SNIFFING out the hottest scents on the trail was the name of the game for four-legged friends at a special weekend workshop.

The event was hosted by dog trainer Karen Backhouse who invited guest Louise Wilson to host the series of challenges for dogs and their owners.

Tails were wagging furiously as the pets mastered the art of sniffing out a scent – in this case truffle oil – at different settings at the Dogs Play Centre based at Seven Saints Farm, Colchester.

Karen, who runs Guiding Paws, said: “Six times a year I invite guest trainers to come and do weekend workshops.

“It is all about having fun with your dog. Scent work is a really popular activity to do with your dog.

“We worked with truffle oil which was a new scent for most of the dogs – the dogs really liked it, the particular odour appeals to them.”

The dogs hunted around various different settings including a stables and a vehicle.

Karen added: “We always look for new environments for scent work and one of the main things we learnt was concealing a scent and making sure we didn’t contaminate it.

“We were looking for indicators the dog is giving before they pick up the scent.”

Mrs Wilson, from north Wales, specialises in training dogs for wildlife monitoring and crime detection.