It was a cool and foggy Saturday morning this weekend in the central Florida Sandhills, the perfect day to take Kisses to the woods to practice her nose work! Kisses is a chocolate labrador retriever who grew up in the sandhills near Archer, Florida, and is familiar with its many exciting smells. Like many dogs, Kisses is all about food!
Because of her food motivation and familiarity with the sandhills, I realized she would be a great detector dog! I began the first few weeks with teaching her to use her nose to find food. This entailed stashing her dinner in various areas to give her a "job" to do. Fast forward two months later, and Kisses is already tracking down sheds from eastern diamondbacks! She is our first rattlesnake detector dog and will assist us when doing ecological surveys to monitor the status of eastern diamondbacks in various ecosystems.
Next up, we are going to start working on differentiating types of sheds from various venomous and non-venomous snakes!