October 29th 2005 9:34 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Today was a busy day because it was one of our scheduled outings. Coco and I were the only dogs from our class that were there. Coco only stayed for few minutes and left. So, I stayed around from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. We were in the shade and that was fine. Joyce told my mom to start awarding me with "GOOD TALK" when I start yacking away and get a treat.. It will gradually wean me away from that to silence and then when mom says "good talk" it will be OK to talk. Oh, well... I'll learn soon or later to stop my chit chat.. I did settle down and enjoyed all those little people coming up and asking mom if I could be petted... I love all the attention I get. I was really calm when they come over and my tail sure was getting a workout.. hehehehe... Just before we left one of the former graduate came with her very large German Sheppard. Mom & I went in line to get lunch - actually for her - not me - then went back to meet the dog up close. I didn't do any chit chat either. I was "speechless" because of his size.. hehehehe .. Mom ate and then we left to go on our next adventure for the day.
Our next adventure was the Irish Faire in Phoenix, AZ. Mom checked in at the volunteer table, collected her t-shirt and was told to work at the Irish Cultural Center.. Went up and no one knew where mom was suppose to go. Mom walked around and one of the ticket people at the gate wanted a break and so we took over her spot. I got to enjoy the shade and the nice grass to lay on. Mom was busy and I took a nap. I would wake up when I would see a doggie, I was just starting to talk when mom said "GOOD TALK" and gave me a treat.. I then went quiet and went back to sleep. She had to do this only a couple times in the next 3 hrs. Then mom was getting tired and wanted to go home. It was a long day for the both of us. So, before we left we went to check out the Irish Faire venue. While strolling the grounds we met up with some HUGE DOGS... called Irish Wolf Hounds... Man are they huge and NO I didn't talk.. hehehehe.. They were kind to let me mingle with them and check them out.. I'm glad I'm small because at least I can still fit on mom's lap when I want to be loved.
Then we were done and off to the car for our trip home. I crashed in the back seat and didn't wake up till we got to our street. We live on a dirt round and it makes a lot of noise when we drive on it. Mom got me out and we went in, got undressed and then mom said "ALL DONE" which means that I'm OFF DUTY till mom needs me again.. She fixed my dinner and then out to the outhouse.. hehehe.. When mom was done with her dinner she sat down and I just climbed up onto her lap.. I then went off to dream land while she did some crocheting... I'm now in bed and I'm still pooped out from my busy adventure..
See ya all next week .. We'll be back in the classroom.. yea!!!
October 23rd 2005 11:43 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Well, since there was no school on Saturday (10/22) I enjoyed my day off. I did do some of my training thou and I liked doing them a lot. I can TOUCH the lamp and make it go on. I can SIT without budging for the entire 2 minutes. I can walk around the house with food on the floor and LEAVE IT. I can SIT and LAY DOWN on command. I can SIT and STAY while my mom walks away and returns to me. I can do PAWS UP on a chair and on the wall. I'm getting better at the LOOK AT ME command. I like to look around and then if my mom says my name "again" I'll sneak a peek. I can WAIT at the door either standing or sitting until my mom says "Lets Go". I've been working on my WAIT in the car till mom unloads it and comes and get me. My Papa decided to take me out of the truck while mom was unloading and he got in trouble with mom. So, mom put me back into the truck and told me to WAIT. I had to stay there for about 2 minutes. My Papa still doesn't understand about me being a Service Dog.. He thinks I'm just a regular dog - aka - family pet. Mom works with me about 3 times a day. I get my treats too and I really enjoy them.
