FaunaClassifieds - View Single Post - Snake by way of dog
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:13 PM   #10
Originally Posted by Helenthereef View Post
This is fascinating, you must have put a great deal into your dogs' training.

Here, trained dogs are being used to locate invasive iguana and endangered endemic seabird nests (burrows). It's such specialised work, but the dogs (generally labradors) seen to be very much able to do the tasks.
I really am not particularly skilled or knowledgeable about training like that. Part of it seems to be the breeds selected as a base. Herding types that are suited for a wide range (very small farm animals up to cows). I really only teach two commands or trigger words. Nice and baby. Anything to be treated gently is a baby. If I want them to step the physical enthusiasm down, I tell them to be nice. My wife uses the same words, but sometimes she refers to a new dog toy as a baby from her habits when she had dogs as a kid and we need to make sure that word is not used for something these dogs are permitted to chew on a roughhouse with. For the tortoises, we introduce something around the size of an adult redfoot when the puppies we bought were small. Eight weeks, give or take. For the litter that was born here, I started getting the litter used to my human baby and some mild-mannered tortoises before their eyes were open. Familiarity of scent. I do not know if that has an effect or not, but it does not seem detrimental and might be beneficial. Whenever I worked with the tortoises, I let the pups sniff them. Light licking is okay. Intense sniffing is okay. If they get excited with the licking, we back them off and tell them "Nice!" with an elevated volume. Easier to get them used to things with a medium-sized tortoise. I do not allow them any access to hatchlings and small juveniles to start. When I feel they are ready, then they get progressively less restricted contact. My dogs have thrown dog toys at the larger tortoises and then looked confused when the tortoises did not throw them back.

Dogs are fascinating. Detection of various chemicals gives them a lot of applications beyond hug-beasts (but they are hug-beasts first to me).

Originally Posted by BlueCrowned View Post
Dogs are my first love so... Could I get you to pm me pics of your bunch? ��
I will send you a message after I finish up with some stuff tonight.