Early Scent Introduction
Early scent introduction (ESI) is a puppy training method that aims to improve their capacity to recognize and respond to certain odors. Every day, the trainer exposes the puppy to a strong fragrance for brief periods and notes the dog's reaction.
When the puppy displays interest in the smell and moves toward it, this is considered a favorable reaction. When the puppy attempts to move away from the scent, a negative reaction is recorded. Finally, a neutral reaction occurs when a puppy is neither intrigued nor indifferent in the fragrance.
Dr. Gayle Watkins is a sports Golden Retriever breeder who began testing dogs for the usefulness of ESI over seven years ago. This entailed picking which puppies from her litters would get ESI training and which ones would not. The end product was nothing short of spectacular. The dogs who took part in ESI earned more scenting titles than those who did not, and they did so at ages as early as five years younger than the puppies that did not take part.
What Does It Mean?
These findings point to the possibility of even better companion, service, and therapy dogs in the future. Scent talents are frequently crucial. When a dog is a companion to a child with autism, for example, his main duty is likely to be that of a protector, as youngsters with autism have a tendency to wander or run away. If the dog can readily track down the child's smell and locate him or her, this may be a life-saving feature. Another circumstance where smell talents may be quite useful is alerting an old person to a gas leak or something burning on the stove — once again, there is the possibility of saving a life. Scent can also be used by service dogs to detect the early stages of a diabetic response or the start of a seizure. ESI has improved all of these abilities. Of course, not every dog will be a service or therapy dog.
But, even if a dog is to be "simply a pet," I believe that a dog who understands how to utilize its nose efficiently is always a good thing! If you're playing fetch in thick grass, a dog who learns how to search successfully to get the ball will come in handy! Or perhaps you want to train your dog to bring you your slippers (not your husband's or anybody else's! ), in which case you'll need a dog that can distinguish between odors! Or maybe you just want to play games with him, sending him around the house or yard looking for treats you've hidden? (That "hidden sweets" game is excellent for both physical and mental exhaustion!)
Because we recognize how vital a dog's sense of smell is to him and his brain function, we do the Early Scent Introduction on our Yorkie puppies at Setareh Yorkies. Depending on the dog and breed, our dogs' nostrils are 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive to odours than ours.
What does this imply for canines? They explore and comprehend the environment through their noses, according to Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog, in the same way that humans perceive and make sense of the world with our eyes. In dogs, the region of the brain that interprets signals from the nose is 40 times greater than in humans. The capacity to smell is a function of a dog's intelligence.
The Early Scent Procedure Introduction
Begin exposing your pups to ESI when they are three days old and cease when they are sixteen days old. Soil, Pine Shavings, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Lavendar, Black Tea, Tennis Ball, Coconut, Leather, Rabbit, Camomille, Alpaca Fur, Cloves & Lemon Grass are all used at Setareh Yorkies.
Every day, a new scent is introduced. To do so, we pick up the puppy or sit with it in our lap on the floor. We keep one hand on the dog so he doesn't wiggle away before the fragrance is presented. Then we hold the scent-bearing item approximately half an inch away from his nose with your other hand.
We'll let him move closer to the smell if he wants to. On the other hand, if he wants to go away from it, that's OK as well. The reaction is then classified as favorable, negative, or neutral. The technique is then repeated with the other puppies in the litter.