Today, I went to the Phoenix Feis (pronouced FESH) which is an Irish Dance Competition. My sis was competing after a 20 month break from dancing. She's a Preliminary Champion dancer and is trying to get the last first before going into Open Championship (highest level). I didn't recognize her with that super fancy solo dress nor that curly wig that she had on her head. When she came over to me after she was done dancing I just kept staring at her until I heard her voice and started to wag my tail - yea it's my sissy under that mop of curls... She danced beautifully and took home a 3rd Place trophy which she was happy to get. She also took home some medals because they receive a solo award in each dance they do - She does the Slip Jig, Treble Jig and Traditonal Set (Wandering Musician). There are three judges for the Championships and they choose 1 differant judge from each round to give a solo medal. So, sissy got a 2nd in her Slip Jig, 1st in her Treble Jig and a 2nd in her Set. She was floating on cloud 9. She was suppose to have off tonight from work, but they goofed up. She got home and slept for a few hours and off to work.. I can't wait till the morning when she wakes me up and takes me outside. I give her loads of whisker kisses and she lets me sleep with her till mom gets up. Then its back to work with mom.. training that is..
Next week is another outing and then the Irish Faire..
October 15th 2005 7:35 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
WOW!! What an exciting day at school. Mom got in trouble for pushing down on my tush to sit (caught on camera last weekend) and she knew it and blushed... She now knows that its a big NO NO to do that.
I always go first for the command training. So, today we had to learn how to touch a "touch" lamp (one that goes on automatically). Joyce put a piece of cheese on the lamp and I had to go up to the lamp .. Mom then said "Shadow - Touch" and I turned on the light and got a reward at the same time. Kinda weird turning on a light. Then we repeated it with the cheese. The third time that we did it there was NO cheese, but when mom told me to touch I did it and got a treat from her and the biggest praise ... Then the others did it and they seemed to enjoy the new task too.
Then I was back up... I had to walk at the heel and then I was given the command to SIT (Shadow - Sit - Good Sit - treat).. followed by the command of LOOK AT ME (Shadow - Look at Me - Good Look - treat). Then I had to walk again and then go back to the SIT/STAY command (Shadow - Sit - Stay) and had to wait a whole 2 MINUTES without budging. I kept looking up at mom and she would just wisper to me - good stay... Then the 2 minutes were up & I got praised and a treat to boot. Then I had to sit again and lay down on command and then sit up again. Then Jake would put a piece of meat out on the floor and we had to walk pass it to hear my mom say LEAVE IT.. Then we had to walk around a chair (mom forgot to say "RIGHT").. Go pass the meat again with LEAVE IT and then was given the command to SIT... Jake came up with the meat in hand - Mom said Shadow - LEAVE IT and then Shadow - Look at Me.. I looked at mom and then Jake was done. Next was another walk across the room to the chair against the wall. Mom then did the PAWS UP/OFF commands - 3 times thru. Then I got to do another kind of PAWS UP....... ON THE WALL!!!!! Mom held a treat in her hand and put it up on the wall and said Shadow - PAWS UP & up then went on the wall - Then she said OFF and then praised me w/ a treat... Then I had to do it again for a couple more times. The final thing I had to do was the SIT/STAY command where mom walked away and I had to stay still (I didn't budge today). Mom then told me to STAY - GOOD STAY and walked back to me. I didn't move at all when my mom took the leash - She said GOOD STAY & a treat/praise was given. My turn was over and then the others had to get up to do it... I was the only one who SAT FOR THE WHOLE 2 MINUTES!!!! YEA.. YIPPEE!!!
When Jake moved a trash can Tahoe barked and I decided to move toward him and mom lost the leash so she grabbed my tail... She got in trouble for that... Mom has to make sure she holds onto the leash and then correct me when I do something wrong and keep her hands to herself... LOL
We all were told that we're improving in our work... There's no school next week because there's another outing, but we don't have to go too it because its way too far to travel from where we live. Then the following week we have an outing for the Down Syndrome organization at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. I'll go for about 2 hrs and then head out to downtown Phoenix to attend the Irish Faire. Mom has to work (volunteer) for 4 hrs and then we get to go home. That will be a long day....
So, I'll see you all in two more weeks.. Which will be called Week 9 for training purposes...
See ya all....
