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 Service dog training?

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CoraTheHusky
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Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Service dog training?    Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:40 pm

I'm thinking of training Cora as a service dog,I was wondering if anyone has any insight on training her myself, should I start at her current age(4 months) or should a wait until she is older? As a trainer this is a whole new can of worms. I was also wondering if I train her as a service dog for ptsd and teach her heel ect do you guys think she will still pull while running and biking? Basically I'm asking if I can have the best of both worlds?
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:20 am

Yes, it is absolutely possible to teach them both to heel politely and still pull when needed.
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CoraTheHusky
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Thanks Jeff, it's nice to hear a more experienced trainers ideas!
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Rumflower
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:18 pm

This brings to my mind a story that this woman told me. She bred Akitas for therapy dogs. She told me that one of her Akitas was a guide dog for a blind man. The man ended up needing one of those power chairs and took the dog a few miles away to Walmart one day. The power chair broke down on their way home and he thought he was a goner! Fortunately, the Akita pulled the man in his power chair all the way back home.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:25 pm

@CoraTheHusky wrote:
Thanks Jeff, it's nice to hear a more experienced trainers ideas!


No problem.  

It is a VERY common misperception and rhetorical ploy that teaching things like Heel and correcting misbehavior on leash will ruin a dog's drive to work or pull or be energetic when needed, which is completely inaccurate.  

Huskies, in particular here, are capable of being far more versatile than people give them credit for think they can be, it's just that far too often we don't allow them the opportunity to be anything other than impulsive, drivey, bratty dogs.  

They can easily learn to enjoy the challenge of versatility, you just have to do it WITH them, as a team.  

I think it's awesome that you have this ambition for your dog.  

Cheers.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:06 pm

Jeff... I've been contemplating using Ami as my "pocketbook".  I am really limited in what I can carry without getting muscle spasms in my neck and muscle pain an spasms in my lower body.  Now that I have to have a sting kit with me at all times outside, it s becoming more of an issue.

Training him to carry my stuff is a non issue... slap on the backpack  and we're good to go.  It's a little cumbersome in Wal-Mart if i don't remember the added width (we knocked down a bunch of boxes on an end cap in NH  ) but I've not dared take him any place else inside.  I've taken him to outdoor restaurants and for the most part he lays quietly at my feet.  He's still a bouncy boy and teaching him to be still for any length of time has been problematic.

Also, I anticipate at some point, particularly when traveling, needing to teach him to pull me out of chair...I get supremely stiff sitting for any length of time.  I've put a lot of effort in teaching him not to pull hard, just enough to keep the leash in front of me, to keep my lower back on a slightly forward bending position to open up my posterior spine... but how do I teach him to pull me from sitting?

And finally, what public places, besides Wal-Mart, tractor supply and psycho are good practice areas?  He's really good in stores when we are walking, even with a shopping cart, just not so great sitting doing nothing.


Edit: that should read petco not psycho


Last edited by amymeme on Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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CoraTheHusky
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:24 pm

Thank you Jeff I'm just realizing that I need Cora for tasks and that she would be a great service dog with hard work.
Amy if you are going to train ami as a service dog you can get him a vest with a patch that says "service dog in training" that way more places will let you in as for the rest of your questions I'm not too sure.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:02 pm

Cora...I'm not really comfortable advertising "disability" with a labeled vest. I still like to think of myself as fully competent as I always was...even though hubby and and I know better. As do all the overly perky assistants in the doctors' offices that I could cheerfully strangle. Particularly when they start talking to me in the "kindegarten teacher voice" and assuming just 'cause I'm old, of course I am infirm Evil or Very Mad On the NH trip, I had to ask Meredith to lift the beer cooler out of my trunk, which she was most willing to do, but that has not been in my repetoire until most reecently and it still sticks in my craw - i've always been the strong one to help everyone else.

That's why a husky with a hiking backpack appeals to me...now if I can just convince said husky to lie quietly and stay put when I need him to...its working some now at night, at home. When we want to watch a movie, I walk him before and then insist on quiet time by the couch if he wants to be inside. I've started tethering him to me with a beach towel on the floor beside me for him to lie down on as sort of a cue, And no more thinking his wooing, bowing, pawing is cute and delightful (though it really is, it sort of defeats the purpose if I give in and take him out again just 'cause he's cute and endearing Rolling Eyes )
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AnyaLuv
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:02 pm

My family trains service dogs, and the earlier, the better. We start pups at 8 weeks, so get cracking Smile

Keep in mind, for a service dog to be considered a real service dog, he must be able to do a task that helps your disability. Carrying items in a backpack does not count under the current ADA laws (this used to be what many a diabetic counted on their dog to do), so ensure your dog is taught tasks that help your disability in other areas so the status can't be disputed.


Ami--get a little vest with a strap attached on the back. It will be different from his leash, so will give "permission" to pull when you need help to sit up. Having a partner in crime stand in front of him with a treat and encouraging him forward while you say pull and hold the strap will teach him what you want, then just reinforce like crazy.

And ignore people. If you get the "in-training" patch, most people assume you're part of a dog training school rather than the disabled person. You will get bombarded with questions though.

My Anya isn't a service dog, but is a therapy dog and does lots of visits with adults who have down syndrome or cerebral palsy. A lot of them like to look at her and talk to her, but not pet her or be too close. We have her go in "quiet time" and lay down during these sessions, which can sometimes be a half hour or more. She was a high energy maniac, so this was a challenge to normal training Smile We got her to do quiet time without popping up or playing by freezing a bone stuffed with peanut butter and giving it to her during "quiet time" (while saying the words in a ridiculous lullabye voice). She would chew her bone quietly, then when she was done, would be tuckered out from chewing and would just lay there. Eventually we worked up to taking it away, and now when we say quiet time, she plops down and doesn't move until we tell her.
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AnyaLuv
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PostSubject: Re: Service dog training?    Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:04 pm

As for locations, we use Petco, PetSmart, Sams Club, BJ's, Barnes & Noble (depends on location), public parks and local playgrounds (great for distraction work!) at the earlier stages. Malls later on (not the stores, but the big hallways and such), then build up to grocery stores, shops, etc.
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