In her time as a Royal Air Force trained drug detector dog handler for HM Customs & Excise Pam adored the teamwork between her and her dog. The pure joy of working together for a common purpose was magical.  They searched everything from planes to cars, postal depots to houses, oil rigs to ships. They worked at many airports including Heathrow and Glasgow, ferry terminals at Dover and Stranraer plus docks at  Liverpool, Hull and Greenock, and even caves and islands off the West Coast of Scotland. Almost ten years ago now, she started introducing scentwork in her dog training classes. Much to her delight owners and dogs loved it as much as she did. The demand for pet dog scentwork has exploded since those early days, hence the formation of Talking Dogs Scentwork® in 2011.


Since then she’s been working hard to keep up with demand, such is the interest in scentwork. TDS has quickly grown into the go-to scentwork training providers in Britain, with the TDS Detector Dog manual proving more popular than Pam could have ever imagined, selling well all over the world, but particularly in the UK and USA. Scent 1: Learning to Sniff! DVD was launched in December 2014, Scent 2: Handling Skills DVD came out in August 2015 and Scent 3: Super Searches came out in December 2016. Pam spends the majority of her time travelling around the UK teaching Talking Dogs Scentwork® from Devon to Edinburgh and everywhere in between. Pam is privileged to be asked to share her skills with major organisations, including Dogs Trust, Puppy School and the prestigious Woof! Conference.


To help meet demand and expand their knowledge base, Pam has been joined by Talking Dogs Scentwork® Accredited Trainers Leisl De Lafontaine, Sally Talbot, Linda Shearman, Clare Ross, Morag Heirs, Naomi Hillman,  Moira Owers, Alison Mercer, Sharon Edwards and Merica Fuard. If you are interesting in joining the team, please go to the Join Us! page to find out more.


Pam is the Director of the sport Talking Dogs Rally®, a sport designed specifically for pet dogs and their people, which places a priority on support, practicality and welfare rather than competition. She has worked as a professional trainer and behaviourist for nearly 30 years working full time for charities Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Wood Green Animal Shelters. Her goal is to help increase the welfare and understanding of dogs through workshops, classes, private training, writing, products and media appearances, for pet dog owners and professionals.

About Talking Dogs Scentwork®

& founder Pam Mackinnon BA DipCABT

Pam’s dogs

Pam currently shares her life with two dogs Cherry Blossom (Labrador) and Ella (jrt), they both feature in our DVD’s. Plus a large ginger cat, Pan. Pam loves to work and train all breeds. Her previous canine companions were a  mongrel, Jack Russell Terrier, English Bull Terrier x collie, Large Munsterlander, English Springer Spaniel and rough collie.


During her time in HM Customs she worked English Springer Spaniels. Pictured below is Pam with her longest serving partner, Air Dog Ash.

Talking Dogs Scentwork® is a registered trademark

The photographs at the top of the page are used courtesy of photographer Bob Atkins and Your Dog Magazine