October 9th 2005 2:27 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Today was our first outing out in public. Mom had a problem getting there on time. With a major wreck on the one highway she needed to use to get to the next highway we had to drive side streets thru the city to get to the other highway. Got there and it was shut down for repairs. So, another trip thru the cities side streets to get to where the highway opened up at. By time we got there all of the teams in our group were gone. It should have taken mom only an hour to get there, but took 2 hrs instead. So, we stayed for an hour to get our public time in. Then we helped tear down and then off again to drop my sis off at dance class. Mom & I went shopping for an hour - oops - she forgot to turn on her cellphone and sis was trying to call us for she could get picked up earlier from class. Apparently no one else showed up and she was finished in a 1 1/2 hrs instead of the 2 1/2 hrs that they were suppose to do. Poor sis works nights and never got to bed (24 hrs up) until we got home at 4:30 PM. She crashed till 9 and then back off to work.
So, today we got to see Vizula's in confirmation classes. In a pen next to our booth was a 3 month old puppy. They sure are a cute breed. They look like pointers without the spots.
See you next week....
October 1st 2005 11:25 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Wow!!! Where did the past month go. I did a better job today on the being quieter in class. Mom had to correct me twice, but I finally went to sleep. We had an advance team come in to talk. Her dog was a sheppard/sheltie mix... really cute, smart, but very timid (that's a sheltie trait). She showed us the ATTENTION, SIT, DOWN, PAWS UP, WAIT and LEAVE IT commands with Nessa. Really neat and she's only been in the school since Feb 2005. It makes me think that I can be just like Nessa in a few more months.
We learned about Canine Profile and had to do a questionnaire on it. Then we had to give our score on the differant areas of: Pack, Prey & Defense.
PACK: If you have a dog that "loves" to cling to you, follow you around the house, lay near you, gets up when you get up, etc.. is considered a great candidate for being a service dog.. They are eager to please and loved to be praised and awarded for a job well done. If they scored low on the pack drive instict they have to be trained more to increase their pack drive instincts. I scored HIGH in the YES area (good) and would make an excellant Service Dog.. Duh... MOM knew that a long time ago. As my mom types away for me I'm laying down right next to her.. I have to be close to her all the time... I follow her everywhere in the house. I do hate the shower, but I lay right outside the door till she comes out. I do the same for my Nana because I also have to watch her if my mom can't take me to an appointment (like when my mom has surgery & stays overnight - I can't go with her).
PREY: If you have a dog that becomes easily distracted, even by things far away, stimulated by noise, then it has a strong "prey" drive. These type of dogs (like pointers, setters, & sight hounds) are bred to be this way. They tend to be alert on everything else except on you. They can be a Service Dog, but it takes a lot more training to break its "prey" instincts. Using food is usually a great motivator, so training with treats is easy.... As for me... I like looking at the birds, but mom just tells me to ignore them & I do... We have a cat & I love seeing cats out, but I'm told to ignore them too..... Man... I love looking, but have to pay attention to my mom more then the pretty things out there... BUT.. I love my job with my mom. I scored HIGH in the NO area which means I don't have a "prey" instinct.
DEFENSE: If you have a dog that is agressive, bare their teeth etc... Then it makes it very difficult to go out in the public.. This includes barking at everything at sight. If your dog has very strong "fight" tendencies, it will be very difficult for him to go out in public with you, constantly assulted by new and confusing stimili. He may become so overwhelmed and distressed by this that he might resort to "fear agression." This is very dangerous, unpredictable, and irreversible problem. Never force a very shy dog to take on more then he can handle. You have to expose a shy dog slowly and carefully to new surroundings. Postitive reinforcement with very short trips to fairly quiet public places. If they never adjust then they'll never be a good candidate to become a Service Dog. I scored HIGH in the NO area. I only had one yes & that's when I want to guard my mom during the night. Only problem is that I love people and if my mom needed a 911 emergency I would let the cops and medical people in the house. I just have to learn to show them where my mom is. I would actually flunk as a guard dog - I don't bark or growl at anyone... That's why I'm an excellant candidate for being a Service Dog.
