Sunday, August 24, 2014

Week of Aug 18th - with pictures

Monday - was a day off from specialty training

Tuesday - Therapy Day! Luke was more relaxed and is starting to get use to all the sounds and sights of the therapy offices. We worked on Paw Push (he is getting more accurate), nose touch with the laser pointer, long down stays, and check in - if he is in a down stay away from Ara and Ara starts to get overwhelmed or anxious he will whine and I will release him to do a check in and help her as needed.

Wednesday - We did basic obedience and some Rally O

Thursday - I gave Luke a hair cut as he was getting very shaggy

Friday - Vest Work - since we do so much training at home I rarely put his vest on, I have noticed now that we are working more and more that he is unsure sometimes how do a task with his vest on. So now I am vesting him when working on service dog stuff. We also worked on Heel position and coming from any direction into a heel position.

Saturday - Shopping Day!! First stop was our local health store to pick up most of Ara's Gluten Free items. Everything went pretty smoothly, even though Ara was having an off day.

Then we went to Walmart and it was CRAZY. School starts this week which I did not realize when we decided to Ara was quickly becoming over stimulated and Luke did awesome to help her. A year ago Ara would have been having a meltdown and/or would not want to walk through the store. Ara did great holding on to Luke's vest and he did great moving her through the crowds (with me leading). We worked on "behind" which means that Luke slows down with Ara and gets in line behind me for those really crowded areas, worked on stopping at intersections, Ara asked him for "kisses"/lick when she was getting overwhelmed, in the parking lot Luke took Ara to the side of the aisle for safety and was actively watching and looking for the our car.

The most amazing thing was that while shopping Ara got scared of a man who was shopping behind us (she can get paranoid at times or have a type of hallucination), normally she would yell and try to climb up me, yesterday she just covered her eyes and held on tight to Luke's vest, trusting him to help her and I was able to get them out of the aisle.

Sunday -  We were suppose to work on Rally O today but it is still raining and only 48degrees outside. So we will work on what we can inside :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Week of August 11th

We had a fun and busy week. I also learned an important lesson about training on Saturday so make sure to read down to the end of this entry :)

Monday - Re introduced the clicker, since I am now training more complex things I will start using the clicker more. I had stopped using it for a while so I wanted to make sure to re introduce it and of course use a high value treat like cheese.   We also worked on Paw Touch, really differentiating between a light touch and the "push" ( a harder touch) command.

Tuesday - We are using a laser pointer as a target for nose touch. Right now we are just working on just short distance of a few inches. Nose touches the dot, click and treat. My goal with this is that when A is self harming/picking at her lips, when she needs help refocusing or to do a check in, I can do a laser point and Luke will give her a nose touch, eventually he will do this as an automatic response. We also worked on "paw push" with the light button, heel position and place.

Wednesday - More laser nose touch and paw push. We also worked on some Rally Obedience and sitting straight in the heel position. He tends to try and sit sideways, this is why rally is such a great fun yet functional thing to do. It teaches him body awareness and to really pay attention.

Thursday - Laser nose touch and Heel position with distance with out using a leash. I want Luke to be able to get in a proper position from any distance or direction (again rally o incorporates this as well). Heel is a position not an action. So for example I will say come to heel, I will also be teaching "side" which is the same position just on the right side which is where A will need him most the time.

Friday - A day off from specialty training.  We work on obedience everyday.

