Dogs learn to track scent at Fish and Game

Above: Instructor Mary–Ann Warren presenting the Husky Cross named Bonnie with a scent as owner Jessica Locke looks at her dog’s reaction. – Lucie Roy Photo

by Lucie Roy

Dogs and their owners attended the Beginners K9 Scent Work course at the Morinville Fish & Game Clubhouse Feb. 3. The six-week course is being taught by Mary Ann Warren, Training Consultant, Instructor and Owner of Precision Search Dog.

“It is a fun scent class for people to learn how to utilize their dog’s nose in different ways,” Warren said of the program, noting the purpose of the class is to give dogs something else to do besides obedience and agility. “If you can challenge their mind you can tire the dog and satisfy the dog.”

Warren trains search dogs to find people, so she sees the scent class as an extension of that work and says dog noses are 44 per cent better than humans.

She has been working with dogs for more than 30 years and has trained dogs for protection, bird hunting, obedience, tracking, and search and rescue. Warren said she does a lot of search dog training and will be in Kentucky next month and then Victoria.

“Dog’s noses are fabulous; you do not have to spend a lot of time showing what you want them to find because they get it,” she said. “They can pick up a scent and register it in the body in nanoseconds. They know it exactly, and can recall it at any time.”

For Warren, it is fun to watch the dog use its nose. “It is mentally stimulating for a dog to have to use its nose, which will also tire the dog out,” she said. “It is something you can do in the winter time. Most winters [you] cannot get out there to exercise the dog to satisfy them, and this gives them something to do in winter or summer.”

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