We’ve been providing a number of updates about our puppies’down time, and how they’ve been adjusting to their lives as, well, puppies.
But this is the Working Dog Center, after all. In the fall, we’ll be bringing these nine pups into our Puppy Foundation Training Program.
In the interim, two of our college interns, Meghan Ramos and Patrick Robbins, have been doing some very specific exercises and tests with them.
We have been using the Customs & Border Protection Canine Breeding Program Detection Infant Puppy Testing Schedule, shared with us by Matt Devaney, Research & Development Coordinator for CBP. Assessment testing is done twice a week.This is a series of exercises that are designed to determine the level of drive and confidence the puppies have in certain areas relevant to their future working careers
The other exercise is a little more self-explanatory. It’s called Early Scent Stimulation, and it involves introducing scents to the puppies early in life. This is a tool introduced at the 2013 Penn Vet Working Dog Conference by Gayle Watkins. Every day, they are exposed to a variety of odors; the goal being that their sense of smell as adults will be more advanced if their neonatal growth is filled with different smells. This exercise involves 12 scents that each puppy smells for 5 seconds at a time. Thus, it lasts for just one minute, once a day. The odors our puppies are being introduced to include: low blood sugar saliva sample, human remains, black powder, narcotics, tennis ball, dirt, grass, lemon, pepper, apple, and orange.
Here’s a short video to give you a peek inside the testing process—
Keep checking back as we will be providing more updates on our puppies.