National Shiba Club of America

Scent Work

It has long been recognized that dogs generally have an excellent sense of smell with that being tapped for numerous purposes. Those purposes include search & rescue, cadaver search, drug detection, bomb sniffing, and cancer detection to name a few that many are familiar with. Those tasks take an extensive amount of training and commitment on the part of the owner.

Now AKC offers a titling program that allows more owners of dogs to utilize this natural talent of their dogs. Scent Work involves having the dogs find odors such as birch, anise, clove and cypress in a controlled setting. Q-tips scented with the odors are hidden in containers, interiors of a room, outside in a designated area, and buried in some manner. Titles are earned by a dog successfully finding the odors in each of the types of environment three times. As with many other sports, higher titles are associated with greater difficulty of finding the hides. In addition to the Odor Search Division, there is a Handler Discrimination Division where the dog searches for the scent of the handler.