Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct 13th - 26th (two weeks) - lots of pics and videos

Hi Everyone, I forgot to do a blog post last week so I am doing a two week blog post. Luke is doing so well in his training and making great strides. When we go out to places I am no longer having to give any type of correction and he ignores distractions. I also find that I am only needing treats when we do new tasks or working on more advance things.

Also Tomorrow is Luke's 1st Birthday. The girls picked out special dog bakery treats to give him on his birthday and dont tell him but we got him a nice big bone as well.

Ok so on with what we did and where we went :)

We are still working on Bring It, Give It and Take It. Luke loves to bring us things (shoes, toys, paper, pretty much anything he can) however he does not always give them to us but prances around with it. I got a training dumbell to try and shape this behavior better.

We got to work on long down stays due to have more workers at our house this week too. Luke is getting much better at these and I can actually leave the room now for a few minutes and he will stay until I give him the release word. Also did some refresh work on "place"

Along with the training dumbell I also got a target stick. We are working on introducing it and with in a few tries he caught on that he only gets treats when his nose hits the ball at the end. I will be making a few videos of us using this tool.  For anyone interested in the tool it is called a clik stik.

We have stairs in our house and I use them for training as well. Not only to help train Luke on helping Ara walking but with just obedience, body awareness and to test his skills. I will have Luke wait at the top then tell him slow forward, stop, sit, ect while he is coming down. It is kind of like a game of red light green light. Then I will have him wait at the bottom (which has a kid gate) and I will have him open the gate and come slow forward, back up, wait and go back which requires pushing open the gate. All of this is at his own pace I dont tell him to hurry up or encourage him to run the stairs. He is very agile and for a 1yr old has good body awareness.

Also Luke worked on doing Deep Pressure with Ara, this is were he places his head or paws on her for sensory in put, grounding ect. Also Ara has been working on walking Luke by herself on our side walk and such.

Pictures - read down for the places we went :)

Now for the places we went :  (some of the places we went several times)
Michaels - worked on PAT and Find Car

Bed Bath and Beyond x 2 - PAT, Find Dad, Stop at Intersection, Find Car

Albertsons x2 - Bathroom (we are working on Luke fitting him self into the smaller stalls now), Find Car, Cross Walks

Billings Hardware - PAT specifically worked on drop leash staying in heel. Luke did great with this

Therapy -  we had not been to therapy in two weeks due to colds. So we had to do a bit of refresher work with Luke. He is having a hard time settling while in OT so we will need to work on that.

Carters Kids Store - Ara asked to lead Luke so I gave her the lead and she held it and the handle on his vest. She gave him commands and lead him to the play Ara is asking to be more involved all the time and I always ask her if she wants to help during our training sessions.

Out side of Carters/Bed Bath and Beyond - I found this great little courtyard and it is perfect for working on some things in public but yet not in a busy area. We worked on Ara and Luke working together, of course I videoed it so I will attach it to the bottom of this :)

Walmart - Directions right/left, intersections, distractions (he is now ignoring most distractions in stores), Find Car (he was able to find our car and actually went a different way than we had come in. He is getting very good at this.

Hobby Lobby- We had another neat experience, with a child. We met a little boy who had been chased and bitten by two dogs and was afraid of dogs. After chatting with his mom for a bit him talking to Ara, he wanted to try and pet Luke. Luke stood very still for the boy and put his head down for him to pet. It is so funny how he responds to different people. With our greet cue he would normally move forward toward the child and offer a kiss or so, but with this little boy he knew to be a bit more calm. Ara had fun talking to the little boy and the little boy left being happy he pet a nice dog.
Doing a great Stand Stay at Hobby Lobby
Videos from these two weeks

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week Of October 6th

So we have moved int our new place and are having some work done in the kitchen. So Luke has been working on his down stays, no barking, polite greeting and listening to commands with big distractions around.

We have also worked on Find Ara aka Ara Hide and Seek. He is getting very good at it and it is a lot of fun for both of them.

We had a family get together this week so again we worked on polite greeting and leave it. At one point Ara got overwhelmed by everyone talking and ran crying from the room. Luke gave me a look then went after her with me in tow. He found her gave her a nose touch then came back to me and then back to her and did a nose touch until she acknowledged him. This prevented her from going into a complete melt down, She got up hugged him and said "Luke you found me, I love you". She then held on to his vest and we were able to go back to the group and say our good byes. This is the first time he was done this task out of the house and flawlessly.

Get it, Bring it and Take it - we are back to working on these three fun tasks. Due to a back issue I am not able to do a lot of training right now so this is the perfect thing to work on since I can be sitting or even laying down when practicing.  The rest of the week was a wash due to my my back issue.

Next week we will be focusing on Ara/Luke team work, and fine tuning the tasks he knows. I have some new training aids coming in this week that will help with some of his tasks

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week of Sept 29th - Many Outings

Hi everyone :) We had a very wonderful week and some awesome training experiences.

