with their dogs.

I’m a qualified dog trainer, scentwork instructor and Canine Enrichment Specialist at Dogwood Adventure Play, the UK’s first dog adventure park. 

Dogwood is the home of Scentventure, my signature training system that helps stressed, reactive and distracted dogs, dogs that are bored or understimulated and dogs that would love something fun to do!

My own dogs Lao was all those things combined! Let me tell you a little story about how Dogwood, Scentventure and the Club came about.

Lao was handed over to a rescue centre in Italy by a vet who refused to put him to sleep. He had been taken there by his ex-owners, a hunting kennel in Southern Italy, because he didn’t hunt well. As Lao’s physical health started to improve and we started going for walks, I began to understand that he had some complex training and behavioural issues. Although he’d clearly had an awful time with the hunters and had the cars to prove it, his natural desire to chase prey was still strong and I struggled to find a safe outlet for his predatory instincts. 

He would also bark and lunge at people and dogs, even biting them. We kept him on lead and our daily walks became less stressful at least – but they were also boring. Lao seemed unfulfilled and frustrated. I felt guilty.

Back in the UK I started seeking our weird and wonderful places where he could be free to run, sniff and play. Several times I thought I’d found the perfect place… then I’d turn up one morning to find that someone had got there first. My search became more extreme, the places more isolated. I didn’t always feel safe.

How could I help this funny, sweet and affectionate but incredibly fearful dog live a fulfilled life? There seemed to be just one solution.

I need to buy a field for Lao.’ 

If my friends and family didn’t think I was mad already, they did now. If I said I wanted to open a private hire dog exercise field they probably would have understood more. But we didn’t buy the field to start a business; its purpose was to solve a huge problem in my life.

We took picnics, splashed about in pools, played on the logs, tyres and Adventure Play frames. I invented courses, new activities and challenges, gave them names. We practiced every day and got really good at it. I watched Lao’s confidence grow even further as he realised what he was capable of. We started doing it at home too, out on our regular walks. I gave it a name: Scentventure

Dogwood is just a field. Scentventure is what you do when you get there!

In Club Dogwood you can practice Scentventure from the comfort of your own home and garden, and out on your normal every day walks. Every month members receive new training and enrichment challenges that are fun yet practical and as tiring as a walk to leave your dog calm and relaxed. 

Let the Scentventure begin!


Ps. I’d love to know your dog’s story too if you haven’t told me already! Drop me an email at hello@dogwoodadventureplay.com