The Find'em Scent Safe, developed by police officer and canine handler Captain Coby Webb, Ph.D., allows families to collect and store uncontaminated scent samples for use by law enforcement or search and rescue K9 teams should a loved one go missing. Keep reading to learn more about the Find'em Scent Safe and how it can bring peace of mind to those who need it most. Especially for families who have a child with autism or who take care of someone with Alzheimer's, time matters when someone disappears. A clean scent sample allows tracking dogs to immediately get to work without delay. When families provide a scent article collected and stored the way the Find'em Scent Safe suggests, it eliminates questions about scent contamination. Knowing a tracking dog is on the correct scent means fewer delays and complications. What is the Find'em Scent Safe? The Find'em Scent Safe is a scent collection and storage system. Developed by decorated police K9 handler Dr. Coby Webb, the Find'em Scent Safe allows families to keep uncontaminated scent articles on hand in case law enforcement or search and rescue teams ever need them. The Scent Safe arrives in a sterile package and includes step by step instructions for obtaining scent samples and properly storing them within the Scent Safe. Who is the Find'em Scent Safe For? The Scent Safe kit helps bring peace of mind to anyone who loves someone at high risk of going missing. While children with special needs and elderly loved ones often come to mind first, hikers, hunters, and outdoorsmen also benefit from having an uncontaminated scent article available in case they need to be quickly found by dog teams. Dr. Webb specifically mentions children with autism, older dementia patients, elderly parents, and adventurers of all kinds. She also notes that the National Police Bloodhound Association recommends "that every family member secure a Find’em Scent Safe™ of their own." How Does the Find'em Scent Safe Work? These kits allow parents, caretakers, and adventurers to gather scent and then store it long-term in an airtight container. If the person ever goes missing, a family member gives their Scent Safe to the K9 handler responding to the call. The search or tracking dog uses the pure scent article inside the safe to "zero in" on the scent they're supposed to follow -- that of the missing person. An uncontaminated scent article helps the K9 ignore the scent of other
Autism Service Dogs and Sensory Processing Disorder Dogs change the lives of the families they work for. Like all Service Dog teams, every Autism Dog team is unique, since everyone has differing needs. However, some tasks occur more frequently than others. Learn more about some of the most common Autism Service Dog tasks now. Common Autism Service Dog Tasks Contact / Sensory Based Autism Service Dog Tasks Assistance With Meltdowns / Overstimulation Meltdowns commonly occur when an autistic child cannot process the amount of stimulation they're receiving. They take many forms, but often result in tears, struggles, and other signs of distress. They are not tantrums. In addition to overstimulation, autism meltdowns can also happen when an autistic child or adult is unable to communicate needs, wants, or emotions. A trained Autism Service Dog assists with meltdowns by serving as a calming and grounding point of contact, somewhat like an anchor. They do so via several means, including deep pressure stimulation, kinetic engagement, and tactile grounding, all of which are covered later in this article. Repetitive Behavior / Stimming Reduction Some autistic people use repetitive motions or behaviors, collectively called "stimming," to self soothe or to express excitement or intense emotions. Stimming takes many forms, but commonly involves hand flapping, rocking, or similar movements. An Autism Service Dog can be trained to reduce stimming by providing another avenue for engagement. Deep Pressure Stimulation Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS), Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT), and Deep Touch Pressure Therapy (DTP) are all names for the same thing -- a type of firm tactile contact used to calm and soothe central nervous system overstimulation. It can take many forms, including weighted blankets, swaddling, firm stroking or hugs, compression, or the furry weight of a large breed Service Dog. Many Autism Dogs provide deep pressure stimulation as a trained task. This helps soothe (or, for some people, even prevent) meltdowns, provide tactile grounding, and provides more dignity for the autistic child or adult than many alternative methods of DPS. Kinetic Engagement Many autistic people actively seek out certain types of sensory input, particularly of a kind they find comforting or soothing. An Autism Dog provides multiple outlets for kinetic engagement, either via direct or indirect means. Direct means include (gentle) fiddling with ears, fur, paws, etc. Indirect means include grooming or playing with equipment. It's important to remember that in order to be a Service Dog task, a behavior must be trained and cueable. Natural behaviors are not
We often are asked about my son Elliot’s Service Dog, Orbit. People wonder if you should treat an Autism Service Dog differently from Mobility Assistance Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Guide Dogs. It is important to remember that every Service Dog is trained to help an individual with unique concerns. That means every individual has unique preferences for how they and their Service Dog should be treated. Here are three questions we’re often asked.
Having a Service Dog means a lot of things: independence, hope, mobility, confidence — but it also means something else: DOG HAIR and dealing with Service shedding.