Wednesday, June 1, 2022

June Theme of the Month


The NOSE Knows!

Dogs naturally know how to use their nose for things that come natural to dogs.  They figure out pretty quickly which scents are appealing to them, which scents mean danger, and definitely which scents come from desirable mates.  But with a bit of training we can teach them which scents are important to us and which scents they should ignore.  

Dogs easily learn that most people foods smell delicious without much training.  And if we completely ignored that, our dogs would gladly enjoy any people food they can reach.  Through training we can teach them that greater rewards are available when they control themselves and ignore people food.  My dogs don't raid the trash can because with reinforcement I've taught that the treats I give them from my hand is much greater then any treat they find on their own.

Dogs that work in scent related fields need to learn to ignore many people scents.  Service Dogs learn to ignore other people, focusing on their person.  Police dogs learn to ignore environmental smells like people, other pets, and various other common household scents and search for chemicals or scents such as drugs, bombs, even gun powder.  Dogs are being trained to detect new smells all the time!

The June Theme of the Month is going to be all about helping your dog develop their sense of smell in a way that is more rewarding for them and fits well within the people world we ask our dog to live in.  Posts will include these topics:
  • The nerdy side of how the dog's nose works.
  • The enrichment effects of nose work games.
  • The stress relieving side effects of sniffing.
  • Training the Service Dog nose.
I hope to bring a guest speaker or two in to talk about the NOSE via recorded Zoom Chats and I will be sharing some of my best The NOSE Knows Moments with the Yooper Paws Pack.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog (right hand column in the web version) to get the latest posts delivered to your email box.

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