Scent Training

Lance's utility articles came in the mail recently and yesterday I was able to take them to PetSmart with me to get them handled by my students and employees. So today was the first day I decided to do some training! I've never done any scenting work before so I don't really know what I'm doing, but I'm following Sue Ailsby's method from her website and the seminar I went to over Thanksgiving. It's supposed to be very easy for the dog, just put something delicious on your dumbell and nothing on the the wrong article so the dog learns that mommy's article tastes amazing!

Well Lance thought that this was too good to be true, so the first 2 trials he completely ignored the peanut butter dummbell and promptly picked up the wrong one. Clearly he thought that I was trying to trick him! But with some encouragement he was soon racing over, licking the peanut butter off and bringing the correct one back to me! I was very quickly able to stop putting fresh pb on and just reward for the brining back the correct article. Of course it still smelled like pb, but I could see Lance really thinking and using his nose. I have no delusions that he's just smelling for pb and not my smell, but hopefully Lance will soon start associating my scent on the dumbell with really good things!

There were only two trials where Lance picked up the wrong one (besides the beginning). The first time he picked up the wrong one he quickly realized that it didn't taste like pb so he went to grab the correct one before he realized that he still had the wrong one in his mouth. Unfortunatley when Lance spit out the wrong one it landed right on top of the good dumbell and Lance had no clue what to do! He tried to grab the right one but alas it was stuck!

I'm also really happy that Lance is retrieving the metal dumbells really nicely! I decided to try the metal ones since I thought it would be much easier to wipe clean of pb than the leather ones. But previously, Lance has only been tentatively retrieving metal so I think the pb is having a good effect on this as well!!! When I eventually start this with Vito I'm not worried at all. Vito loves to chew on anything, metal included. He especially loves chewing on Lance's dog tags during thier play sessions!

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