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Old 12-07-2016, 09:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Tonight, while Noelle was asleep, I put my low blood sugar scent pad in my sock. I got my clicker ready to go, then I stretched out my leg an inch from her nose. Noelle woke up and spun around. CLICK!!!! Yay Noelle! Whoo hoo! Good girl! She pawed at my leg to find the low pad. We're getting somewhere with this training. Wow! The scent of low blood sugar wakes Noelle up. If it wakes Noelle up, she'll wake me up for her treat party. We have more practice to do, but wow that made me happy.

What a good dog. Thanks Noelle.
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Old 12-08-2016, 08:13 AM   #22 (permalink)
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What a good girl Noelle! It is such an amazing feeling when your training goes in the direction you are hoping for. The wheels are turning in the right direction and I admit, I get a little giddy . I hope these nice success continue and will deepen the bond between the two of you!
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:19 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I just found your thread! Being on a Tapatalk phone app is not the same as sitting in front of an actual computer browser. You miss so much of the forum. It is so cool that you have such a well-trained service dog. I have not done any scent training with Lucky. It is so interesting that dogs can do so much for us. Animals are really amazing. So far they are the best part of my 2016. I would love to see updates on this thread. I need to do the same with Lucky's training as well.
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:20 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I've been unexpectedly sidelined for a few days, but now that I am catching up with the world it really made my day to see that Noelle gave such a great response to one of the more important tests you will need her to pass. Noelle, keep rocking it.
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Since the dance of the wild dog isn't working as a solid low signal, I decided to train something specific. I put a piece of duct tape across my palm, and a piece of duct tape on my knee. I told Noelle to Touch. Nose bump the duct tape on my hand, click, treat.

I moved my hand to the side of my leg, Touch, nose bump, click treat. Noelle offered a nose bump on the duct tape on my leg, click, five treats. She repeated nose bumps and I repeated clicks. When she added a paw, I clicked and gave five treats. Noelle began pawing my leg. I took the tape away and she continued pawing my legs for treats.

I put a low blood sugar scent pad in my hand, let her smell it, then gestured toward my leg. She pawed it, click 10 treats. Sniff, paw, click, treat.

It took 10 minutes from start to finish to train Noelle to paw my leg when she smells low blood sugar. For 98% of training, I said nothing. I let the clicker speak for me. Noelle learns much faster when I shut my mouth and let her puzzle out what I want her to do.
Click and treat when she's getting close. Click and jackpot treat when she's doing it exactly right.

We'll continue practicing, but so far so good.

Since it's been too cold to go on real training missions, Noelle has been playing cafe. I put her mat under the table and then sit down with a cup of coffee. Noelle must stay on the mat while I have my coffee. I treat randomly while she's on the mat. Noelle got up nine times the first time we played cafe. The second time, she didn't get up for over half an hour. That was the longest down/stay she's ever done on her mat.

I'm mat training Noelle because it gives her a specific place to do a specific thing. Get on the mat, down/stay, and only down/stay. I can see how this will come in handy in so many different places. The restaurant, the doctor's office, airplane, waiting room at the auto repair shop... Do this and only this.

Except for lows.

Now that I have Noelle understanding that she is to stay under the table on her mat, I'll introduce low scent and see what she does. If she does what I want, which is break the stay and paw at my leg, she'll get 15 treats. If she doesn't instantly do what I want, I'll encourage her to paw my leg and try again.

I'm enjoying clicker training Noelle because I get to watch her think. Once she understands that responding to low scent is more important than a stay, that will be another piece of the puzzle. Intelligent disobedience is a hard thing for dogs to figure out. Blind person says go forward. A car is coming. We're not going forward. Mom says down/stay. Mom's blood glucose is low. I'm not staying, I'm pawing her leg. Intelligent disobedience is amazing. Hopefully, Noelle can pick up what I want her to do. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:15 PM   #26 (permalink)
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So, right now I'm low. I knew it ahead of time, so I used it to train Noelle to nose touch my knee. She still jumps up on my waist to alert, but she also did paw at my knee. Well done, Noelle. Now, I'm off to eat something to fix my low because Noelle is still alerting while I'm typing.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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You're both doing great with the training. I'm enjoying reading about the process and it helps to fully understand all the work that goes into this.
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:16 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Noelle is so smart - she seems to pick up on your training so quickly. I know you both must work very hard on this.
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:07 PM   #29 (permalink)
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It is hard work, but joyful work. We work in tiny steps and reward each little bit. I look at training like putting together a puzzle. Each piece fits into a greater whole. So, training Noelle to down/stay on a mat is a puzzle piece that will make taking her places like restaurants and public transportation easier. Go here, do this.

Exposure to things in the environment is another piece. The look at that game is critically important to our work together. It helps Noelle break focus on whatever is overstimulating and refocus attention to me. Focus and attention games are another piece.

Nose work and scenting is another piece.

Obedience training is a piece. We'll try for a CGC and a CGCA in 2017. Will Noelle sit for petting? Will she melt and leap all over the tester? Will she freak out and sob when mom leaves her behind? Or will we pass? I don't know but we're going for it.

Noelle gives me a lot of hope. And hope feels good.
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:48 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Still doing good I see! But kudos to you too, cuz a dog is only as good as it's trainer! You have soooo much patience!
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