The Foundation of Sport Detection

with Ericka Duggan

Skill Level: Beginner

Length: 6 Modules

Access Period: Unlimited

Price: $150.00

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Foundation of Sport Detection Training

266 videos - 25 HOURS 



There are a number of new dog sports in America in which dogs are trained to detect non-narcotic odors. These sports have become extremely popular. The training for all nose work requires access to a scent work training lab. If you do not have access to an existing training area you will need to put one together for yourself. This is not expensive and can be done in the corner of your garage or basement. If you are brand new to scent work it is important that you know this before purchasing this course.


Ericka is the head trainer at the Michael Ellis School in California. She teaches two separate one week courses, at Michael's school, on sport scent work. We filmed 12 handlers and their dogs going through Ericka's first class. Our course contains 266 videos (over 25 hours) of detailed instruction.


You will see handlers of varying skill levels working with dog’s of all ages and temperaments.  We included a 9 week old Border Collie puppy and a 12 year old senior Chihuahua loving the work.


Scent work training inherently requires trainers have a friend or assistant during some of their training sessions. It is a mistake to think that someone can train a scent detection dog by themselves, that simply cannot be done. There are times in training when a friend should hold the dog while the trainer works a scent pattern with the dog. There are also times in training when an assistant must be the person who hides the search items. This is called a blind search.


Blind searches are the only way a handler will ever get good at reading their dog during a scent detection competition.


The course includes the following:

  • How motivation effects training and how to maximize each dogs motivation
  • Hunt drive and how it effects our training plan
  • The importance of confidence in the dog, and how scent detection can build confidence
  • Selecting the proper reward for training and trials
  • Marker training and it's applications in detection training
  • Reward placement in training and trials
  • Leash handling for training and trials
  • Teaching a pre-training and pre-trial ritual
  • Why and how we teach a final response, and how we select it
  • Introducing odor
  • How to avoid false alerts, fringe response, aggressive response, eliminating in the search area, and improper handler help
  • When and how to increase difficulty in search problems
  • Throughout the course we include problem solving and an extensive section on questions and answers.


The sport of scent detection has changed significantly since Leerburg released its first DVD’s. There are new organizations and rule changes. This course will bring you up to speed on many of the current rules.


Ericka cover differences, and rules of various venues, such as: the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW), the United Kennel Club (UKC), The Sporting Detection Dog Association (SDDA), Canine Work and Games (C-WAGS), and other up and coming organizations. You will learn commonly used terms for detection training, their meanings, and how they apply them to practical training situations. You will learn to train your dog, your client's dogs, and how to teach clients to train their own dogs.



Module 1   Introduction to Nosework
  Segment 1 Meet Ericka Duggan
  Segment 2 Terminology
  Segment 3 What is Nosework
  Segment 4 Training Goals
  Segment 5 Any Dog Can Do This
  Module 2   Equipment and Training Space
  Segment 1 Equipment for the Dog
  Segment 2 Training Equipment
  Segment 3 Training Space
  Segment 4 Human Roles
Module 3   Pre-Search Prep
  Segment 1 Selecting Dogs Reward & Building Motivation
  Segment 2 Pre-Search Dog Training
  Segment 3 Pre-Search Human Training
 Module 4   Training the Dog - Steps
  Segment 1  The Training Steps
  Segment 2 Getting Comfortable in the Search Area 
  Segment 3 Open Drawer Searches 
  Segment 4 Open Drawers - Working Around the Corner 
  Segment 5 Adding Second Level Drawers 
  Segment 6 Closed Drawers - Pay on Sniff 
  Segment 7 Using Back Pressure to Stop Aggressive Responses 
  Segment 8 Capturing Locking ( & Adding Odor) 
  Segment 9 Pop and Drop ( Removing Food) 
  Segment 10 Adding the Clicker 
  Segment 11 Puppies 
  Segment 12  Recap and Additional Information
Module 5   Individual Dog Progression
  Segment 1 Dog 1 - Kingston  (Terv)
  Segment 2 Dog 2 - Vigo  (Malinois)
  Segment 3 Dog 3 - Otto  (Ibizan Hound)
  Segment 4 Dog 4 - Lola  (Pitbull)
  Segment 5 Dog 5 - Scout  (Mix)
  Segment 6 Dog 6 - Rae  (Cattle Dog)
  Segment 7 Dog 7 - Kaidin  (Chihuahua)
  Segment 8 Dog 8 - Niero  (Standard Poodle)
  Segment 9 Dog 9 - Maizy  (Mix)
  Segment 10 Dog 10 - Josie  (Cattle Dog / Border Collie Mix)
  Segment 11 Dog 11 - Mercedes  (Beauceron)
  Segment 12 Dog 12 - Aurora  (Malinois)
 Module 6    Where to go From Here
  Segment 1 Q&A
  Segment 2 Equipment


Perfect for professional trainers and hobbyists alike.


It may be helpful to have a second hand for this training. While there is not pre-requisite for this course, watching Michael Ellis's Video " The Power of Training Dog With Food" will give you a great head start when you start your detection training.



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Will this course help me if I am not a professional trainer?

  • Yes! This course will help any owner get started in Detection spots. You just need one person that is able to hold a leash and stay out of the dogs way to help you. 


What age should I start detection work?

  • While it depends on your lifestyle and goals with your dog, we typically start dogs after they're 6 months of age.


If I don't want to compete will this course help my dog?

  • YES! Detection is great mental stimulation and exercise for all dogs. Even if you've never trialed, your dog will benefit greatly. This is a wonderful way to exercise your dog when weather is bad, or you don't feel well.
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