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Getting a Service Dog.

Thread starter #325
Oh wow... I have trying to teach K to carry her very well worn deer shin bone to her bed at night time, with little success.

But you know??.. keep trying! - Last night she did it! Yay!! and her plastic bone too! Better watch it or she'll start taking everything in there. :) :banghead:

This morning I told her to 'get yr bone' and she picked it up and came bouncing out with it. So well done K! We had a celebration!

But the big success was while I was not taking any notice - she came bouncing up to me with this 'I've done something really good' smile.. and I didn't know what all of the excitement was about so I didn't take much notice.

A few minutes later I discovered her plastic bone at my feet. She was still sitting there with a question mark hanging from her. And I realised that without asking she'd gone and got it from her bed. So big celebrations, tugg & throw etc etc etc

She's a smart
 
Thread starter #326
So today was the Vet day and it was crazy weather - rain, hail, wind - lovely. :rolleyes:

K jumped into the back of the car. She loves car rides and off we went. I put all of her harness on & up to the signs we went. After a while a lady came out and appraised us, did we have an appointment, had we been o/seas, did we have covid19 or think we did???

So eventually we got inside & were weighed. Just right! Whew... all that worry over how many grams of food a day have paid off. Then we sat down to wait for the Vet. Vet Monica was a lovely lady who said she'd take K in and do everything. She took her lead and off they went - shutting the door behind them. Hmmm.... Well there were lots of posters to look at & I've not been out for a while so just staring through the glass window at the world going by seemed an ok thing to do.

After about 10 mins the door opened and K came bouncing out, ears flapping up & down, wagging her silly bus end bum & flipping her tail around like a whip snake.

She was so happy to see me... I wax poetic... love reunited. Bounced into my arms and tried to wash my face... sigh...all is good in the world again. I admit - secretly I don't even remember feeling this way about my kids coming home?? But my memory is rubbish... :oops:

She's fine. Got the shots, nails trimmed & all of the usual things poked and prodded - nothing wrong & in the pink of health. I felt proud. Not really responsible for her glowing good health but I still did. lol...

She wasn't so happy this afternoon though - the all worm tablet - I think? So she had a rock solid sleep & this evening she's almost back to her usual amicable self again. We went for a late, late walk in the wind & rain & I suspect she's done for the day now. I think I am too.

So.. a very big day for us both.
 
Thread starter #329
K had another examination today - via Zoom.

She was put through her paces for about half an hour & passed with flying colours.

For one of her alerts she got so excited about doing it right that she ran around in circles then jumped on top of my dining table, spun around, leapt into my arms and then rebounded back onto the floor into an instant 'drop' & 'stay'and didn't even blink. :hilarious: :roflmao: :oops:

She did it so fast, like in just a few seconds, that we were all stunned. The examiner was very impressed with how responsive & watchful she is of me.

So the trainer & the program manager are both happily saying K's excellent performance is due to their particular input. lol...

I brought them crashing back to earth when I shook my little container with treats & commented that food is K's true master. :) She will do anything at all for a little piece of kangaroo jerky. Fortunately though she seems to want to please me when I don't have treats too. That's fortunate.

She's also just been published by the sponsoring organisation in a calendar. She is 'Miss December 2020' - still laughing -

Oh and btw... I've met a rather handsome, debonair man who looks to be about my age, walking two beagles near my home three THREE 3 times now in the last month. We stop & chat whilst our dogs greet each other now. I've been very slack & haven't scoped out his hands yet to see if there are any rings. ...sigh... I don't want to kill the fantasy quite yet... :cautious: But, you know he's got beagles so he must have good taste??
 
Came back and read your post again because I knew it would make me smile (and it did).

I especially love this part:
she got so excited about doing it right that she ran around in circles then jumped on top of my dining table, spun around, leapt into my arms and then rebounded back onto the floor into an instant 'drop' & 'stay'and didn't even blink.
It's hard to explain to some dog owners that have never experienced it what 'work drive' really means in a breed.

