TRAINING WITH HUNTER'S HEART
Since 1999, we've trained hundreds of successful scent detection teams around the world. With our evidence-based, motivational approach, you'll have fun in our online and in-person classes, Zoom webinars, private lessons and seminars.
Alumnus or student?
Get answers to your questions on our private Facebook group.
Register for Online Classes
To purchase an online class, visit our Store.
SCENT DETECTION CLASSES (IN CALGARY)
Try one hour of scent detection at our Sniff and Go drop-ins, or register for 6 week classes, at Kayenna Training Academy. Using the same techniques we use to train our professional bed bug detection dogs, we apply the latest research on canine olfaction to all levels of scent detection.
As long as your dog wants the rewards, you can join the fun. Puppies can start after their second set of vaccinations. Ask us about bringing well-managed reactive and aggressive dogs, because there dogs are never allowed to get close enough to sniff each other.
Not sure it's a good fit? Ask reception when you can watch a class. (Sorry, only one spectator is allowed, without a dog).
Beginner - Motivate your dog to love searching for a target odor, learn a new odor or retrain, or troubleshoot problems with previously trained dogs. Use our 6-scent cocktail for nosework competition, or bring your own target odor for deployments.
- Intermediate - Train a bombproof indication that even your grandma will recognize. Motivate your dog to identify the precise location of source.
- Advanced - Now that your sniffer dog is trained, take it to the next level with interior, exteriors, and vehicle searches.
- Pre-trial - Learn the secrets of successfully handling blind searches, for competition, testing or deployments.
CHOOSE YOUR TARGET ODOR
By default, students search for a cocktail of all 6 scents used in nosework competition for pet dogs (birch + anise + clove + wintergreen + pine + cypress). Email us if you want to learn to search for scent you bring e.g. teeth for Search and Rescue, handler scented glove, keys, antlers, truffles, etc.. Dogs can learn to detect almost any scent (as long as it's safe). It's up to you!
In Calgary, we're proud to call Kayenna Training Academy our home base for classes. No matter whether you want a well behaved pet dog or a professional sniffer dog, it all starts with a solid obedience foundation. We offer obedience classes, monthly Canine Good Neighbour (CGN) testing, puppy kindergarten, and Focus classes where you'll learn how to motivate your unique dog.
CANINE GOOD NEIGHBOUR (CGN) TESTS
The Canine Good Neighbour Program is a 12-step test that demonstrates a dog handler team has obedience skills and temperament you'd want in your neighbour. Canine Good Neighbours can be counted on to present good manners at home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs.
The test is non-competitive and allows dog and handler to demonstrate confidence and control in 12 steps. It assesses the handler and dog's relationship, together with the handler's ability to control the dog. Dogs are evaluated on their ability to perform basic exercises as well as their ability to demonstrate good manners in everyday situations.
During CGN tests, teams are not allowed to use food rewards, and only specified gear is allowed (e.g. buckle and martingale collars are allowed but not head halters or pinch collars).
To pass the CGN test, you must pass all 12 components:
- Accepting A Friendly Stranger
- Politely Accepts Petting
- Appearance and Grooming
- Out For A Walk
- Walking Through A Crowd
- Sit/Down and Stay In Place
- Come When Called
- Reaction To A Passing Dog
- Reaction To Distractions
- Supervised Isolation
- Walking Through A Door/Gate
Many organizations require passing the CGN test as the first step towards becoming a therapy dog. Learn more below.
WE CAN HELP
Many families that could benefit from service dogs lack the resources to purchase a fully trained service dog, and we're increasingly being asked to help train owner handled sniffer dogs and service dogs.
