Training my Malamute Assistance Service Dogs

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Icy working as my Assistance (Service) Dog on the Spiral- Stairs

August 22nd 2011 8:12 am
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See a short video and scroll down for a photo:

http://www.dogster.com/dogs/1058205

This is short and to the side (don't know how to right it) but you can see how Icy is with me on the stairs. At home he and Star are trained to heel me, but when we are out and I have my new mobility harness, he needs to walk next to me. I thought I would have to teach him this but he is doing it on his own (and without the harness). I am very proud of him. He's so good during the meetings too. That's two that he has attended with me.

Star was pretty settled. Howled a bit, ate her kong. Sounds fine. Very attentive when I got home. No jealousy. I think she's liking the time to herself (provided a human is there).

 

I used Icy as a Service Dog today

August 15th 2011 5:17 am
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Amazing time out with Icy working. We went on our own and he was brilliant. Got in to the spiral staircase and he knew just what to do. I thought I'd have to train him to stay at my side on stairs (in case I need support). He and Star are trained to heel me on the stairs. But he staid next to me on his own without being told. One stair at a time. The lady running my group was doubmfounded (sp). He was great in the group too and just lay at my feet.

This group is for chronic pain suffers and people with mobility problems. BTW Didn't want you to think I was in AA or something!

I had water with me and I think next week I'll take a bowl with me. I wish you could have seen him. A real champ! He was a bit distracted when we first walked out but fell into line. People had coffee on a low table and he lay with his back to it. No sniffing people either. It was a new streat and new place so I let him have a sniff as we went. Next week he'll know where we're going and what is expected. At break time, we walked together around and he got to sniff things.

Next week Lynn said she would video us coming down the stairs for all to see. :)

Star howled but was fine. She seemed settled when we got home. They ran around the back to get some energy out. But she doesn't seem to be holding a grudge. All in, a good day. :)

 

Video of me walking Icy as my Service Dog with Star there- too

July 17th 2011 8:46 am
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http://www.dogster.com/video/1058205/icy_acting_as_my_servic e_dog_170711

This is Icy and I walking together with Dave sitting with Star during it. Despite the gravel and the whining Star, I thought Icy was great. Dave says he's like a "prancing pony or show horse" when we're walking. Take into account that I am 6'' tall and you'll get an idea of Icy's size. He's like a brick wall. Very comforting.

That's why I thought it best to stick with walking Icy. We'll get used to each other and I don't have to worry about him taking a little of my weight. Star is leaner and though a big dog, she's young and doesn't have the steadiness. She let Icy lead (he sent marked everything) and there were no problems. So it might help things in the house too if she is taking his lead outside.

Only our second time out and Star's first time. 17/07/11

 

Icy and I went out together and he was brilliant!!!!

July 5th 2011 8:41 am
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I DID IT!!!!!! I HAVE JUST GOT BACK FROM WALKING ICY TO THE VET AND BACK. DAVE GOT MY BACK BUT HE WAS SO BRILLIANT!! JUST WHAT A SERVICE DOG SHOULD BE!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry about the shouting but I have been working and dreaming of this moment for over a year.

I'm here to tell you THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. It can be done if you try hard enough.

I'll take Star out too when I've recovered in a few days.

 

Practice in the House

June 20th 2011 9:00 am
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http://files.dogster.com/pix/dogs/20/1122120/1122120_1308584 956.jpg

http://files.dogster.com/pix/dogs/05/1058205/1058 205_1308584775.jpg

My balance is a lot better with my new leg splint so I have started today walking the dogs around our living room with their packs on. Star has 1 kg of weight (spread between sides) in her's to start and Icy had 3 kg. They were both happy and very attentive. They both waited on my steps without being told and sat when I stopped. This was with the dog I wasn't walking loose as a diversion. I was very happy with Star as she was so excited to go first! I expected what I got from Icy as he's had years of my training.

I was going to make another slide show but I can't work out how right now. So there are the photos. I plan to do five minutes everyday each with them and then take them out back and finally go out with Dave. Afterward I did the dishes and the three of us went shopping in Lidel and then walked around it to the house.

I feel tired and sore but not overly so. I hope to keep this up everyday.

Icy looks like such a bear right now. And I think that's his Summer coat. I feel sorry for the big boy.

 

just an update

May 7th 2011 6:37 pm
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I was originally going to train Star (Mal/Sib rescue) because she seemed more caring and receptive to my needs. Then my physio made it clear I wouldn't need a dog out of the house. So now I've been lightly training both to help me in the house. Icy is good at being told to get things or when I fell and needed help he knew to howl and bark. Star is good at following my around at heel and she takes me to the bathroom and back and waits till I sit down before she leaves. She always returns to check on me. Icy is about 4 (rescue Mal we've had for 2 years) and Star is only just 2 (we've had her for about a year).

Apart from a few falls I think I will be able to take the dogs out soon. My physio said maybe in 6 weeks I will be free to go out on my own. I'll get used to going out everyday for a short walk and work with the dogs in the house. Then add a dog to the walk.

It all sounds good, lets see if I can do it!

 

I fell and the dogs tried to help...

April 5th 2011 1:52 pm
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I fell today outside with the dogs. I was trying to use the new poop scoop that is supposed to save you bending over. My balance wasn't good enough and I landed on our path. I couldn't hike myself up with the splint on my foot so I took that shoe off. I still couldn't because the ground was to muddy.