This week we made several visits to party/Halloween stores.....can you believe they are already sold out of many kids costumes (took us 4 stores before we found ones for the girls). We worked on desensitizing with Luke at the stores, we walked by displays (not activating them), looked at masks and some of the less scary motion sensor displays.  During the last trip this week we did activate some of the bigger displays he did a soft woof but did not act scared and his body language showed interest not fear or nervousness. We will continue to visit the stores and work up to the big displays. All the staff were great and were amazed that he is only 11mo old, as he was so well behaved.

Therapy went great this week. We worked on up/down stairs, pushing the handicap push plates, and down stays. Luke also has no reaction to the noises of the therapy office. The only time he whines is if he is alerting to Ara's anxiety.

We went out to lunch with Ara's best friend and her family to Wendy's. Luke again has shown that he is maturing. We ordered our food and went to the table. After just a few tries (very small crowded area) Luke was able to do a great "under" where he was mostly under Ara's chair and out of the way. No one knew he was there until we left and he did a great job guiding Ara through the crowd and out of the building.

We went to Cosco and Walmart also this week. In costco we worked on direction commands, ignoring distractions and working in big crowds. Luke did great with ignoring food (some of it on the floor) and he was solid.

At walmart we had a very special moment.  I had a mom stop us to ask us about Luke her daughter was diagnosed with CP but she now has an autism diagnoses and is in a special wheel chair. The little girl wanted to pet Luke, Luke was happy to oblige. But then he surprised us all, he actually did his behavior interruption task on the little girl because she started to hit herself and was overwhelmed, as soon as he started licking her she calmed and she tried to talk to him. While I was talking to the mom he would keep going back to the little girl to lick her any time she needed it and then would check in on Ara. It was amazing to see.  While at walmart we worked on find bathroom, find dad and directional commands (right/left)

On Saturday we had a lot of fun. We went to the big new Sheels store. It has a ferris wheel, mini bowling ally, games, a huge fish tank and more. We got to work on many things so I will just quickly list some of them out. We worked on distractions, new walking surfaces, stairs, noises (animals, guns, bowling, ferris wheel hydraulics), big stuffed game animals, and polite greetings. Luke did awesome with everything. At the ferris wheel the operators let me come up to the car to snap a picture and Luke went right up the stairs to the platform to help Ara get off and down. Again I can see how much Luke is growing, he did not bark, or get over excited at anything and took everything in like it was no big deal. 

Now for the not so good of the week. We went to a Red, White and Blue event that featured first responders and all the vehicles they use. It was very neat and the kids enjoyed being able to go through all the vehicles and meeting everyone. We had to avoid the police display because they had a plolice K-9 and did not want to cause a problem. Luke saw the other dog but I told him "leave it" and kept going. We were almost done with a guy on a bike and an off leash doberman were in the vicinity we were, Luke had a puppy moment and lost his composure, whining/barking and prancing around. I was able to get him back on task but it took a few minutes and he was done so it was time to go home. We still have to work on his excitement toward other dogs. The funny thing is about other dogs he can hear them barking and it does not bother him and will look toward the sound with some interest but one "leave it" and he is fine. So we are making some progress just need to do more training.

This week we will be working on more team work between Ara and Luke and working on Luke's tasks.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Better Late then Never

So I am about two weeks behind on our blog due to us moving. I am still unpacking and probably will be for a

Here is a quick look at what we have done training wise in the last two weeks.

Week of Sept 15th :

  We worked on Ara and Luke's team work. Ara used only Luke's vest (no leash) and gave him directions such as forward, turn, stop in our leaving room. Then we worked on block, around (where he circles Ara) lick (behavior interruption/ anxiety ect )and recalls all with Ara giving the cues.  If you go to the videos tab you can see some of the session. We did this a couple of times during the week.

At Ara's Therapy we worked on down stays, under, going up/down stairs, and handicap doors

We also worked on basic obedience, under a low table, down stays and noise conditioning

Week of Sept 22nd :

 Lowe's is one of our favorite stores. We got to work on a lot of things while there. We did down stays, some guide work, and Find Car. Find car is a newer task we are adding in. Once we are outside the store I will tell Luke to stop at the cross walk then forward followed by "Find the Car" once we get to the car I tell him "good find" and give him a bunch of treats.

We also went to Ace this week and again we worked on guide type work, Find Dad and Find Car plus just regular Public Access Training things.

Our last Rally O class was Thursday which was a full course run. We were able to fit in three different courses which was a lot of fun as you can see.

As you can see there were a lot of days off the last two weeks but this week ( week of Sept 29th) we have gotten back to regular training and are really excited with Luke's progress.

On Sept. 19th my parents had to put down their dog Wheezie she was 12yrs old. She was a sweet loving laid back lab mix that everyone adored. I still remember the day I called my parents to come look at two puppy's at the rescue I was volunteering at while in college. They took Wheezie home :) as a little ball of yellow fur. Here is one of the last and one of the best pics of her.