Service Dogs (2023)

cuppanina

Learning
Hey guys! I haven't seen a thread for this lately, but I'm a 17 year old in the process of training a medical and psychiatric alert dog. My dog will be trained in
-behavior interruption
-deep pressure therapy
-heart rate alerts
-psychogenic (non-epileptic) seizure response
-grounding during dissociation
I could use some support from others with PTSD/dissociation who have successfully trained their dogs to help them??
Screenshot%202024-01-11%205.45.49%20PM.png
Gracie, at 4 months (now 16 months old)
 
My suggestion would be to find a service dog organization or company in your area that trains dogs for PTSD. They would train you on how to train your dog and help with all the paperwork.
 
My suggestion would be to find a service dog organization or company in your area that trains dogs for PTSD. They would train you on how to train your dog and help with all the paperwork.
This is what I did. I already had SD, so I hired a local service dog trainer on a contract to train us. She took him for a month for basic obedience training, then we met once a week and did training, then I got my homework for the week, then either passed that the next week or did it again LOL

It's a ton more work doing it yourself, but you get to keep your dog with you instead of being on a wait list. Plus you get to learn together!
 
This is what I did. I already had SD, so I hired a local service dog trainer on a contract to train us. She took him for a month for basic obedience training, then we met once a week and did training, then I got my homework for the week, then either passed that the next week or did it again LOL

It's a ton more work doing it yourself, but you get to keep your dog with you instead of being on a wait list. Plus you get to learn together!
Right! She's grown up with me. I think once she has basic obedience training down (which I plan to do classes for), the week-by-week will be easier. It'll be nice to have a trainer step in if I need them though!
 
I have a border collie she knows around a 100 commands.

The number one thing is always positive reinforcement and don't over train. I never spent more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time training her.

The second most important thing is consistency. Always be consistent. Don't change commands. Don't train more than one thing at a time.

Third is reinforcement. Even when the dog knows what you want it will get excited because you are giving it attention. Be patient and stick to one and two.

Underlying all of this is that you need to research how to properly train so that the dog understands because at the end of the day if your dog isn't getting it(barring abuse, trust or dominance issues you may have to deal with) thats a you issue. Do more research. The dog wants nothing more than to make you happy.

Here's a picture of my pup a couple years back waiting for me outside of a store. She's the best.

Also don't get frustrated. Its a long process, with consistency, love and patience you can basically teach a dog anything. Train yourself how first tho. You can cause long term damage if you do it incorrectly. Start small. Sit, stay and come. Some people use clickers as an aid, I personally don't like them, but they can be effective.
 

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And be careful with outsourcing obedience training. Its stressful for the animal and at the end of the day your dog is the way it is because you made it that way. How effective would it be if you pay all this money to act a certain way and then when you get it back you reinforce the old behaviors. It might know how to do a few extra tricks but tricks do not equal obedience.

Sometimes she forgets that dead dogs don't wag their tails and I have to shoot her again.
 

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Oh my goodness :) My dog will "guard" me from nearby squirrels
Thats a dominance issue. He sees you as his pack member that he needs to protect and probably something that needs correction. Hard to say without knowing how he reacts to other animals and people.

Only one of you can be the boss. Thats just how dogs are wired.

The best way for you to deal with it, if it is a problem, would probably be diversion or distraction.

Diversion would look something like consistently removing him from the situation when it happens. He will learn when he acts like that separation from you will happen. Which he will not like and eventually he will stop. Could take a while depending on how reinforced the behaviour is.

Distraction would look something like playing fetch with him so that he is not worried about the squirrel because you are in charge and he would rather play with you instead.

Calm consistency is key. First time every time. No drama, don't scold him. Just put the plan into action.

Alot of things that people do to dogs are extremely disruptive to their behavior. Things that seem innocent like holding the dog while another person pretends like they are going to touch or play hit you. Telling them to watch someone or something. Its cute in the moment but you are teaching your best friend violence.

Do you want a potentially violent best friend? Maybe you do, idk.
 
Only one of you can be the boss. Thats just how dogs are wired.
This isn’t how canids think or behave. They have complex and fluid social relationships.

Be careful of training tips that have morphed from ‘Dominance Theory’. Even the guy who came up with the theory has abandoned it.

When looking for trainers, which can be crazy helpful, the current best practice is based on positive reinforcement (sometimes expressed as R+).
 
This isn’t how canids think or behave. They have complex and fluid social relationships.

Be careful of training tips that have morphed from ‘Dominance Theory’. Even the guy who came up with the theory has abandoned it.

When looking for trainers, which can be crazy helpful, the current best practice is based on positive reinforcement (sometimes expressed as R+).
Yes positive reinforcement. As all my suggestions have been if you read them. I even specifically addressed that in a post.

Anecdotal but... my exes sister is a professional dog trainer and my dog is better trained than all 4 of her dogs. We can go round and round about this but dogs are, in fact, hierarchal creatures and just because someone is wrong about something doesn't mean someone completely different is wrong about other things.

The number one thing is always positive reinforcement and don't over train. I never spent more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time training her.
@Sideways
 
@Workingonit - yep. Saw that. But there’s a bit of a mix of R+ and Dominance based suggestions throughout your posts, so I thought I would help by clarifying.

Each to their own. Everyone has different experiences with dogs. I’ve got no problem with that.

My own suggestions simply come from my own experience, as a Seeing Eye Dog trainer, which is what I do for my day job, together with my history training Service Dogs for a range of physical and mental disabilities, including ptsd, and some years working in a dog rescue shelter. If I see training or behavioural tips that stem from Dominance theory, I tend to notice, because they’re as common as they are counterproductive:)
 
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