Training My Dog as a Service Animal

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Training My Dog as a Service Animal

This is a discussion on Training My Dog as a Service Animal within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; About 6 months ago I had my first seizure. Now I am still working on going 4 days without a seizure. I celebrate going 3 ...

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Old 09-19-2017, 05:31 PM
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Training My Dog as a Service Animal

About 6 months ago I had my first seizure. Now I am still working on going 4 days without a seizure. I celebrate going 3 days which happens often. My standard poodle has starting warning me to sit Down or just that a seizure is immenent. Long story short I printed out the IADDP guide for training my dog and what he needs to learn and then be tested when there is one in my area. I am extremely lucky as Hershey is so easy to train so he is a quick study. Right now though, I am working with him to teach him "No Pulling" on the leash. Join st through normal training, I have taught him No jumping from n anyone, he doesn't get on furniture, he does not "go" except in the back yard. He heels on my left side but doesn't want to sit. So two things I'm working on are heeling and no pulling. He also says yes and no with his tail. He wags if answer is yes and keeps his tail erect for no. Hope to get some videos to submit. Anyone with ideas on on the pulling and sitting issues. He has been to our grocery store and Home Depot and did very well.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:02 PM
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I used a harness for my dogs and when they started pulling I stopped. You can use a collar and do the same thing. When your dog starts pulling just stop. She will look at you like your crazy a couple of times then she will start getting the picture. When she starts pulling stop then when she walks with out pulling tell her good girl or your cue for when she is good. :-)
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:57 AM
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Congrats on your service dog and props to you for undertaking the challenge and risk of owner training. Training a dog for public access is no easy task and goes well beyond basic obedience.

Every thing the dog knows must be proofed; basically, the dog must be retrained to act and perform the same under a wide variety of circumstances and environments. That means, for example, he needs to know that "sit" means "butt on the ground" not just in your living room but in every room in the house, on any type of floor surface, on grass or pavement or concrete (you get the idea); that he will obey the command just as well if you're 10 yards away with your back turned as he does when you're standing in front of him facing him; that he'll also obey just as well if you're jumping up and down, if there's a pack of kids playing ball directly next to him, if there's a loud train or truck going by, etc. Everything he knows needs to be that rock solid in his mind.

You'll want to make sure you have the recommendation and support of a medical professional regarding your status as disabled and your need for a service dog to be trained to provide you with functionality that you lack because of the nature of your disability.

What tasks will he be trained to do that mitigate your disability? This is important since simply alerting to seizures is not considered a task that qualifies the dog as a service dog even if the person with the disorder is considered disabled.

I'm not sure where you live, but not all states allow Service Dogs in Training (SDiT) the same public access rights as active Service Dogs. If you're in one of those states, you'll need to contact the owners of establishments that don't normally allow access to pets, like grocery stores, and request permission to bring your SDiT. Otherwise, you can still do plenty of public access training in places that do typically allow pets, like pet stores and some hardware stores, etc. A busy pet store is a good place to work on proofing training since there will be plenty of distractions (other dogs, people, kids, treats & toys, maybe even cats or birds or small mammals or reptiles) for him to practice ignoring.

The Service Dog Central forum and the Service Dog Central main site both have a wealth of resources and helpful information. The forum especially is full of knowledgeable folks, many of whom are also owner trainers and can offer you advice and guidance and information. The site and forum are owned and operated by a woman with a seizure disorder who has an owner trained seizure alert dog. She's very active on the forum and always willing to answer questions and share information. (Also her dog is named Tardis and she's a Doctor Who fan which makes her extra awesome in my book.)

Good luck to both you and your dog. I hope he's able to help you gain independence and functionality that you currently lack due to your disability.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:00 AM
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Which behaviors do you want help with exactly? I'm a bit confused as you talked about loose leash walking (i.e., no pulling), heeling, and sitting.

Choose to Heel is a nice method to work on both LLW and heeling. Basically, you reinforce the dog every time he's in proper position.

Have you taught sit, but he's not? Have you had a vet check to rule out a physical issue? Or have you taught it but there are situations when he doesn't sit?
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:44 PM
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Talking Good Qs.

Originally Posted by cookieface View Post

Have you taught sit, but he's not? Has a vet ...ruled out a physical issue?

Or have you taught Sit, but there are situations when he doesn't sit [on cue]?
Great minds, LOL.

those were my Qs, too - is he unable to sit, & does not sit even as a freely-offered behavior?
Or is the problem getting the behavior to be reliably done, on cue?

If he does not 'sit' as in ever, he may have some physical problem - pain, joint instability, _______ .
If the issue is reliable compliance, that's 'way, 'way simpler.

Digits X'ed, he's just unreliable, not literally unable.
- terry

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public access sd, seizure-alert

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