I'm writing to you in hopes to get a couple of things figured out!
And we're new here (we as in Stella, the dog, and I).
Well to jump in, Stella is currently an ESA. She's great, does quite a good job at keeping me in check, calming my nerves, helping me soothe, etc. Brilliant what animals can do, and really, what she has done and provided for me.
A bit about her- she's just over a year old 25-30 lb Formosan Mountain Dog (she was picked up off the streets and then flew over from Taiwan as a 3 mo pup). I've known her since the day she set foot in the USA, fostered her and then adopted her on January 1st of 2014. She's timid, as most of these street dogs are, though she is getting better daily. I think it's just her parents were street dogs, her parents parents were street dogs... You know, not exactly bred to be a lap dog! Anyways, I try to take her with me everywhere that allows me to, to the park, the beach, she's great with other dogs.
Being an ESA I've had the pleasure of having her live with me in a sober living house. While they don't "allow" dogs, they said they could let her because of her status. Now, I'm moving, closer to my parents, and need to find another sober living house to move in to, though 99.9% don't "allow" dogs. I've been turned down once already because of this. However, does her status remain in shared housing environments like these? I know it's a really slim chance anyone will know the answer, thought I'd ask. Don't know if it's worth putting up the fight, or if I should just settle into my own place finally.
Second, I have psychiatric and physical disabilities that qualify me for a service dog. PTSD is my biggest thing I guess you could call it right now, though I have clusters of other debilitating symptoms. I have cardiovascular problems that Stella has already showed signs of being able to detect.
So question for the second question- I have done the VERY basics with her. Leash and off leash training. Comes when called. Sits. Lays down (Er, well, 80% haha). I'm going to be doing some long line work with her here soon because I have the time and it'd be good for her, and also enroll in some classes with her.
I would like to go about training her myself.
Now, I know, big task, and let me say, while I have not trained a service dog before (hence the questions) I have done basic training, as well was a professional horse trainer (very different, yet requires I'd say at least an equal amount of patience and understanding).
Sorry this is so long, almost done-
*SDIT- what rights does it have as far as entrance to public places?
* are there specifics for psd or are they refined by my needs or both?
* what has been most helpful in training your sd (what task, command, etc)
Or can someone help me brainstorm what it is I need to teach her, or, can someone help me brainstorm what I should have a trainer be teaching US (it's ok, tell me if I'm way out of my league, this is meant to be successful, I'm leaving my pride out of it)
Thanks so much!
Rachel and Stella