The next thing we went over was our exercises. I always get called up first. I don't understand why "me" for going first. So, I had to get up and heel with my mom and walk over to one area of the room. Mom 1st did the Shadow - Look at Me - Good Boy. Then she said Shadow - Sit/Stay - walked away from me & then walked back to me... I moved - BUSTED!!! I wasn't allowed to move AT ALL!!! Mom should have said - Shadow - Stay & then walked back to me. She blew it and made me feel dumb. So, mom asked if she could do it again. She said Shadow - Sit/Stay - walked away.. then said Shadow - Stay and walked to me.... I just stared at her & didn't move AT ALL!!! YEA I GOT IT RIGHT!!! The next thing we had to do was walk around the room. They put a nice piece of hotdog on the floor. Mom made me walk really close to the hotdog and said Shadow - Leave It - Good Boy & I kept on going without looking for the food... Yippee ... The next thing I had to do was Shadow - PAWS UP/OFF and I had to do it serveral times. I only got my reward after I was told Good Boy (after the off that is). Then she turned me around and repeated the process. Then Jake (one of the trainers) had my mom stop and put that hotdog up to my nose... Mom said = Shadow - Leave It - No - Leave It.. Then she finally said - Shadow - LOOK AT ME - I looked up at her and then was told - Good Boy.. That was the test.. To see if I would ignore the hotdog and look away from it by obeying the LOOK AT ME command. So, the thing I have to do at home now is NO MORE HAND TREATS, EXCEPT MY TRAINING TREATS.. No more popcorn thrown for me to catch, no bagle tidbits out of anyone's hands. If they want to give me those things I have to get them out of my bowl only. If they put it in another bowl then I must LEAVE IT.. They'll then toss it out if its put into another bowl. This lesson is to teach me that all food out of someone's hand or dish is POISON!! The only safe dish is MY BOWL!!!!
Sophie and Coco did very well when their turn came around. Tahoe was a little bit differant. His handler kept saying.. "Oh, the floor is slippery & I'll have him lay down instead of sitting" The dog has to learn to sit on all types of floor. Jake kept telling her this and she kept up with her I'll do it my way attitude. She has "wait" as the stay command.. She was told over and over that Stay and Wait are two differant commands & must be taught that way. Well she said I have differant commnads & he already knows those & so I'll keep them. The rest of us had no problems doing any of the exercises. Shadow had differant commands that I used before I started, but I changed them to what the school is teaching - It was easy to retrain him all week with the new commands .. So, I know it can be done. You might say that Tahoe's team "flunked" this week. She just told the trainers that I will do it this way only.. blah, blah, blah.... We'll see if she'll make it to graduation with that attitude.
Then we packed up and did the wait (can be standing & walking, but can't cross the invisable line - aka doorway). That's the wait command... Stay you don't budge an inch... Wait you can't cross the invisable line, but can move freely around. For example, Mom opens the front door to pack up the car... She tells me to wait & I go around the living room (chilling). She keeps going in and out and I just wait and wait. Then she tells me to Shadow - heel - good boy.. when she come back in the door. I heel and then she tells me wait again as she crosses that "invisible" line and then she lets me cross the "invisible" line. That's what Jake was telling Tahoe's owner the difference between the two. I only knew stay for the wait and mom had retrained my brain to do the opposite.. So, it can be done.
Well, that was the end of school. Next week we do an outside event in place of class... We're going to see a Vizsla Conformation competition. We've learned that this breed would be an excellant candidate to be a service dog.
See you next week...
September 24th 2005 11:28 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Yea..... I got to go too school today. Mom got a new set of wheels since the van's transmission completely failed...
