Detection Dog Handler Course – Specialization Course

Detection Dog Handler Course – Specialization Course

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Detection Dog Handler Course starts on April 25h 2022! 

Send your application from January 10th 2022 on by following the instructions below.

General about the courses

Detection Dog Handler – Basics and Specialization courses provide comprehensive know-how on practical work and the theory behind the training methods. Scent work requires expertise in terms of dog handling as well as odor storage and handling and possible license ability. A skilled handler can motivate their dog and carry out efficient handling without sacrificing accuracy, reliability or ethicality. They are able to deal with the necessary training tools and equipment as well as write clear reports on the results of their work to the client. They understand the framework and obligations brought by legislation and takes into account the environmental requirements for working. These things among many others will be included in these courses. The course language is English.

Structure of Education

The Detection Dog Handling course is divided into two sections; the basic part and the specialization part. During the Basics course, we use a training aid to build up a strong motivation for the dog while taking care of the accuracy and tactics in versatile scent work. The Specialization course focuses on the training of the target odor chosen by the handler and the associated potential varieties, terrain work, reporting, license, and legislation. To apply for the Specialization course, you need to have the Basics course completed. Note, if you have previously completed, for example, Trust the Nose’s Scent Detection Course or equivalent, you can inquire about the opportunity to participate directly in the Specialization course.

Specialization Course

As a detection dog handler, you can specialize, for example, in Bed Bug Detection, Mold Detection, Invasive Species Detection or Conservation Detection. As a Conservation Dog  Instructor or Invasive Species Detection Dog handler, you can choose an odor of an animal, insect, plant (or plant disease), or moss odor. In a specialization phase, you will become familiar with the odor of your choice and the species-specific training techniques. We will help you if needed in the acquisition and permit applications of the odor, and you will receive more information about this when you enroll for the course. We will go through the topics required by the odor in detail and familiarize you with related skills in search and surveys. The handler must also understand the legislation, having adequate knowledge of species and skills to observe significant aspects in their environment when searching for it. You will get used to using the equipment needed, also manage information and abilities related to safety, environmental navigation, and the risk of infestation. The Specialization course will provide the skills for learning these skills and working with your dog in fieldwork.

Final exam

Both courses end with the final exam. The final exam must be carried out with 100% accuracy with the given instructions.



Detection Dog Handler Course – Specialization starts on April 25th 2022!

You can apply for the course from January 10th 2022 on.

Detection Dog Handler Specialization Course consists of 8 months of intensive studying and practical training.

The course includes:

  • 7 meetings in Finland, 126 hours in total
  • Weekly commenting on your training in an online learning environment
  • 3 online theory sessions
  • The support and know-how of multiple experts 
  • The follow up on your skills throughout the course
  • Final examination and diploma

Please note that the course weekends will be implemented in accordance with the COVID situation. If necessary, the meetings will be implemented online.

  • 25-27.4.2022
    • Course meeting in Finland
  • 23-25.5.2022
    • Course meeting in Finland
  • 13-15.6.2022
    • Course meeting in Finland
  • 29.6.2022
    • Online meeting
  • 15-17.8.2022
    • Course meeting in Finland
  • 7.9.2022
    • Online meeting
  • 26-28.9.2022
    • Course meeting in Finland
  • 12.10.2022
    • Online meeting
  • 31.10-2.11.2022
    • Course meeting in Finland
  • 28-30.11.2022
    • Course meeting in Finland
  • 10-11.12.2022

Course meetings Mon-Wed, from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Location: Salo/Perniö, Finland

Online meetings from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

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


You can apply for the Specialization course after completing the Basics course or equivalent in 2020-2022. Otherwise, the dog team should perform a suitability test. If you are not sure whether you have the required skills, please don’t hesitate to contact our instructors at




Suitability Test March 23rd 2022

The suitability test for a specialization section is held on March 23th 2022.

You can apply for this course after completing the Basics course or equivalent in 2020-2022. The application form opens on January 10th 2022.

Requirements for participation

Progress on the course requires at least 5 hours of hands-on training with the dog each week, completion of homework on time, and participation in the meetings and online training. For remote training, you need a camera or phone with which you can record your training sessions and from which you can transfer the videos to a remote training platform.

The dog participating in the course must be easily motivated and able to work in the same space with other dogs. The dog should be physically fit and should not be aggressive or unpredictable towards people.

An understanding of learning theory, reward-based training methods, and previous scentwork experience is considered as an advantage.

Price: 4300 €, including VAT 24% (travel, meals and accommodation is not included)