Wednesday 1 March 2023

Team Alaska


Excuse the dodgy photos! This may not look like much, but this is Alaska alerting me that something is amiss. She was jumping up next to me, having a good sniff, and then tapping my arms. If I ignored her, she'd get up into my face, and would push my arm away until she was sitting on it.

What is she alerting for? Not sure, my anxiety and heart rate were a little high, but she was making sure to let me know that I needed to take a break. 

Alaska has been doing this alerting behaviour since a few weeks after we brought her home. Back then, she wasn't sure what to do, other than tap to alert that something was amiss. 

Alaska picks on changes in O's, and in this instance, mine, volatile organic compounds. This is a natural behaviour in all dogs, but usually a dog jumping up is not a desired behaviour in a pet dog so this behaviour is deterred. For an assistance dog, it is a desired behaviour for alerting tasks.

Now, Alaska alerts O on a daily basis and will lay over O's lap (or like today, on my arms,) or will nudge O's arms and hands away from her body.

The tasking we've trained Alaska to do, the alerts Alaska is doing naturally 🥰

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