training dogs using the scent work command
training dogs using the scent work command

Training dogs using the scent work command

Training Dogs Using the Scent Work Command

The scent work command is a specialized canine training tool used in the detection of odors. This training is used to teach dogs to recognize and differentiate between various odors and to react to them quickly and correctly.

The scent work command is composed of the following commands:

  • Search: Used when a dog is trained to search for an odor.
  • Alert: Used when a dog is trained to alert to the presence of a specific odor.
  • Eliminate: Used when a dog is trained to eliminate irrelevant odors.
  • Retrieve: Used when a dog is trained to retrieve an object with a scent on it.

Getting Started With Scent Work Training

The first step in scent work is acclimating your dog to the odor that you want to train them to detect. Proper acclimation ensures that your dog will be able to learn the command efficiently and accurately. Start training your dog in an area with little to no distractions.

The second step is to introduce your dog to the search command. Start by teaching your dog to search an area for a specific scent, such as a piece of food or a toy. Once your dog has learned to search for an item, you can then teach them to alert when they find the scent.

Practices For Quality Scent Work Training

  • Consistently correct your dog when they make a mistake. This will reinforce their understanding of the commands.
  • Reward your dog when they succeed to motivate them to continue learning and improve their performance.
  • Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your dog.
  • Teach your dog the eliminate command so that they can distinguish between odors that are relevant and those that are not.
  • Do not rush the training process. Take your time as each step is valuable to your dog’s comprehension of the command.


Scent work training is an effective and fun way to teach your dog the commands of the search, alert, eliminate, and retrieve. With time, patience and consistency, your dog will learn the commands and the reward for both you and your pup will be a great bond and a deeper understanding of each other.