At this time, Hunter's Heart has no puppies or fully trained detection dogs for sale. We aren't an approved service dog institution, but we have helped owner-trained detection and service dogs to complete their training. We offer private and small group lessons to help prepare your owner-trained service dog candidate throughout the learning and assessment process:
- Selecting the best puppy from a litter, based on the specific skills and work they will perform
- Socializing your puppy
- Puppy raising, including field trips to diverse environments
- Introducing target odor to your sniffer dog
- Foundation obedience training
- Passing the CGN test (required for many therapy dogs and a good preliminary step for service dog training)
- Advanced obedience training, including how to gradually reduce food rewards
- Indication training, troubleshooting and generalization for sniffer dogs
- Preparing for testing and handling for certifications.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SERVICE DOGS AND THERAPY DOGS?
Certified service dog teams are afforded public access to public places where other dogs cannot go, such as restaurants and retail stores.
A service dog is trained to meet the unique needs of one specific owner. For example, if the owner is unable to press the button at the automatic doors of a mall, hotel or public place, the service dog can be trained to press the button with their paws. This is only one example of a "mitigating task". Others include detecting seizures or diabetic hypoglycemia, preventing a child from wandering, or easing anxiety by applying pressure. For example, click here to see some examples of autism service dogs, trained by BC & Alberta Guide Dogs.
Therapy dogs are not granted public access to public places. Instead of being trained to help a specific owner with mitigating tasks, therapy dogs provide comfort to people they visit e.g. in assisted living environments, airports and shelters for domestic violence. For example, if you're interested in volunteering with your therapy dog, check out PALS (Pet Access League Society).
WHAT'S THE SECRET?
Most of our dogs are working detection dogs (inspecting for bed bugs and searching for human remains). In addition to scent detection, hunting, and field titles, our Brittanys have won multi Elite High in Trials (UKC Nosework), gold at AAC Regional Agility Championships, Best of Breed at the National Brittany Specialty, and achieved numerous top 5 national rankings in agility, conformation and obedience.
The secret is to make training and working fun, so playing with you is your dog's favorite game. If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong and we need to fix it.
WHAT WE OFFER
When you want a well behaved dog, but you don't know what the right choices are, it can be stressful. You can count on Hunter's Heart to help train your canine partner, by applying the latest scientific research on how dogs learn and how best to teach them, using proven, positive, effective protocols. Hunter's Heart is known for confident, bombproof, working dogs with laser focus. We consistently train dogs who love their jobs.
You Don't Need to Reinvent the Wheel
You don't need to reinvent the wheel. We've been sniffing since 1999 and our passion is helping students succeed in reaching their goals. Our methods have already worked for hundreds of teams. We make it easy to concentrate on having fun training your dog.
There is so much misinformation on the Internet, sometimes it can feel overwhelming to try and figure out your next step. We'll show you exactly how to apply the latest research, to train smarter and succeed faster, with fewer errors, and less frustration.
We're here to help and questions are always welcome. We'd rather prevent problems than go through the frustration of retraining problem behaviors. But when challenges arise, we'll help get you back on track ASAP.
Our online courses aren't just documents to read. We're here to support your learning. Type your questions into the bottom of any lesson. Submit videos of your training sessions for feedback. Individual advice from instuctors and troubleshooting are included in the price.
Talk about training on our private discussion group, with like-minded students all around the world, ranging from from truffle hunting teams in Italy to explosives detection teams in Brazil. Discuss new research articles. Share your accomplishments and success stories. What did you learn from your searches, competitions, deployments and tests? Let's keep learning together.
ABOUT DR. CARLA SIMON, MD, BSc, MBA
Dr. Carla Simon is a professional detection dog trainer, Alberta's Senior Representative on the CKC Scent Detection Council, a scent detection judge (UKC, K9 ABC Games & UKC), CGN Evaluator and former Behavior Assessor for the Calgary Humane Society. She's a sought-after speaker who drew a sold-out crowd of more than 600 at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.
Carla is a Contributing Editor for the American Brittany Magazine and Hunter's Heart has been featured in the Pointing Dog Journal, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Journal, Dogs in Canada, Clean Run Online Learning Centre and magazine.LEARN MORE