Today we learned about the command of "Leave It". They dropped a bag of chips near me and mom just said Shadow - Leave It - Good Boy - All Done. I looked, but then ignored the bag. Thank heavens mom has taught me that command. Now I can never pick up any food dropped on the floor... That's a big NO-NO... Plus I can never be given a treat with this command - Gives the wrong signal. We also had to show the "ATTENTION" command... Mom uses "Look at Me".. Then she had me sit for a few.. then took a walk in the classroom & she gave me the Shadow - Sit - Good Boy - All Done... We also did the "Paws Up" command on a chair. First time I did it with my boots on (mom forgot to take them off) and it was a little bit hard, but what counts is that I did it... Mom then gave the "Off" command. Then it was Sophie's turn, then Coco's and finally Tahoe. Love the small class because you learn a lot and have more time to get help if you need it.
Also, I only whined my little whine for about 10 seconds and obeyed mom when she said... Shadow - Settle - Good Boy (treat) - All Done... Instead of sitting at separate tables we had to share them with one other team. I was paired up with Sophie. She liked to get up and I liked to chat. Mom finally had enough and I then obeyed... I was a great doggie today....
Apparently we're going to have a couple out of the class training days next month. So, that will be fun & I love going out.
We also learned about the famous words of "It's Okay" which everyone uses in their conversations. We're not allowed to use it at all. They'll remind us from now on that we said it... when we shouldn't have... We always tell our doggies that It's Okay... don't be scared.. you'll be alright... It's Okay... the thunder will go away & won't hurt you.... What's so funny is that the only word we heard out of all of that is OKAY!!!
The last thing we did was the "Wait" command as we left the room thru the doorway. I love that command... I do it everyday when I have to use the "outhouse" for my daily business... hehehehehe
See ya next week... Can't believe it will be October and I've been in school a whole month already...
September 19th 2005 11:26 am
[ Leave A Comment ]
Well, I couldn't go to school on Saturday. My mom's van decided it was time to stop running. She has to use her dad's truck until she can figure out what she wants to do with her van.. fix or replace... So, I'll continue to practice my Week 3 classwork...
See you next week...
September 10th 2005 3:23 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
School was great today. We learned the new command "LOOK AT ME". We were told to remember in training to do the following: NAME (Shadow); COMMAND (ex. LOOK OR LOOK AT ME); PRAISE (give a treat and verbally praise); RELEASE (can be anything: ex: "break", "release", "at ease"). For you to earn the four parts I must learn to stay in that COMMAND mode for several seconds before I'm given the PRAISE etc... We were told NEVER to use the word "OKAY" to release the dog. This word is used so much that if he hears someone say "OKAY" he could break the COMMAND... So, that's my homework for the next week... LOOK AT ME command. Mom got in trouble for showing me the "PAWS" command. Apparently we're to stay with the pace of the school and not get ahead of ourselves. Also, we're not allowed to go into the public until they say its "OKAY". That's kinda hard because mom has to bring me to her Veterans Hospital Appts because its on her medical records that she has a Service Dog. They could revoke her use of having one. So, I guess its "HUSH, HUSH" You Don't SEE ME in Public... I've been working in the Public arena for 14 months now... Mom never mentions the school name anyways... Most people don't even ask... See ya next week...
I LOVE SCHOOL!!!
