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Intensive scent detection course for motivated dog handlers.


  • those who are already working with detection dogs but want to develop their skills as a handler and a dog team
  • those who aim to become a professional detection dog team


  • an easily motivated dog to work with
  • basic knowledge of reward-based training on dogs
  • high motivation to learn and train
  • sufficient amount of time available for training during the course
  • possibility to record videos of your training and uploading them for online tutoring (phone quality is sufficient)

Considered as an advantage:

  • knowledge of canine learning theory
  • advanced dog training skills
  • earlier experience on scent work

The primary course language is English. For Finnish attendees, translation help is offered if needed. (If you are unsure about your language skills, please ask for more details.) 



  • reliable indication
  • training planning
  • record-keeping 
  • self-reflective practice
  • scent theory
  • effective searching techniques indoor & outdoor
  • operational search pattern planning
  • scent discrimination & line ups
  • handling skills
  • adding new scents and indications 
  • reliable examination 


February 14.-16.
March 14.-15.
April 3.
June 5.-7.
August 21.-23.
October 2.-4.
November 13.

+ Excursion at the end of the course. The date will be set later.

Online based distance tutoring throughout the whole course.



Helsinki area and the surroundings.



The main instructor of the course is KARITA HÄKKINEN, a professional special detection dog instructor, trainer, and handler who has over 10 years of experience in operational scent detection, tracking, and trailing dogs. Karita is the head instructor on this course and will coach you through the program.

You can read more about Karita here: https://trustthenose.com/about-the-author/

During the course, there will also be international guest instructors, who will each hold a private sessions for the course. 



 A researcher from the Netherlands. Adee Schoon began her work with police human scent dogs in the Netherlands in 1991 and obtained her Ph.D. in 1997. Since then, her work has included research projects in explosive, drug, human remains, and corrosion detection, puppy selection, and training programs, and teaching about odors, scent perception, learning, and training. 

She has been a member of the Interpol European Working Group on the Use of Dogs for Criminal Investigation and of the FBI funded SWGDOG and has worked as a consultant for the Global Training Centre for Mine Detection Dogs in Bosnia. She is also an instructor for training police dog instructors in Frontex, she is a member of the EU working group on explosive detection dogs, and she is a member of the Board of Apopo (a Belgian NGO using detector rats for landmine and tuberculosis detection). 

In 2010, she started Animal Detection Consultancy. She consults with the Dutch National Police Canine Unit, Dutch Customs, and the Dutch Army. She also works with the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Society in the Netherlands and with Fjellanger Detection and Training Academy in Norway.

Adee continues to regularly publish research and present papers at scientific conferences. She also gives lectures and seminars for people working in the field of canine detection, both in Europe and in the United States.



A dog handler and trainer from Sweden. She has been training dogs for the last 25 years. She has also competed in almost every branch in Sweden. At the moment her dogs are specialized in scent detection and tracking large carnivores. She is the head instructor for the dog teams in Sweden and Norway who are searching and tracking the large carnivores on behalf of the state.

She is one of the owners and instructors of Scandinavian Working Dog Institute which offers, for example, basic and advanced training of professional dog teams and instructors, special purpose training, specification of requirements and construction of progression plans for specific purposes

She is one of the writers of the book “Tracking Dogs – Scents and Skills” and has also released a book in Japan called “Playing With Dogs” (social interaction and how it is used as a reward).



Ella Hämäläinen is a canine massage therapist, a physical trainer and an animal trainer from Finland. She massages, trains and makes physical training programs for sport- and working dogs. Ella has worked in cooperation with various Finnish authorities on several projects, improving working dogs’ work welfare and physical condition.



A trainer and a behavior specialist, working currently in the UK. Kat’s strong theoretical approach alongside a wealth of practical canine experience. She truly understands the workings of a working dog’s mind, holding a Diploma in the Practical Aspects of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training (COAPE), as well as Masters of Science qualifications in Psychology and Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare. A certified APDT trainer and a behavior specialist, Kat has worked with many disciplines of working dogs at Dog Detectives and Dogs Trust, along with running K9 Behaviour Consultancy. Whilst working at Scent Imprint for Dogs, she ensured that puppies could work under any conditions, training them in different environments including airports, army bases, harbors, and storage rooms. She is passionate about sharing her expertise and has helped to educate both dog owners and those pursuing careers working with dogs through delivering instructor courses, training staff, and teaching at local education centers.

Career highlights:
• Designed and executed developmental plans for puppies trained to become working dogs at Scent Imprint for Dogs
• Designed, developed and delivered seminars around Europe including the Development and Socialization of High Drive Puppies, From Puppy to Working Dog, Stress & Socializing Puppies.
• Provided training for the handlers of a passive scanning explosive search dog at Johannesburg airport.
• Trained explosive, drug, tracking/trailing, cadaver, bed bugs, tobacco, and cash dogs.



Send an open application to karita@trustthenose.com where you tell briefly about yourself and your experience with dogs and scent work. Also, tell in few words how you would benefit from this course and how much time do you have for training weekly during the course. 

The applications need to be sent on 26st of October 2019 latest. All the applications sent by then will be evaluated and the most suitable applicants will be offered a spot on the course.


The price for the course is 3 100 € (incl. VAT 24%) 


  • 9 months of intensive training 
  • 7 meetings in Finland
  • guidance of 5 professionals 
  • final examination and diploma
  • excursion to see scent detection dogs to train and work

(travel, meals, and accommodation not included)


The course is limited to a maximum of 10 dog teams to ensure maximum practical training time for each participant.

The students will train with a rehearsal scent. They will have the possibility to train another scent during the course, which they will provide themselves. Students are responsible for specific knowledge about their final working scent and search environments.

The students will have their final examination during the last meeting where they will be tested for line ups, indoor search, and outdoor search. 

All the training and dog handling on this course is reward-based and we follow the Finnish law of Animal Welfare.

For any further information please contact karita@trustthenose.com

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This post is also available in: Suomi (Finnish)

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