Monday, March 23, 2015

Busy Busy Bees - half a month in review

First off I am so sorry I have not blogged in a few weeks. We have been very busy busy bees here and both girls have been very sick. Luke has made some huge progress and Ara has as well.

Ok so lets get into it

Skills: (At home training)

Trick Training - This has been so much fun, everyone is enjoying it and in April we will be taking a new course in trick training. So far we are working on jumping through a hula hoop, going between legs both in a walking stance and feet wide apart, paws up, and spin

Place/Mat - We have a little blanket for a "mat" when we go someplace where Ara will be away from Ara like OT or playground ect. I will put the mat down and that is where he needs to stay until needed. The mat can help keep him clean if floors or ground is dirty and keeps him from moving around too much. So far we are practicing mostly at home and some at OT

Retrieval - We are working more on retrieval, picking up dropped items and delivering them to our hands. We are also working on him following a pointing finger to an object. So far he helps clean up when we point to an object he will bring it to us and we will put it away. We are also working on picking up an item when it is dropped. Ara's tremors have been very bad since she is sick and she keeps dropping things which is very frustrating for her and can cause her to become agitated and even a meltdown, so this task will be very helpful for her and hopefully make it less agitating for her.  Luke loves bringing us things even if it is not something we want, like empty boxes ect lol

Guide Work and Team Work - The weather is very nice so we have been going on many many walks around our neighborhood on the sidewalks. We have been able to work on right/left directions, automatic stops at intersections/curbs, "stop" which means to immediately stop and dont move no matter what Ara does, avoiding obstacles, ignoring barking dogs, Ara holding the leash and vest at the same time, and find home.

Dropped Leash/Off Leash  Obedience - In our yard working on different obedience commands with a dropped lash and also find dad, find mom and find Ara.

Ara and Luke Team work - Ara leading a training session mostly basic obedience including sit, down, stand, around, place, stay and heel.

Basic Obedience - As always we work on basic obedience and things like leave it, drop it and recall


Home Show - We went to the huge home show (over 20,000 people come). We got to meet lots of new people, including a man in a duck costume. Some of the businesses that had booths had dogs at them and I am so proud that Luke ignored them all. He did great working around and through the crowds, noises and heavy distractions. The only thing that did cause some hesitation for him was a man sitting in a corner where a big cowboy hat, I asked if it was ok if we came over to say HI and the man agreed. Once Luke realized it was just a man he was fine. We got some great compliments and no one could believe he was only 16mo old, because he was so well behaved and regal.

Therapies - Every week we go the therapy twice a week for OT and ST. While at therapy we work on down stays, Button (paw touch to push plates to open doors), under, guide work, and the building has the stairs that Ara struggles with so we work on them as well. When needed Luke also works on DPT, Distress Response, Behavior Interruption and Tactile Stimulation (licking her when she needs sensory input).

Walmart/ect - Grocery shopping is always fun and always interesting when you have a service dog. We work on general public access training, guide work, block, over right and left, any tasks Ara needs that day, find out and find car. Luke is amazing at find out and find car. He was able to find the car when I did not remember were we had parked. We always get alot of people stopping us to ask questions or asking to pet Luke, he is a pro at ignoring people and especially when doing the "find" task nothing will stop him until he reaches his goal (except me saying "stop" which is our emergency stop command)

Hospital and Doctors Appointments - These two places cause Ara to have extreme anxiety. We worked on stairs, guiding, under (even under small chairs), and any tasks Ara needs while there such as DPT, block, behavior response ect.

Petsmart - Working on Luke ignoring other dogs and not barking/whining back at them when they talk to him. Luke loves to play with other dogs and while he has been making great progress at ignoring them while vested we are also working on it while not vested. He did awesome with the short sessions we did.

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