DogScent Orienteering

There are currently 2 versions: DogTrail and DogMap Orienteering

You are invited to the first Dog Scent Orienteering event.

May 19, 2024
Starts from 11am – 3pm. Course closes at 4pm
Dorothea Dix Park
Flower Cottage Picnic Table, 2105 Umstead Dr., Raleigh, NC 27603
(GPS 35.772849, -78.663630)

To sign up for announcements about DogScent Orienteering events send an email to and you will get confirmatin of your membership in the DogScent Group

Do you enjoy walking in the woods with your dog?  Does your dog like to sniff things along the trail?  If the answers are yes, then this new game might be fun for you and your dog.  Below we describe the initial setup, and with your help we will refine the rules to make it even more fun.

How DogTrail Orienteering Works

  • You walk along a trail in the woods with your dog on a leash.
  • There are orange and white flags along the trail.
  • There may be a concealed container within 2 feet of the flag that contains an odor
  • This event will use BIRCH.
  • If your dog identifies the BIRCH odor near a flag…
    • You punch a small box attached to the flag using a memory “finger stick” that we provide. 
  • At the end of the trail you download your “results” and receive a printout.
  • You score 2 points for every Control where your dog correcctly identified whether there was and odor or not.
  • You lose 1 point for every incorrect decision.

If you like, you can use a Google Doc that has the answers in it, so after your dog makes the decision you can check the answer to know if you should treat your dog.


Everyone is on their honor. There are no judges


Want More…

How DogMap Orienteering Works

If walking the trail is not enough we have another course with 10 numbered controls that are scattered around the area and marked on an orienteering map.

Here you need to navigate to the control so your dog can decide if there is an odor concealed there.

  • In this event you get a point for every control you visit.
  • You get 2 points for correctly identifying if an odor was there or not.
  • When you get to a control, first get your visiting point by punching the top of the control.
  • If there is an odor there:
    • WAIT 10 SECONDS and then punch the control again to get your 2 points for finding an odor.
  • You loose 1 point for misidentifing whether an odor was there or not.
  • There are no points for not visiting a control even if there is an odor there.

Are You Interested

Registration will open about a week before the event. If you have any questions email Ruth Bromer –

The Future

If you (and others) enjoy this game and want more of a challenge then we can easily make it more complex by:

  • adding some odors along the trail that aren’t marked with flags for your dog to find.
  • increasing the hide radius from the flag
  • timing the event so that speed is a factor
  • adding additional smells
  • making the trails longer
  • What else can you think of to make this fun?
  • Results will be posted, but this is just for fun, so there are no ribbons or titles (yet)
  • When we start to have “regulars” attending the events we can discuss how we want to score for titles and that sort of thing.

DogScent Orienteering is not to be confused with Tracking, where a trail of scent is laid out on the ground, the dog follows it, and the handler follows the dog. In DogScent Orienteering the handler navigates to the stations (controls) with the dog, and the dog identifies if there is a specific odor there.

DogScent Orienteering is not affilated with any active dog organizations.
It is under the auspicies of the Backwoods Orienteering Klub.

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