Saturday - Our weekly outing to walmart, this time it was just me and hubby as the kids were at Grammy's house.  This is were I learned something about training.  First thing I realized is that he knows when A is with him he really has to be focused on her. With out her there he looked around more and was a bit distracted. I fixed this by just reminding him to focus on me.  We got to work on some of the Pubic Access Test thanks to a great family with small kids. Luke did a great sitting polite greet for the older kids and then did a very good down to be petted by the smaller kids. He also gave some kisses away too.  I also learned a second lesson, not to confuse the dog by telling him to do something he knows he shouldn't.  As were were shopping we worked on "block" and at one point I wanted him to sit while we were spending some time looking at some items. He refused to sit and I could not figure out why, he would down but refused to sit and kept giving me a funny look. I let it go and we finished shopping with him doing great the rest of the outing.  After getting home it dawned on me what had happened. I have trained him to never sit in a grocery store. Since A  will use Luke as a guide (grounding ect) and for balance, we worked really hard to eliminate his automatic sit when we are shopping or at events ect, so he does not drag her down or unbalance her. I had not even realized we had hit that level of work, until he willfully disobeyed in order to do what he was trained to do. (I tested this yesterday at therapy by having him sit when A was doing something else and he did just fine) While I was proud of Luke I also see the importance of making sure you are training exactly what you want. If not it will take twice as long to train and you will be doing a lot of re-training.

Sunday - We had a great day at the lake. Luke got to play in the water dig on the beach and even get in the boat. Even though he was off duty he still watched over A.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week of August 4th

This week was more about Ara than Luke's training. Ara had to have an MRI/MRS which required her being put under so lots of calls and preparation. Here is a short summary of what we worked on this week. Everyday we work on obedience, even though I may not list it.

Monday - We visited our favorite craft store and did some Public Access Training. We worked on polite greeting, supervised separation, distractions especially smells.

Tuesday - Therapy Day - Luke went with Ara to OT and Speech. During OT he mostly laid down and would occasionally do a "check in" where he would go to were Ara was and just make sure she was ok. At one point in therapy he laid down next to her as she was getting anxious and wanting to give up on the task her OT had given her. I suggested that Ara take a break and she gave Luke a big hug and then put her hand out and said "lick" he licked her hand and continued on with the task. It was a really awesome thing to see.  In Speech he laid near her the whole time. Here are some pictures from the day

Wednesday - We worked on nose touch and basic obedience. Also I got a laser pointer to try and work on targeting. So far it is just click and treat when he notices the dot.

Thursday - Day off lots of phone calls to prep for Ara's MRI

Friday - Ara's MRI/MRS. Luke did not go with us, he is just not ready for a hospital visit that long. We were their from 6am - 10:30am Ara did very handling the hospital visit thanks to all the cards and packages everyone sent.  She did have at least one seizure though.

Saturday - I set up a 1/2 Rally O course and we did a couple of runs through and then I switched out a couple of signs and did it again. Luke enjoys doing the Rally. Ara was able to walk Luke through some of the stations and did really good.

Sunday - Shopping day we went to walmart and worked on Public Training. He got to see and walk by a power scooter (walmart shopping power chair) and totally ignored people trying to distract him.  He was also able to do some stays with Ara (instead of automatically following me). Also worked on "Block" and him taking cues from Ara.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Week of July 28th

Sorry I have not updated sooner, so much going on here lately

This weeks big achievement for the week I have finished setting up all my supplies to make a Rally O course. I printed out all the Rally O signs and lamented them, figured out how to make cheap sign holders out of garden fencing (so they will stick in the ground) and bought 4 orange cones for the weave areas.

On Wednesday I got to put up a simple course and practice with Luke and Ara even walked the course with us.  We also worked on Paw Push with the light.

Thursday we worked on Nose Touch. I have bought a laser pointer to move it from nosing my hand to nosing other objects and Ara's arm/hands

Friday we worked on paw touch. He has learned that when he needs to go outside to come and do a paw touch on our knee or leg (very lightly) instead of just looking out the door and back to we wanted a more noticeable "clue" of him having to potty.

Saturday we had outings to Walmart and Ace. We got so many great compliments of how well behaved and good looking Luke was. He did really great at doing "block" and waiting to cross streets. He was great with distractions and ignoring people.

Sunday we did some quick training at a grocery store and at an apartment (pushing elevator button). I also am working on getting Luke conditioned to the Bold Lead Mobility Harness. Right now he gets treats for smelling it and being near it. It is a big harness, with buckles, metal clips and such, it is very different than his vest. He will not wear the harness until he is a year old and we will not do any weight baring in it until his growth plates are closed.