Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A New Year and some new Goals plus our week in review

Happy New Year everyone. We are starting the New Year off with some new goals and focus.

This year we will be working on several goals here are a few of them -  Luke's mobility training, Ara and Luke's team work, tasks becoming more solid, automatic responses (fading out cues), and Luke taking his Public Access Test.  I will also be posting new posts that have to do with service dogs in general, programs and such.

Skills (At Home Training)

DPT (Deep Pressure Therapy) - Ara loves helping in this training, She will go and lay down and fake cry and I will cue Luke to go to her and lay his paws across her lap. He is still working on the correct placing of his feet/legs.

Distress Response - DPT is one type of distress response we are working on the other is to nose or lick Ara when she is upset before actually needing DPT or other help. Luke has done this on his own so we are shaping it.

Open/Close Refrigerator -  This is a just for fun trick. Ara at this point does not need Luke to do this for her but I believe in making training fun and always doing new things. This will not be considered a task since Ara does not need it to mitigate her disability. Now with all that said, Luke picked this up with in a few minutes. I have taught him to tug (he has a soft mouth) and then tied the tug to the fridge door, he tugs it to open it. For the close he can either do a nose nudge or paw push to close it.  Here is the video of his second attempt

Paws Up- This is body awareness and conditioning exercise plus has practical uses as well. We have worked on this before on a low stool but this week we also worked on other objects such as a stool, a bench, our coffee table and a box. We will be working on many body awareness type of exercises through the new year.

Retrieval -  Get/Bring and Give it - We have worked with empty juice bottle, rube tube, doggie dumbell, cardboard tube and pvc tube. Luke is getting really good at bringing me what I point at and we are slowly moving to heavier objects such as a full water bottle, cell phone ect. Luke has a soft mouth so we are building up slowly the weight he can carry.

Nose Touch - I found a really small push light so I have added that to our box of tools :) We are working on getting a bit harder of a nose touch, so to get the treat he actually has to turn on the light not just touch his nose to it.

Obedience - As always we worked on Obedience sit, down, stand, stay, leave it, watch me, place ect.


Albertsons- (Ara was not with us) PAT, Directions right/left, guide work. Luke did bark while we were checking out. A worker was sprinting past us and Luke thought it would be a good idea to try and play with he barked excited twice at him. I quickly corrected him by saying "leave it" and he refocused on me. I have now added people running by to the list of things to work on.

Target - Ara was not with us for this trip. We worked on walking by the cart, backing up with the cart down an aisle, , say hi, guide work, PAT, find out and find car.

The weather has been so cold single digits and below 0 with a lot of snow so we have not been doing a lot of outings and our outside training has been very limited. Hopefully this week will be better weather for some outdoor training.

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