Support Training with Glimmer

I’m back from my vacation. I had to take a micro-vacation to recover from it to be ready for fall classes, which are now underway. Glimmer is back in training, andshe is doing very well. We’re getting ready to start distance work, as well as recall with distractions in the form of food and toys. I know she’s going to do a fantastic job of all of it.

Yesterday, I re-started Glimmer on her support lessons. She hasn’t been worked on them in a very long time, so I expected that she would have forgotten most of what she’d learned. I was wrong. Not only did she remember everything, she was also able to perform most of the responses correctly more often than not. She needed very little refresher work. However, because it’s been such a long time since she’s done these lessons, I’m giving her a refresher course, anyway. She must perform the correct responses every single time; there is no room for error in support training. Mistakes are not an option.

One of the things Glimmer must do is to alert me when my blood sugars are dropping. I’ve started this process with her by first conditioning her to two samples of my blood – one when everything is normal, and one when the sugars have dropped – and then, conditioning her to give a specific response to the sample with the low sugars. This is very labor-intensive work and it requires a tremendous amount of focus on Glimmer’s part to ensure that she performs the correct responses every time. Once she shows me she can consistently provide the correct response every time, I will start the next phase with her, which will be to transition her from the samples directly to me. For now, I am just concentrating on getting her conditioned to the samples.

Overall, Glimmer has been doing very well across the board with everything she’s been learning. She’s a very smart dog and she loves the work.

Have a great day, everyone, and remember: Stay calm and lead on.

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