Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Scent Article Part II
We have training friends who have a lot of experience training dogs for scent work. And so we asked about Griffin's inability to find metal. Griffin will not find a hidden metal item unless he happens upon it by luck, but he'll easily find a wood, plastic, or cloth item in the same location. It seemed to me that he really couldn't smell it.
that said, dogs have amazing noses. Surely skin cells would get caught in the ridges of the canning lids? And he really had to be able to smell it somehow.
But after trying a few things, including the set up they use for scent work (scent in a jar in a cement block... with some specific set ups and handling). And he accidently smelled at the right one. Click! Feed in position. And shortly he started to paw at/try to retrieve. But not just to the 'right' one. He did it to both. We didn't notice different postures at either block.
So we concluded that it's really not a hugely powerful scent. That it's such a small amount and something that dogs are exposed to every day. And that it's just a really difficult exercise/concept for any dog.
The recommended progression was to get a peg board and tie down wood articles (clean) and tie down one scented. Reinforce for accidental and intentional indications to the 'right' one. Remove and replace the scented article to different areas. And continue to reinforce for nose touches/teeth on the correct item.