Yes, Borzoi are sighthounds, but they are dogs first. And that means a significant part of their lives is lived through their noses.
A Borzoi's sense of smell is between 10,000 and 100,000 times more acute than ours! The sport of scent work celebrates the joy of sniffing and asks a dog to sniff to her heart’s content; turning your Borzoi’s favorite activity into a rewarding game. It is a terrific sport and is a wonderful way to build confidence in a shy dog.
In most dog sports the handler is in control; not so in scent work. Neither the dog nor handler knows where the target odor is hidden. The handler has to rely on the dog for success. In scent work, the dog is the star of the show.
The sport of scent work is based on the work of professional detection dogs (such as drug dogs), employed by humans to detect a wide variety of scents and substances. In AKC Scent Work, dogs search for cotton swabs saturated with the essential oils of birch, anise, clove and cypress. The cotton swabs are hidden out of sight in a pre-determined search area and the dog has to find them. Teamwork is necessary: when the dog finds the scent, he communicates the find to the handler, who calls it out to the judge.
Before you start entering trials, look for scent work classes in your local dog training clubs. You'll discover a whole new world by following your Borzoi's nose!