sporting detection dogs association


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The Sport of Scent Detection

Sporting Detection dogs promotes the fun and competitive versions of scent detection, such as for narcotics, bed bugs or explosives. However, our competitions use legal scents that are easily purchased and stored by the average person.
The dog must locate a hidden target scent within a certain area and alert the handler to its location. It is a true partnership sport in which both members of the team help one another to perform an efficient and clean search. This type of "hunting" will promote confidence in the dog and provide intense mental stimulation. It is also intended to promote a positive, trusting relationship between owner and dog given that the owner must learn to trust in the dog's superior scenting ability and also to read the subtleties of canine body language.

Whether practiced for sport or fun, scent detection is suited to all types of dogs and handlers. Various human or canine disabilities are easily accommodated as are behavioural issues. Classes and trials are run so that each search is done by one dog and handler team working by itself, allowing dogs with issues to focus and learn. Working individually and without social stressors allows the dog to channel its energy, leaving the dog and handler free to concentrate. Natural dog behaviours often regarded as "uncivilized", such as pulling on leash and barking in enthusiasm, are acceptable and may even be encouraged as part of drive and confidence building. Unruly behaviour can also be curbed by using the dog's desire to search to develop focus and self-control.

The Sporting Detection Dogs Association has been established so that dogs and their handlers can enjoy the sport and earn titles.


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