Scent dogs are happy dogs! Scent training, so long the preserve of the specialist, is now one of the fastest growing canine sports, enriching the lives of the dogs that take part. Scentwork taps into a dog’s natural behaviour and is the means of providing a rewarding occupation with a very special feel-good factor. It rehabilitates rescue dogs, gives misunderstood dogs an outlet for their energy, and allows companion dogs to find a focus and spend quality time with their owners.
In this book, Rob Hewings, a former police dog handler and instructor – and now a passionate convert to positive dog training – shares his unique methodology to get you started on your scentwork journey. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience, Rob explores the world of canine scent and explains how we can harness this extraordinary ability. He gives detailed practical instructions, starting from teaching a dog to identify target scent right through to conducting a full-scale search. Packed with trainer’s tips, details of making your own scent studio, scentwork games to play and troubleshooting solutions, Scentwork Training For Every Dog is the complete guide for those who want to get started in scentwork, for enthusiasts who want to hone their skills and get that competitive edge, and for instructors who are introducing new pupils to the wonderful world of scent.
Rob Hewings spent 30 years in the Metropolitan Police in London, first as a dog handler and then as an instructor. During that time he gained wide experience in all types of scentwork in hugely differing environments. Working at crime scenes taught him to react to unfolding situations, getting the best from his canine partner, yet always putting the dog’s welfare first. His time as an instructor showed him that dogs are individuals and have different ways of learning. When Rob left the Met, he studied scent detection training and gained a doctorate, thus combining academic theory with his operational background. This, combined with his passion for positive training, puts him in a unique position in the world of canine scent detection.
He now runs the UK College of Scent Dogs imparting his knowledge to those new to scentwork, to competitors, and to instructors running clubs and workshops. He says: “My aim is to train my students to be self-directed learners, using positive reinforcement and choice-based training, which creates a great learning environment for both humans and dogs.”