Sailor graduated from his Beginner Course at Sniffer Dog School last week and we are already enrolling him in the intermediate course in a few months time.
He completed a 5 week course and it’s exactly what you’re imagining – he’s learning to be a sniffer Dog! While he does not have dreams of being a working Sniffer Dog – we are acutely aware of how important it is for Pups to use and fine tune their incredible sense of smell and have loved seeing him get better every week.
We go to the gym to exercise our bodies, and read books to work our minds. Whilst Sailor does enjoy chewing a good book, I do think reading one might just be out of his reach. .
Would I recommend it? HELL YESSSSS. For Sailor (and us) the benefits have been huge.
1. CONFIDENCE.  Sailor can be a very anxious Pup when he’s not at home.  Think a real life Scooby Doo and you will get the idea.  Going to Sniffer School each week and having a completely positive, fun experience each time helped him feel more confident in all situations.  Fiona made sure Sailor had his own stall to relax in between Sniffing trials (so there were no other people or Dogs in with us to spook him).  Fiona made sure everyone else in the class watching on knew to look away if he noticed them looking at him during his trial and she took so much time and patience in ensuring Sailor was comfortable in her presence that I’m so happy to say not once in the total of almost 8 hours we spent at Sniffer School did Sailor have a single situation that made him feel unsafe.  In fact, by week 3 he was SO confident that he decided to completely relax and enjoy himself a little too much – playing with all of the scent boxes (to the point of destruction) rather than finding his target!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
2.  TRAINING & RESPONSIVENESS.  We’ve learnt a LOT about the way we interact with Sailor.  We’ve discovered he responds a LOT faster to commands if we ask him gently and calmly to do something.  We’ve learnt that something as simple as our own body movement and direction can have a powerful effect on Sailor’s decisions and actions.  We also saw how much he relies on us to help him in situations hes unsure of.  When we do our sniffer runs at home he can’t wait to go and ‘find’ and leaves us behind once we tell him to find his target.  At Sniffer School he won’t wander far from our side no matter how interesting the smells might be.
3.  JOY.  He LOVES going to school.  He LOOOVVVEEESSSS doing his practice runs at home.  We can see how much he loves using his nose for a purpose.  Dogs are born with this smelling “Super Power” and I really feel we owe it to them to both appreciate how amazing they are and let them discover how to use it properly.  Seeing Sailor so happy makes us so proud.
4.  STIMULATION.  Sailor falls asleep in the car on the way home every week.  There is no faster way to tire out your Pup than letting them use their sniffer.  If your Pup is ever unable to be walked for any amount of time, or you run out of time for their Sunday walk – letting them use their nose for 10 minutes is the most effective way to ensure they’re still being stimulated and are worn out by the end of it.  
5.  EXPERIENCE.  For them and for us.  When I first told Aidan I had enrolled Sails in Sniffer School he was very unsure.  By week 2 we were arguing over whose turn it was in the ring with him!  I can safely say that if you love your Dog, you’ll love this experience and be better Dog parents for it too.
Get in touch with Fiona at THE DOGGY LADY to ask any questions and enroll your own Sniffer Dog Superstar Pups ASAP!


You know you’re ‘in’ with Sails when you get a neck sniff – it’s the ultimate “I kinda like you but you still can’t pat me yet” move 🙂  Fiona should get to”you may pat my back” status by the end of the intermediate course 🙂

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