Thursday, May 15, 2014

This is hard work

Most people have been very supportive of us training our own Service Dog but others just don't fully get it. I have had a few people tell me "oh it is easy to train a dog" and  "wow that is amazing what you are doing good thing you have so much time" there are also the people who think you just slap a vest on any dog and it is magically a service dog. 

Training a service dog is not easy it is hard work. I work with Luke in several 15 -30min sessions a day. Some days I want to throw my hands in the air and say forget it, especially when Luke is being stubborn or is just not getting something or life is too hectic.  When this happens I usually take a step back and take a break from training sometimes for the whole day.  We also go to classes every week, do outings to make sure he is exposed to lots of different situations and things, we also  make sure he has fun too by going to the dog park and such. I am a full time stay at home mom, which does give me time to train Luke, yes but also makes it a juggling game with everything going on therapies, doctors appointments, ect. I have put over 100 hrs of training into Luke so far.

Even taking classes takes some extra thought. Because Luke will be a mobility dog we have to modify his obedience classes. We do not do an automatic sit when stopping in heel, he has to stay standing instead. He has to learn to heel in two to three different position based on situations, like going up stairs, down stairs ect. 

Training a Service Dog takes a lot of time, organization, patience, money (classes, grooming, dog care, equipment the list goes on), a willingness to learn and ask for help.It is not for everyone but I know that it is well worth it, to help my daughter. 

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