Friday, December 3, 2010

Service Dog Update

I'm very excited about my upcoming service dog! She's just a puppy yet and I won't be getting her for several weeks. I go to the breeders site and look at pictures of all her beautiful poodles. It's very exciting.

I and "my trainer" had a divergence of opinion. She is an excellent dog trainer, I just didn't want a typical "service dog." She is passionate about her methods, I respect that. However, I being 50, have raised and trained enough critters to know what I do and do not want. Since we were both steadfast in our opinions, I decided I didn't need to pursuade her, I just let her go, and wished her well.

The big issue for me is in regards to AKC Canine Good Citizens. Both my son's and daughters childhood dogs were registered. RD was taken from us due to being poisoned by a pedophile that lived around the corner from my son, in his college town. The same pedophile who had poisoned 8 other dogs in the immediate neighborhood, over a course of 2 years. The pedophile would start harassing the dogs, then when they were wound up, he'd call animal control and report that the dogs were a nuisance and barking all the time. When the control officer came to investigate, the dogs would think it was the creep. The animal control officer would then harass the owners and write them up... Then the perp would threaten the dog owner and say that one day the dog would disappear and they'd never find it.

RD was so well trained, it was easy for the perp to take him. It's a myth that dogs know who's good and bad. Any duplicitous person can fool them. The creep took RD right out of the yard and shut the gate behind him. He took him downtown and fed him anti-freeze. Ryan had only been gone for a couple of minutes. He went searching and checked the pound. Someone turned him in. He was sick and foaming at the mouth. The pound keeper said they got a lot of dogs this way... Ryan found out the same thing had happened to the neighbors dogs. RD didn't live much longer after that. We complained to the animal control officer that the guy was a registered pedophile and was taking his cute small dog out for walks, exactly when the JR high let out and on the main collector route. It took them a year to believe us; they finally caught him in the act...poor girl! Why did they have to wait until that poor child was traumatized?!

So, That is why I don't want my dog to be trained to be "friendly" to everyone. I do want my dog to be well behaved, polite and reserved with strangers. That was were my trainer and I diverged.

So, I'm researching skills a service dog needs to have, as well as their recommendations for socializing. I'm practicing on my son's new "puppy." He's 12 months. This is another area where the trainer and I diverged. She thinks if you don't begin the training immediately that they are 8 weeks, the dog is ruined. I have obedience trained so many stray dogs that showed up here on our farm, so they could be re-homed, that I know that is just untrue! The trainer also insisted that a dog can only be trained to do one job. I think that is silly.

Which brings us to Jesse, a dog my son adopted from a shelter last winter, that I've been babysitting while my son was away for work. So far, Jesse has all the obedience skills but the long down and long sit. Don't misunderstand me, Ryan did most of that. Jesse and I have been working on retrieval, Scent & Recovery, (mostly because it's fun for both of us) and now herding. We're having a blast! He has proven very adept at cattle, including the bull, sheep, including the rams, and llamas. I'm almost tempted to try him on poultry. I think we need a little more work, first. He's a German Shepard, husky cross and his prey instinct is a factor that we will need to work on. But, he's been out 5 times and been very successful all 5 times. Oh, he wasn't perfect. Sometimes he's paying more attention to the poo he wants to sample, rather than what the livestock are doing.... But, still he's exceeded my expectations.

Some of the commands that Jesse has learned are, "wait" "slow" "hold 'em" "come back". He already had heel, but now he heels from clear across the pasture. He's also figuring out left and right. And, this is all "just plain fun" to him. He can't wait to go play with the critters again... While he doesn't have all of this down, 100%, yet... He's only been out 5 times! He'll get it. By the way, I don't do clicker training, and didn't do any of that with bait work. We just "play games." As a teacher with 20 years experience, I've found this works best for man and beast. Learning should be fun.

Ryan I are training him to "cast" when we come back in from taking the stock out to the back fields. Won't it be a hoot when we get him perfected on retrieve and S&R to take him bird hunting! I have no doubt that he'll make an excellent gun dog as well! LOL

No comments:

Post a Comment