My dog, for example, continues to practice fun, pointless things with me for treats and quality brain-game time. One of them is "shake". You've seen the youtube clips - the one where the dog eagerly lifts its paw forward into the owner's waiting hand and wags it's tail as they shake hands?

My dog (and I love him to bits regardless, and knew the breed I'd chosen wasn't exactly in the Top 5 Working Breeds of All Time list) eyes the treat in my other hand, then looks away from me as he lifts his paw off the ground and sticks it out sideways, as far as he can get it from the hand he's supposed to shake, in a classic "This is dumb, I don't like people touching my paws" manoeuvre.

I absolutely loooove training dogs with high work drive. Like K. Who get their wag on with the sheer anticipation that they're about to be asked to do something, nail the task, then get frantically excited when they know they've just aced it.

Dogs when they get excited like that is such pure joy to watch. I can picture K completely losing her Na-Na knowing she'd nailed it, and getting so carried away with how good she'd done that she'd do something utterly not allowed, and then follow that through with dropping back at your side with that adoring look that says, "I did real good, so we can pretend that dining table moment didn't happen!?"

Thanks for continuing to share your journey with K. It's such a joy to be part of just by reading along:)
 
Thread starter #333
K has got her winter coat and is literally a walking crime scene. She also smells very dawwgy. I don't want to wash her & it hasn't rained during the day recently & I'm broke so no doggy wash. I've got some bi carb in the pantry so going to see if she let me rub that in and brush it all out again. Maybe that will deodorise her.

We've progressed with the fetch game to the point where she retrieves reasonably reliably, returns and place's the ball in my hand. The commands are fetch and give. If she gets careless with putting the ball in my hand and it drops away, I tell her to find the ball, pick-it-up & return to the give command. She gets it almost 100 % of the time. Sometimes I have to back-track with the training & go over the steps again. And then we get a big win and I think she's actually the smartest dog in the entire world. Really!

K really wants to play tug with the ball when she returns it at times too & flashes the whites of her eyes just a smidge but her desire for praise & a treat wins out. We had to learn give pronto because I cannot walk or stand for very long right now and I certainly cannot retrieve a ball she's tossed out of her mouth after retrieving it.

So we had a few sessions where she was doing the classic, 'I've done what you asked now give me my treat' expression. How is it that us humans project and attribute so much communication to dogs, yet they barely tilt their heads?

She's completely failed at the retrieve at times. Just to remind me that I'm not even a dog trainer's finger-nail. :rolleyes:

Her behaviour when this happens is something similar to her losing her train of thought completely. Also quite similar to me when I'm too tired or stressed, except I get embarrassed. And she's not lost in a wilderness of confusion rather, something much, much stronger & compelling has happened. It goes the same way each time this happens and I think with her beagle blood I've lost the battle before it's even begun. I don't see a way of diverting her back to the mission and I simply wait it out.

It goes like this,

She'll tear off after the ball with the best of intentions and wild enthusiasm, tail spinning & fully engrossed in that ball.

All good but then literally from nowhere or even from anywhere, her nose, that blessing and that curse, hijacks the entire exercise. Suddenly the invisible lure of something catches in her nose & she stops, frequently and literally mid stride, lifts one diminutive leg & holds it poised, nose to the sky, tail aloft & 'points' stock still, to the message. Nothing can break the magic spell until it either finishes holding her or she dismisses it out of hand. Hell I wish I could either bottle that stuff or read the message too. lol.. After that complete disruption, the ball is in the far corner of the yard & she comes bouncing back to me. huh??

We've been working on shake, roll, find your bone, find your plastic (which is a chewy kong bone) & put it away. (That's into her basket)

The shake she's getting really good with but only, strangely from the right leg. Hmm...

The roll requires a sit, drop & then roll. She can do the sit & drop without even thinking though I still praise her for that effort. We're almost there with the roll though she'll try and cheat by only rolling half way then returning to a loungey style of drop.. so yeah she's clever.