So I yelled for help for awhile but our double pained windows kept the noise away. Icy was good and when he head me yell for help me barked and woo woooed with me. Star chased her tail in between sniffing me to see if I was alright. So far I would say Icy is the best with helping me out. Anyway, we all failed to draw attention so I crawled to the steps of our path and hiked myself up using one crutch and the guttering on the building next to ours and got on my feet.

I have all the muddy stuff in the wash and am sitting on my heating pad in a lot of muscular pain but I don't think anything is broken. It's just lucky I have an ample bum. :)

Anyway considering Icy is willing to bring me toys when I ask for them (Star is trying to make a stand against not getting treats for no work) and with his natural instinct to bark when I was calling for help, I am seeing him as the bigger help around the house right now. Though if anyone was there I'm sure Star's chasing her tail would have attracted attention! *lol*

We have plans to put paving slabs over the area in the Summer (hopfully the ground will dry out a bit). My attempt at growing grass failed and the dogs use the path anyway, so I doubt they will mind. Hopfully I'll be walking them by then anyway and they can do their buisness when we're out.

I figure next time I'll leave the door open so the dogs can alert anyione in the house. Even if they just run around and I don't follow, somone will know something is up. We also have two walkie talkies that Dave got before I came home. I figure I'll bring one out with me or failing that, my cell phone.

I still haven't gotten that book I ordered. I will have to check on that.

I think maybe Star has grown a bit taller and her shoulders are bulking out a bit. I think once I start both dogs on some light weights it will really show. Since we have two stair cases in the house I think I might start them carrying weights in here before we go out. Build up some muscles. Dave did a great job of keeping them lean despite their lack of exercise. It shouldn't be hard to get back into it.

 

Going Out Into the Back Garden

March 22nd 2011 1:23 pm
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I did my cleaning the kitchen, put washing in the washiig machine and I added to my duties to take the dogs out to the back and pick up poop. There was only one pile but I also picked up some trash that had blown over the fence. I'll do this everyday.

Icy was laughing and Star was very serious when we went downstairs and they both watched me from the path while I put my coat on and walked out. They also walked next to me when were out and waited for the command to come in. I sat in one of our chairs for awhile and just enjoyed the wind and the dogs. Then we played in the house for an hour. Jason, Icy, Star & I.

Both Icy and Star's Service Packs have arrived. Don't they look fetching? They will help me mainly indoors but this will warn people to give way a bit when we're out.

http://s244.photobucket.com/albums/gg22/Mayvren/?act ion=view¤t=567c513a.pbw

 

Day 1 of Service Dog/Obedience Refresh Training My Two- Rescue Dogs (in doors)

February 21st 2011 1:55 pm
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I hope this works. I made a slideshow of my practice with the dogs today. I don't think it came up with a hyperlink.

My husband Dave obediently took a lot of photos for me to add to my Training Diary. Its mostly for me if I have to train another dog from such a disabled stand-point, in the future. Maybe it will help a few people. Dunno.

http://s244.photobucket.com/albums/gg22/Mayvren/?a ction=view┬Ąt=567c513a.pbw

My theory is to walk them around my living room until we both feel comfortable enough to go out. I am ambidextrous so I use a different dog on either side and the crutch on the other. So that (hopefully) in the future I will be able to walk both dogs again and they will be trained their appointed sides.

It went well. Both dogs remembered their prior training and though excited; remained slow and easy on me. :)

They both seem mighty pleased. I think they thought I would never take them with me. Now they know we're working toward it. A great start too! I didn't fall and neither dog tried to put me off my legs. Icy was better but all in I thought they were much better than I expected.

To Star's credit, she only had about 1 month of training before I was in the hospital. Icy is my older dog and I expected more from him. They both were excellent and got lots of praise and treats.

Day 1 (Feb 21, 2011)

 

The other day....Star helped me stand!

January 24th 2011 6:35 pm
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My physio progress has been so good that they think I will be fully capable of going out on my own. So now I have decided to train both dogs to help me around the house. Icy is great indoors but he had a real aggression problem when I first adopted him that made me edgy about using him as any kind of Service Dog. Star is young and getting there.

She still has the urge to help even though she doesn't know how yet (I bought that book "Pack Mates" but I'm waiting for it arrive). A few days ago I fell and my husband was trying to get me standing so I could sit on our bed. Star lept onto the bed and put her paws on my shoulders to support me. When I sat down she moved off. I'm dead serious. My husband attributes it to be bid for attention but she wasn't excited, just worried. Icy just thought "let the man sort it out". Though when I was on the floor both of them would have helped if they knew how.

So I think that is going well. I think I have managed to re-bond with them well. My plan is to have the two dogs wearing packs in the house. Icy loves his pack and Star's should be here any day now. I can start them off caring some light stuff in their packs. Before I got ill I had Icy up to 10lbs distributed between sides of his pack. We'll slowly work back to that. It will give them a little more purpose and exercise while I am getting able to walk them.

As I said before I will start by walking them one at a time around the house, then the garden, and then down the sidewalk to our park. It's not far but it will be a lot of work. The park has a sidewalk I can walk on while the dog is on the grass. I'll take them one at a time first; and maybe take my husband along with Icy as I don't know if he will go back on his training. We had gotten to the point where he no longer looked at other dogs. It took over a year but it was much better than him lunging at a distant dog. I doubt he'd do that with me now but better be safe than sorry. Both dogs are very attentive to how stable I am and what I need. As I am to them

 
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