Do service dogs ever get to just be dogs........ yep look at this silly boy
|Sleeping in the recliner|
|Brought me a rose we were using for a craft project|
Skills: (At Home Training)
Vest Work - This is something I have always forgotten to put on here. I will have Luke were his soft vest around the house and do some extended time training. Like long down stays on his place (bed or mat), responding to Ara when she is in distress, behavior interruption or DPT, Under (maneuvering under tables/chairs), puppy push ups, and the list goes on. This gets him use to doing commands both with out a vest and in his vest. We started this when he was 4mo old.
Leave it (with "watch me") - Always working and reinforcing this one. When I say "leave it" I also want him to focus his attention to me. So I have added the "watch me" to this. He has a very good leave it with food. However he loves to put things in his mouth and bring you things you dont want. So I will see him looking at one of the kids stuffed animals or a leggo and tell him "leave it" and give a verbal "yes" and praise when he does. Leave it can also be used for distraction or focusing on the wrong thing, for example getting distracted by someone trying to call him, I will tell him "leave it" and "watch me". He has gotten good and will now automatically look at me after I say "leave it".
Drop it - Oh the fun of having a dog that loves to pick things up. Luke is awesome at drop it no matter what he has in his mouth. This can be a life saving command (dog has something sharp, dangerous or a choking hazard in his mouth) and ever dog should know this one.
Place - We are still expanding the length of time he is in "place" and also him going to place no matter where we are in the house, waiting for the release command and coming directly to me after the release.
Down/Long Down Stays - We are working on quicker responses to down (while vested) and longer intervals of the long down stays.
Obedience - Every week we run through his basic obedience (both vested and not). Ara is usually the one giving the commands/signals now as well as the praise.
Outside - YES the weather is finally getting nice again. So we are working outside more. We are starting with obedience and going on walks. During the walks we work on directions, stopping at intersections, backing up, switching sides ect.
Team Work - Having Ara lead her own training session in which she chooses what we work on and gives the commands and praise, with me just guiding them both.
Therapy - We work on so much at therapy - under, long down stays, behavior interruption, distress response/ DPT, stairs, team work, leave it and paw touch/push. Luke did a great distress response during ST with out prompt and when done came right back to his down stay area. We are also working on making the paw touch on the handicap door buttons into a automatic task.
This was a very hard video for me to make because I had to watch while she struggled with something that should be easy for a child her age. This is how Luke Helps.
Doctors Office - Paw touch for the door button as well as the call button for the elevator, Down stay and "quiet". Luke was in puppy brain mode for this appointment. He barked at voices he heard in another area and was pushy about greeting her doctor which he never does. Corrections were made and he settled down after a bit.
Stores - (Grocery/Walmart/Target/Toy R Us/ Payless ect) too many to list these two weeks. We worked on PAT, guide tasks, directions, vocal commands and hand signals, distractions, block, find out and find car.
Birthday Party at a play place - We rented a little play area for the girls party. I knew this would be a challenge for Luke so he got to stay for a little bit then went to doggy daycare. One of our friends has a young child with seizures and Luke was drawn to him and kept trying to smell his face. He also barked a few times as people were coming in and could not sit still very long as he was excited. He got to meet everyone then daddy took him to doggy daycare where he had a very fun afternoon.
Red Lobster - Let me start off by saying we were there for 2 1/2 hours due to how busy they were and we were a large party (grandparents and great grandparents with us). It was very busy in the waiting area and Luke did some anxiety work, by alerting to her anxiety increasing, licking her arm to get her to focus on him and then helped me take her outside to get some fresh air. After we were seated he did a perfect under and laid quietly the entire meal except twice when Ara needed him. He was not distracted by the wait staff standing around the girls singing them happy birthday, the rolling floor cleaner and ignored dropped food. He did awesome.
However we did have our first negative person in public. As soon as we walked in Ara went to the lobster tank and a women standing next to it started talking bad about us loudly to her friend saying "some people think they can take there pets any were and call them service dogs" and made a disgusted noise. I removed Ara and Luke from the situation and walked over to were our family was standing. The entire time we were waiting these two women gave us dirty looks and talked about us. We had out of town family with us so I did not confront these two women however I did give them the dirtiest look I could muster.
Mall - We went to the mall on Sunday and did not realize the mall opens before all the stores do.....so we used the time to walk through the Public Access Test. Ara participated in it where she could and luckily there were a few other families there so we even got to do the part about Luke laying down and being petted by kids. Luke passed every part of it with flying colors (except the out to eat part). We also worked on " left and right over" which is where Luke guides Ara over to a wall or safe place out of the flow of the crowd. Ara was playing on the little kids coin rides and I was talking to some people who asked about Luke. Luke did great with visually checking on Ara and then giving me eye contact, he also did a great Find Ara when I walked him away from the area. We also worked on "door" for operating the push buttons, find out, and find car.
Sams Club - Finished the rest of the Public Access Test as we ate at the food court. He did a great under and ignored all dropped food. Walked great with the cart and ignored all distractions. We also worked on block, guide tasks and find car.
Ara has been really struggling these last two weeks as we go through medication changes and such. Luke has been doing some great response work with out prompting.
Passed the walk through of the Public Access Test so hopefully we will be able to do it soon and video tape it.
Doing more on his own as far as response and guiding in public.