Find is having limited success... it seems she's perfectly capable of finding them (her bone, plastic & her hair brush which gives her much chewy pleasure) on her own but requires an inordinate amount of encouragement and praise & repeated demonstrations to do it when I want her to. lol..

Really, I think she's in charge of this house now. I mean I'm just glad I live on my own. Cos pleading and begging and demonstrating how I'd like stuff done is embarrassing. Inwardly whilst I cringe I think she's having a :hilarious: time.. teaching her human.

Put it away - is a dismal failure right now. Much like a child she see no glory in doing that at all and my living room looks like it's been trashed by a toddler but with less toys. So, any of you dog trainers out there... help... would be appreciated - please??

She's nudging my leg. It's time for a walk - even if it is a very short and slow one. Such a hard task master I have. :rolleyes:
 
Put away the toys...away...???:wideeyed:
Why on earth would humans do such things!?

Doggo only has 4 toys out to play with at any given time, and we rotate through them.

To teach putting toys away in a specific place (never has this occurred to me as a thing...doggo clearly wears the pants in our relationship!), break it down into smaller tasks.

Example:
1: drop the toy straight into the box placed directly under her mouth (treats for nothing more than letting it fall down into the waiting box)
2: very gradually, start moving the box, using the same command.

The winner will be patience with how slow you move the box away. Getting the toy to drop into the box, even though it's moved a little, will be the hurdle. So, 2cm increments.

Once you're over that hurdle, you can switch it up to the box being further away, in a particular place, or if you're really feelin' it, even eventually teaching K to find the box to drop the toy in! Which would be cool. Utterly unnecessary, and a very slow thing to teach, but still cool:cool:
 
Thread starter #335
even eventually teaching K to find the box to drop the toy in! Which would be cool. Utterly unnecessary, and a very slow thing to teach, but still coo
^Sorry I didn't make myself clear. K. is up to the stage where I can drop all of her stuff in her very own dog basket and she'll not bat an eye lid.

During the day she gets them out again and leaves them anywhere she likes, sometimes apparently with wild abandon or perhaps in places she knows I must walk, sit or open. :oops:

I know you mean.... I've got to break it down into identifiable steps.

So, given she'll leave them there when I put them in, at least until I've forgotten about them :rolleyes: I guess I've got to start with pulling the little basket out and take the toys (all four of them) out; get her to come watch me drop them in & treat her? Huh?? She's going think that's a beaut idea.. I cannot see her giving me any arguments with that. :hilarious: :roflmao:

But how do I shade her into picking up the stuff & dropping them into the basket herself?

??Start with picking them up & then dropping them, anywhere? Cos I cannot give her a treat when her mouth is already full lol... Oh God I'm seriously stuck... :cautious: No wonder she's got the upper hand!
 
Cos I cannot give her a treat when her mouth is already full lol
You can totally do this, and I reckon she's smart enough to pick it up.

When we're teaching a dog to pick something up off the floor for someone with mobility problems for example, there's lots of steps.

The first one is Hold. You get them comfy with you on the couch or whatever with some treats ready, and get them to take something easy into their mouth (a small stick or pencil is nice and easy). You say hold, then offer the treat, which they prefer to the object in their mouth.

Repeat that till they have the idea of Hold.

Gradually stretch it out, so that they have to hold it in their mouth for a while before the treat is offered, then slide the stick gently out of the side of their mouth as you say Give, then treat. 2 complete tasks. Hold and Give. Probs you already have a command for Give, so that will be a sinch.

The object can get switched up once she's learned hold, so that she holds whatever you're offering, even if it tastes yuck (car keys, credit card, phone, remote control, toys etc).

To teach picking it up off the floor? You do the same Hold exercise, but gradually start with holding the object for her to take closer and closer to the ground. Eventually, you're holding it close enough to the ground that you can simply make the transition to leaving the object on the ground, and voila! You've taught your dog how to pick up on object off the ground!

The trick to this stuff is just figuring out the baby steps that K will understand, so that a big complex task is simply a slow process of learning super easy small tasks.

You got this. You have her whole life to teach her whatever things are going to be useful for you:)
 
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