06-23-2014, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
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I just adopted and started training a 21 month old Boxer/Lab female to be my PTSD service dog (non-war related) and TBI (traumatic brain injury). My issues from the brain injury is I get vertigo spells and so she is learning to lean heavily into me to help center me, she honestly started this naturally and I have reinforced it.
She had no prior training aside from being house trained and leash trained. This is my first SD training, but we are doing great! I have done loads of research and have gotten advice from trainers. So far we have our basic obedience down and are working on proofing it in more distracting environments. She also has learned 5 of her tasks and we are proofing them. The tasks/works are:
Alert to anxiety/panic attack/flashback. She does this by first nudging me with her nose and then more persistently with her paw. She actually started alerting me herself and again I reinforced it and shaped it. Originally she just would get as close as possibly and paw at me.
Wake me from nightmares. She does this naturally whenever I start thrashing around, she will paw and jump on top of me if needed.
Grounding or Deep Pressure Therapy.
Cover and block, which is where she gets between me and the closest stranger and acts as a boundary line. We are slowly getting better at this! The other day she was "covering" (standing behind) me and a guy in a scooter literally hit her, but she stood just like a pro.
Leaning into me to center me during dissociative states or spells of vertigo.
So many people doubted me, but already she is amazing me! She goes 90% of the places with me. She has even went into 5 restaurants now!
Our biggest issue is she gets highly distracted by other dogs. I will be obtaining training for this as I think it is needed. Part of it is she is still young.
Good luck everyone with training!