top of page

Scent Work is a sport that mimics the task of working detection dogs to locate a scent and communicate to the handler that the scent has been found. Real-life detection dogs are trained to search for a variety of things–drugs, explosives, human remains, currency, other contraband, living humans (such as for Search and Rescue), and much more. AKC Scent Work takes this amazing working relationship and turns it into a fun game that any dog can play.

Getting Started

There’s not much you need to do to prepare for your first CAT besides get your dog in shape! You can also play with him often by giving him things to chase in your yard like plastic bags on a windy day, or toys and balls to run after. Just get him used to seeing something and chasing after it. As with all Coursing Ability Tests, the goal is not to harm any living animals so make sure you don’t encourage him to chase after any squirrels or other creatures running through your yard.


To be eligible to compete in AKC Scent Work, a dog must be:

In addition:

  • Spayed females and neutered males are eligible to participate but females in season are not.
  • Blind dogs and those with disabilities are encouraged to participate.
  • No dog can compete if it is taped or bandaged or in any way has anything attached to it for medical purposes.

Conducted by:

Mobile Kennel Club

and our partners at

Deep South Dog Sports

with assistance from Sun Paws

Getting an AKC Number

Select the AKC licensing process that best fits your needs:

Purebred Dogs

AKC Registration

All-American Dogs (mixed breed)

AKC Canine Partners,

Purebred dogs that cannot be fully registered:

Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) program,

Breeds on the road to full AKC recognition:

Foundation Stock Service®(FSS),

AKC Titles (suffixes)

Over 40 AKC Titles Available

Titles are available in each class such as Container, Exterior, Interior, Buried, Detective, Handler Disc., & Multi-class.

Scent Work Links

AKC Scent Work Site

Elements, Difficulty Levels, Odors, Qualifying Performances

bottom of page