Scent Discrimination

Scent Detection Training

Scent Detection Training

Canine Trailing is often considered synonymous with scent discrimination, or the ability for a dog to detect an individual human odor amongst many. There are numerous schools of thought regarding this issue. Some people believe that dogs do not have this ability and instead work on a basis of the freshest “track” out of an area. In order to properly debate this subject it would require an entire book. Suffice it to say, we believe all canids have the ability to scent discriminate and it is what sets them apart in our natural world as incredible hunters. However, we do not believe that this ability is always 100% accurate. There are forces on the trail of prey that can confuse and distract a dog. This is especially true when a dog is required to wade through the melting pot of human aroma in the middle of suburbia or a downtown city street. The degree to which the dog works is commensurate to its training and native traits or prey drive.

Georgia K9 Handlers are experts in the field of scent discrimination and have been relied upon for expert witness testimony in criminal cases.

We can be relied upon to provide our students with proper documentation of their training for court purposes. GAK9 instructiors have provided expert testimony in support of our students and their K9 training.


Jeff Schettler provided the California courts with documentation listing the differences between traditional tracking methodology and trailing:  This material was recently used in The State of California vs. Deshawn Lee Campbell, docket # CC12649; a homicide trial where the victim was San Jose Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana. The Honorable Judge Northway at the Santa Clara County Superior Court heard this 402b motion on February 19, 2009; this is a motion to determine the foundation of proffered evidence.

Deja is a 10 month old female bloodhound – This video has been made to help handlers learn how dogs might work strong scent pool starts at the beginning of a trail and proximity alerts at the end. Deja is a 10 month old female bloodhound that has exceptional drive and trailing ability.

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GAK9 Seminar Day 3 Nicky in-town trailing. ( Apr 13 – 17, 2011 )

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I was real happy with the way he worked the edges of the roadway and switched to the air scent at the end.

Anvak Scent ID Work

Anvak working Mare Island Naval base from the college building to an old hospital. This trail was infrequently marked with brown chalk. A part of this exercise was to have Anvak Identify the door the subject touched. The video is a good example of beginning door ID work.