Collecting and imprinting the hypo scent

Sadly, and I hope no medics who care for Alix read this, when Alix has a hypo we now no longer run to the sweetie pile to get something to increase her blood sugar we run to the cabinet and get a cotton wool pad to run around her mouth and collect saliva which we now put in a tube in our freezer, for later use.  

At a convenient time we then thaw it out wave it in Roo’s general direction and when she sniffs it we treat her lavishly to tasty morsels.  We have done this several times a week for almost a month now.  She has now associated this smell to the delivery of goodies and so gets quite excited when she smells a loaded swab. 

We are trying to get her to nudge us with her head, when she smells it, before she gets any treats and trying to get her to associate the smell with our daughter, Alix.  This latter task is proving more difficult.  More to follow.

Sniffer training on Hold

We’ve had to hold back on moving on with the training as Roo has had an operation to remove her dew claws.  She hasn’t been allowed to run around for nearly 2 weeks and is suffering serious cabin fever.  We don’t want to start on the scent work until she is calmer.  We have spent the time lead training and doing a few random tricks.  Oh and getting her used to going to the pub – very important!

I am so thrilled.  Over the last few days we, (my wife and I) have trained our new cocker Spaniel, Roo, to poke my leg with her nose when I give her the command “nudge”.  She is learning to do this in increasingly distracting situations. Even running free in the woods near our house she will run back and “nudge” me on command.  This is great and, as I said, we are really thrilled.