3. Anaphylaxis Allergy Alert Part 2 Step by Step Training for Assistance Dogs

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , /

Anaphylaxis Allergy Alerts Part 2 Introducing Containers Lower the scent vial to the floor and mark for the alert behavior. Review the alert with the container held low. click click click Gradually stand up and present the container low. click click click Once on the floor, move the container around. click Even if the dog isn’t sniffing it at first, mark and reward the behavior. click click Place the scent vial in a larger container. I used a heavy roll of duct tape. This helps to protect the container from pawing and mouthing, click and introduces the dog to indicating to a larger object. click Avoid marking and paw or mouth interaction if you can. click When she is consistently indicating with no paw or mouth interaction, I try standing up. click click click Make sure to pick up the scent and container when you are done each training session. click Move the scent along the wall. click This teaches the early beginnings of a perimeter room search click She is a little unsure here and looks to me for direction but gives it a try. click The leg nibble is a sign of stress. I may be moving it too far each time. click Place the scent vial in a study box (start with the top open) The following is one whole training session. I put the box down and pick the box up. Quick review that container equal bow. click Place the box down and show the dog you are placing the scent in it. click click click She’s trying to figure out what the new box means. In the past, we used boxes to train other behaviors. She tries a bow to see if it works. click Did I just create a short behavior chain? click click Hopefully not. click She goes back to what she was rewarded for. click click More testing. Can she do the bow far away from the box? click How close does she have to be? click I change the orientation of the box. Any change can trigger experimenting with her behavior. click Avoid marking the dog for physically interacting with the scent or container. If you lay a strong foundation now, the dog is less likely to bite, paw or dig the container later when they are more excited. (More about remedial training in the next video) At this point, we don’t know if the dog understands that the smell is the cue for the alert behavior. We can practice with a variety of safe sturdy ‘containers’ and over time, the dog will make the connection that no matter what the object looks like, it is the smell that is the common thing between all of them and is the cue. Here are more ideas to try. Plastic glass and cup. Large toy car. Plastic water container. Ice cream bucket. Heavy binoculars. Empty DVD container. Shoes, boots & slippers Bum pack or purse. Towel. Fabric lunch bag. Egg carton. What other household objects can you use? Of course, you could just teach the dog to sniff on cue, but this way the dog figures it out for herself. When you start generalizing the behavior, the dog will already have been introduced to these objects. See our video “Putting ‘Sniff’ on Cue”

6 thoughts on “3. Anaphylaxis Allergy Alert Part 2 Step by Step Training for Assistance Dogs

  1. Very interesting video. I look forward to the next one in the series. I always enjoy you videos and appreciate the time and effort it takes to make them.

  2. How do you get a pure wheat for a wheat detecting dog? When I use bread my dog seems to be able to alert consistently, but when I used flour he did not. What should I be starting with?

  3. First I would determine the specific components of the wheat that you/client is allergic to? I would try whole wheat seeds, crushed/cracked wheat, shredded wheat cereal, then bran, gluten, cakes, cookies, pasta. For some people with wheat allergies it is the moulds that grow on the sheath, not the wheat itself. Try wetting the flour. Make sure you go back to the very beginning with each new scent and take it slow until the dog has a high success rate with each one.

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