Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week in Review Dec 1 - 7

I just want to thank everyone for reading Ara and Luke's Santa experience. It was so special that I could not wait for this week in review to post it.  We did a lot this past week, Luke's training is really coming along very nicely and we are working on a lot of tasks to help Ara. **Please read to the bottom for Luke medical update**

What we Worked on:

Team Work - Ara and Luke are already very bonded and work well together. Every week we work on team work with Ara leading. This week we did recalls with a sit, leash walking (no vest), obedience hand signals and block.

Retrieval (Get It/Take It/Give It/Bring It )- This is one of Luke's favorite things to work on. I am adding in a lot of different items for him to retrieve and take. We worked with a nylon strap, rubber tube, cardboard tube, doggie dumbell, small juice bottle and even a treat. Luke is getting better at identifying the item I am pointing at and also with bringing to me with out too much playing with the item. He is still needing work on holding the item a bit longer until I ask for it. I have added in a sit or wait at the end to try and work on this.

Block - On leash and vest only working on getting a solid perpendicular block. I am training this just like we did for the heel positions. I have him in heel the lure him to the position of the block, once he is there I click and treat.

Behavior Interruption (Nail/hand biting) - We are working on this more and more with myself doing the nail/hand biting behavior and Luke doing a nose touch to interrupt it. We do about 10 sets per session of this.

DPT - Depp Pressure Therapy this is another new one. When Ara is getting upset, overwhelmed or having a meltdown Luke will either put his head in her lap or his legs across her lap/legs depending on what she needs. Here is a picture of one of our first attempts.

BLD Harness Conditioning - Luke is almost old enough to start mobility training, so we are conditioning him to the harness. It is bigger and a very different than his vest so we are going slow and making the harness very positive for him.

Nose Touch - I used the clik stik, post it note, small button and my hand all for targets this week. He is understanding the "nose" cue better each time.  Here is a video of an overview of how I am training Luke for Nose Touch.


Church - our church had their Christmas production this week. They kindly allowed Luke and I to attend one of the dress rehearsals as Luke has never been to anything like that and it was a great training opportunity. There were lots of commotion, loud noises, flashing lights and complete darkness, people moving in the dark. He did great and nothing bothered him. When we went to the production as a family Luke slept through most of it unless Ara needed him. He also did a great "find car" in the dark which we had not worked on before (I got video but it was very dark working to see if I can brighten it). Here is a picture from the rehearsal

Mall - We went to the mall a couple of times as I mentioned in my previous blog post :) and saw Santa. We also went to build a bear to have two of the girls' stuff animals fixed. Luke did very well and even used his paw to operate the foot petal of the machines. We worked on right/left guide directions, down stays, under (while at the pizza place), block, recall, and "Find Car" (again did wonderful). There were many distracts such as ZooMers (giant motorized stuff animals people can ride), people trying to distract Luke, strange noises ect. He ignored all the distractions. We did get pictures with Santa and I will share them a little later (want to make sure family see them first),

Walmart - This was an interesting trip. On the way in there were to cars of barking dogs. Luke did a little glance over at them but otherwise ignored them and kept working. Once inside we worked on Public Access Test items, stand stays with Ara holding leash, right/left directions. Once we left the check out counter I thought I would work on a new task "find out/exit" Luke is very smart so I told him "find out, take us out" I figured I would need to redirect him as we went, well I was wrong. He side glanced at every opening and once we go to the front doors he took a right and lead us to a stop at the cross walk just outside the doors. I was so proud of him and he got a hand full of treats for a job well done. Ara told him "find car" and he lead us down an isle we did not come in from (I allow him to take the lead in this and will redirect if needed, as he has gotten very good at this task). I was just about to redirect him (point him in the right direction) when he turned right at the cart return and there was our car. The isle we were parked in was much busier than the one he lead us down, so again very proud and lots of treats for a job well done.

I promise next trip out I will stop and make sure to actually hit the record button on my phone so I can share the "find car" task with everyone....lol

**Luke got neutered yesterday. When we got home yesterday with him Ara sat next to him with a pile of books and read to him. He is still a bit out of it, sore and does not want to eat. If he is not eating or feeling a little better in a day he will have to go back in for a check up. He will be out of active work for about a week or so depending on how recovery goes. **

Due to Luke recovering I will not have a "Week in Review" post so instead I will be doing a few general service dog posts such as the differences between Service Dogs, ESAs and Therapy Dogs, Service Dog Etiquette and Red Flags/Warnings of Scams (organizations/online certifications ect).

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