Our new online awards provide another way for dogs and their people to get involved with scentwork. I wanted to bring all our resources together to form a way for teams to achieve success, wherever you live. By submitting film clips for assessment, teams can work through modules to earn certificates and awards, learning as you go.

How do the online modules work?

Modules follow on from each other, building skills in a logical and practical progression.

There are three skill levels, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. You can find all the details you need about each level by clicking here. Within those levels are Key Skills, Level Searches and Specialist Searches. Each module sets out what equipment you’ll need, a list of resources and what the films must show. And to help you stay focused, I’ve set out some learning goals for both you and your dog. When you are ready, send in your submission, which will then be assessed. Submissions will be marked as Pass or Try Again, allowing teams to continue to the next module or redo the current one.

How do I get started?

Begin by registering with us. Download the registration form here:

Talking Dogs Scentwork® Detector Dog Online Awards - registration.pdf

At this stage you can choose to pay in advance for a full Level, in which case you qualify for a discount. If you join our Members’ Club you qualify for an ever bigger discount when paying in advance (T&Cs apply). But if you prefer to pay for each set of modules as you go, then no problem. Click here to pick the option which suits you best.

When you register you will be given access to our exclusive Facebook Group which will be a great source of inspiration and help as fellow teams work through the modules with you.

Carefully read through our Submission Requirements, FAQs and the assessment requirements for each particular module. Then submit your films by either sharing them to the Facebook group or sending me a link to an online video sharing platform such as Vimeo or YouTube.

Once your film has been assessed, you will be emailed with the result, and as they are due, your certificates. Further awards will be posted as they are due.

If you have any questions not answered here,

in our TDS Online Submission Requirements.pdf or in our FAQs below,

please don’t hesitate to email us.


  1. Q.Where can I find the resources to complete the modules?

  2. A.The list is included with each module booklet and you can download it here.


  1. Q.I’ve already started scentwork with my dog, do I have to start at the beginning?

  2. A.No, you can choose to submit a Direct Entry, at either Foundation Level (FDE) or Intermediate Level (IDE) In order to comply with our Assessment Requirements, handlers must be working their dogs according to Talking Dogs Scentwork® methods, so this should be taken into consideration when applying for Direct Entry.

  1. Q.Is there a time limit on submitting films?

A. No, work at your own pace, in your own time.

  1. Q.Are there any discounts available for these modules?

  2. A.Yes! Pre-paying for Levels saves you more than £10. And if you join our Talking Dogs Scentwork® Members’ Club, not only do you get all the club benefits, but you also qualify for more discounts when paying up front for any of the full Levels (Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced) and discounts on DVD’s S1-S3 (hard copy) and Starter Kits.

Note: Submission fee discounts for Foundation and Intermediate Levels are not available to teams coming through the Direct Entry route.

  1. Q.Can I do the modules in any order?

  2. A.No, the modules are designed to be done in a certain order so that learning flows and grows in a practical and logical manner. To help maintain this flow there are Mandatory Modules that must be Passed before moving on.

  1. Q.How many modules must I Pass to qualify in each level?

  2. A.In Foundation you need 11, in Intermediate you need 7 and in Advanced you need 7.

  1. Q.Do I need to edit my films?

  2. A.In most cases, we require the clips of the searches to be unedited. But you can edit the clips together to make the final film. Where we only need to see a few specific elements, they can be edited. Each module will set out specific editing requirements.

  1. Q.Can I work more than one dog?

  2. A.Yes, but each dog must work through all the relevant modules, no mixing and matching between or during modules. For example, you can work Toby in KS1 and KS2. If you then want to work Megan in KS3A, you must first submit KS1 and KS2 with Megan. The aim is to work with one dog through the levels, so that handler and dog can grow and learn together.

  1. Q.I’ve never been to a Talking Dogs Scentwork® workshop, can I still do the online awards?

  2. A.Yes, these awards are for you! Using our DVDs and manual, plus the Facebook group, you will be able to complete the modules.

  1. Q.Do I have to submit my films through YouTube?

  2. A.No, most video sharing platforms, such as Vimeo, are  fine. As long as you can share the link with us so that we can assess your submissions. You can also submit them directly to our exclusive Facebook Group. Note: I’m afraid we cannot currently accept submissions on Flickr.

  1. Q.My submission has been marked as Try Again. What does this mean?

  2. A.This means that the film has not achieved all the assessment requirements. We don’t refund Try Again modules, but teams can re-submit as often as they like (each Try Again module set will be charged)

  1. Q.Is participation in the online awards and the Talking Dogs Scentwork® workshops S1-8 interchangeable?

  2. A.Each will enhance the other. But at present both follow their own curriculum and so are not interchangeable.

  1. Q.Can I sign up for Talking Dogs Scentwork® Workshop Scent 6 Accredited Handler after completing the online awards?

  2. A.Certainly, but in addition you still have to have completed Talking Dogs Scentwork® Workshops S1-S5.

  1. Q.Do I have to work alone to complete the modules?

  2. A.If you want to work alone, you can. But if you can work with other teams or someone who can assist you, life will be easier.

  1. Q.I train with a group of friends, can we send our submissions together?

  2. A.No, each team must send their own submissions. But you can work, help and film each other. The exception to this is if you are working with a Talking Dogs Scentwork® Accredited Trainer. They can assist with your submissions and send them in on your behalf.

  1. Q.My dog doesn’t like to play with toys, can we still take part in these awards?

  2. A.Yes, no problem at all. You can teach your dog to either retrieve a scented item to you in return for a tasty treat, or you can teach you dog to search for edible finds. All use the same skills, just using the best rewards for each individual dog.

  1. Q.I’ve taught my dog a passive indication. Can we do the online awards?

  2. A.I’m afraid that we do not teach passive indications and so these awards could confuse your passive dog. If you’d like to work through them with a different dog, you’d be very welcome.

What folks are saying about these awards:

‘Great idea and very inclusive’

‘Really good idea, something to get me back into scentwork’


‘What a brilliant idea’

‘Love this!

All Online Awards information & materials protected by copyright Pam Mackinnon 2018

Talking Dogs Scentwork® is a registered trademark


Hazel Kemble’s dog Swift, having a well earned snooze after gaining his first Detector Dog Online Awards certificate.