Skip to content
Home » Dog Sports » Best Scents to Use for Scent Work Training

Best Scents to Use for Scent Work Training

Home » Dog Sports » Best Scents to Use for Scent Work Training

Scent work is a fun and challenging activity for dogs that can keep them sharp and mentally stimulated. It also provides a great way to bond with your dog. The basic idea behind scent work is to use your dog’s natural abilities to track scents to find hidden objects. But it makes you wonder: What are the types of scent to use in dog scent work training?

How do I get started with Scent Work?

Training for scent work can be done at home with some simple supplies. All you need is a box, some treats, and several different scents. You can use food items like cheese, hot dogs, or chicken as the scents, or you can purchase scent kits specifically designed for this purpose.

Start by placing several treats in the box and hiding them around the room. Then show your dog where the treats are hidden and let him get started finding them. As he becomes more proficient at finding the treats, start using multiple boxes or nosework tins and hiding the treats in more difficult locations.

What are Dog Training Scents?

Dogs have an incredibly powerful sense of smell. This makes them perfect for scent work, which is a type of dog training that uses scents to help dogs find objects or people. There are many different types of scents that can be used for scent work, and each one has its own unique purpose.

Some scents are used to help dogs find lost items. These scents can be used in both urban and rural areas, and they can help dogs find any type of object, from a toy to a person.

Other scents are used to train dogs to detect drugs or explosives. These scents are often used by law enforcement agencies and military organizations. Finally, some scents are used to help dogs track down criminals or missing people.

One of the first decisions that you will need to make when starting scent work training with your dog is what type of scent to use. There are many different options available, but not all scents will be suitable for every dog. Some of the most common scents used in scent work training include birch, anise, and clove.


When it comes to scent work training for dogs, many trainers will use anise oil as a scent. Anise oil has a strong odor that is easy for dogs to detect. It is also a scent that is not commonly found in the natural environment, which makes it easier for dogs to identify. Additionally, anise oil does not have any known adverse effects on dogs, making it a safe choice for scent work training.


Birch trees produce a scent that is pleasing to dogs. This is why birch tree scent work is often used in dog training. The smell of birch can help motivate dogs and keep them focused during training. Birch scent work can be used to teach dogs basic obedience commands, as well as more advanced skills like tracking and search and rescue.


Clove oil is a common scent used in scent work training for dogs. The strong, spicy smell is easy for dogs to identify, and it’s something that they’re not likely to get tired of. Clove oil can be used to help train dogs to follow a scent trail, or it can be used as part of a reward system when they find the target scent.

Clove oil has a few other benefits for dog owners as well. It’s a natural insect repellent, so it can be used to keep fleas and ticks away. And because it’s a strong scent, clove oil can also be used to deter dogs from going potty in unwanted places.

Scent Work Training Kits

Scent Work can be done indoors or outdoors, in open areas or confined spaces.

There are many different ways to get started in Scent Work. One way is to join a local club or team. These clubs and teams offer training classes and often hold competitions. Another way to get started is to buy a training kit.

Training kits come with everything you need to start training your dog in Scent Work. They include a scent article, scent pad, and instructions. The scent article is a piece of cloth that has been scented with essential oils or other fragrances that are safe for dogs. The scent pad is used to train the dog on how to identify the scent article.

You will need to experiment with different scents to see which one works best for your dog. Some dogs respond well to a particular scent while others do not. It is important to keep in mind that each dog is unique and may require a different approach when it comes to scent work training.

If your dog does not seem to be responding well to one type of scent, try other scents to use for dog scent work training. You may also want to try using a combination of scents.

What essential oils can you use for scent work?

You’re probably wondering, what you can use to train your dog for scents. Well, there are a variety of essential oils you can use. Some of the most popular essential oil scents for dog training include lavender, lemon, peppermint, and chamomile. Each of these essential oils has its own unique scent that can be used to train your dog.

Lavender oil is a great choice for scent work because it’s a calming scent. If your dog is feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, using lavender oil can help him relax and focus on the task at hand.

Lemon oil is another great option for training because it has a strong and distinctive smell. This oil can help your dog stay alert and focused during training sessions.

Peppermint oil is perfect for dogs that need a little extra motivation during training. The oil provides a strong and clear scent for dogs to follow. It can be used to train dogs for a variety of scent-related activities, such as tracking, narcotics detection, and bomb detection.

Chamomile oil has a sweet, floral scent that is easily detected by dogs. This makes it perfect for use in training nose work and scent detection tasks. When used in combination with other essential oils, such as lavender or rosemary, chamomile can help to improve your dog’s ability to detect scents.

What Supplies You Need for Scent Work Training for Dogs?

We know that you’ve been meaning to ask: What can I use to train my dog for scents?

The key to success in nose work is proper training and a good place to start is with a scent work training kit.

A scent work training kit should include a variety of scents and a number of containers for hiding the scents, such as cups, jars, and boxes.

According to American Kennel Club (AKC), your essential scent work training kit can include nose work supplies such as:

  • Chosen essential oil (birch for starters)
  • Cotton swabs
  • A scent vessel (for the cotton swab).
  • Tweezers
  • Small glass jar with a lid
  • Disposable gloves
  • High-value treats
  • Plastic container with holes drilled in the lid

How to Prep the Odor and Scent Vessel for Scent Work Training

1. Make sure to prepare the odor vessel as far away as possible from where you’ll be training with your dog.

2. Wear disposable gloves.

3. Apply two drops of your chosen essential oil to each cotton swab.

4. Fill the glass container halfway with scented cotton swabs.

5. Dispose of the gloves properly by turning them inside out, rolling them in newspaper, and tossing them in a garbage can outside of the training area.

6. Take a cotton swab from the jar and place it in the smell vessel with your tweezers.

The best way to use a scent work training at home kit is to break down the tasks into small steps and practice them often. Start by teaching your dog how to find the scent in an open area. Once your dog has mastered this skill, gradually introduce more difficult challenges, such as finding the scent in a closed container or hiding it under other objects.

Do dogs nose get tired during scent work?

There’s a lot of talk about whether or not dogs get tired during scent work. The general consensus is that, yes, dogs can get tired during scent work. This is especially true if the dog is working in an environment where they are constantly having to switch up their scents.

For example, if a dog is tracking a criminal, and the criminal changes direction, the dog has to quickly adjust to the new scent.

The good news is that there are ways to help your dog stay energized during scent work. One way is to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise outside of scent work. This will help keep them in good shape and tire them out a bit so they’re not as exhausted when they start working. Additionally, you can give your dog food puzzles or interactive toys to keep them mentally stimulated.

The bottom line is that you must be able to sense if your dog is getting tired of the scent work training. Even if dogs see the training as scent work games, they need to take a pause when they get tired and perhaps take a dog nap.

How long should scent work training last?

There’s no definitive answer to this question. For the most part, dogs are tireless when it comes to using their noses, but after a while, they will start to feel exhausted. That’s why it’s best to break up scent work training into shorter sessions throughout the day instead of one long session. This will keep your dog interested and motivated throughout the entire process.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all dogs are created equal when it comes to their sense of smell. Some dogs are naturally better at scent work than others, so don’t get discouraged if your dog doesn’t seem to be picking things up as quickly as you’d like. Be patient and keep working with them, and eventually, they’ll get the hang of it.