September 3rd 2005 6:59 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Well, what an interesting day at school. We have to meet outside as a group before we go into class. Well, Wendy was there (she skipped last week) with her dog Chance - Golden Retriever/Chow . Chance was very aggressive to all the dogs in our group. It was utter chaos and Joyce came out to tell us to come in. Chance continued to bark and snarl at the dogs and to Joyce when she came near him. The rest of us were trying to settle down, but the outbursts from Chance didn't help us at all. I kept chatting away with mom telling me to hush. Wendy then had to give an introduction about Chance. She was telling us about her other service dog getting to old to work and she's working with Chance to take over. She said he was a sweet dog, but is agressive toward other dogs... He wanted to be the "ALPHA" dog (No Service Dog should show any signs of aggression). Then we talked about brushing our teeth, cleaning our ears, and trimming our nails. Mom has never done my teeth and we will have to learn that by next week... Next up was our discussion about our breeds. Sophie went 1st and Chance was still at it... grrr.. Then it was Mom's turn & Chance went balistic "AGAIN"... Joyce told Wendy that she had to leave and not come back. Mom finished her talk.. By then Chance was gone and all of us just settled down for the rest of the class. Tahoe was next followed by Coco. We got to meet another Retriever that's in the advance class... WOW!! did she know her commands... Even paws up... I was so impressed... We also covered the wait command and our sit & lay down command. I was called up 1st to show how much I improved since last week. Mom said "SIT"... I sat... Then she said "DOWN"... I layed down... Then mom said "UP" and I only went up to a sitting position... Mom now has to teach me "SIT UP"... "UP" is for all fours... OOPS!!! Well, I was told I did a very good job... I'm not going to flunk... I keep telling that to myself. We all had our mouths checked and I only had a little tarter on the back teeth. Finally, we had to gather our gear and go to the door to show the "WAIT" command. Mom told me to "SIT" & "WAIT" (hand went infront of my face) and I did it immediately.. Then mom took a walk out the door and then called me to "HEEL"... Yea... Class dismissed... I love school and can't wait till next week. Will work on my commands and will be prepared for next week.
On the way home we stopped after class to get my doggie toothbrush set - yummy - they have peanut butter flavor.. We also got our ear cleaner pads. Mom brushed my teeth when I got home to see what I would do... I didn't fuss at all cuz "I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER"!!!
See you next week....
August 27th 2005 11:47 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Well, today I began my formal training to become a Service Dog. They checked over my medical records making sure I was neutered, my shots were up to date and that I was registered with the County (Maricopa). One of the teams was dismissed (Tricia/Murphy) because the doctor wouldn't issue a medical clearance for her to train her dog. My mom saw her doctor on Wednesday and they'll fax the info over by next week. Apparently the Veterans Administration is kinda slow to do things like that. Another team didn't even show up (Wendy/Chance and I guess we'll find out next week if she can stay or be dismissed.
We gave a formal introduction on our name, age, breed, what I want to be trained to do for my mom, where we came from, our personality, favorite toy and a funny thing that we've done. Then we had to show how we sat and lay down on command. My mom made the mistake of bending down when she told me to lay down.... So, we have homework this coming week to correct that situation.
We were told that some of us wouldn't graduate from the program. It all depends on how the team can work together without a glitch. I sure hope I'm one of them. I'm going to try really hard.
All the dogs were different breeds and ages. Sophie is a 16 month old Golden Retriever; Coco is a mix of dalmation and maybe a pointer... She's 4 and small; Tahoe is a very large 12 1/2 month old Yellow Lab. Shadow talked under his breath, but behaved wonderfully... Sophie had to be corrected all the time... CoCo is a goofy dog and trys to please Wedi... Tahoe is a "wild" thing. Needs loads of training to get up to snuff to become a Service Dog (That's my opinion - He lunged at me when I was laying down - I didn't do a darn thing - why? Because I'm not allowed to react to a dog lunging at me - Joyce gave me a thumbs up on that - yea...)
Also, they asked what kind of food we ate and when did we eat. No more tidbits in the living room... that's taboo... Mom doesn't give me much anyways. Plus I have to lay under the table the entire time she's eating (no begging allowed - if she drops a piece she tells me to "leave it". I can't get up till she says "Shadow - up"... If I get up at anytime... mom makes me immediately go back under and lay down... Then she say's "good boy".
We talked about the difference between stay and wait... Apparently without realizing it I've been doing the "wait" command for 13 months. Mom always makes me wait at the door while she goes 1st and then she tells me to heel... Mom always said "stay", but that's a different command. So, we'll start working on that too. I never jump out of a car either... Now I just have to hear the word "wait" before I exit and then the words "good wait". When we get home and we have groceries to unload mom makes me stay - oops wait.. till all the groceries are out of the car and put into the house. She then comes back and collects my belongings - water, water bowl etc and then asks me to come by saying "out" and "heel".
So, I have homework to do... Mom worked on me for 15 minutes every two hrs on the sit (mom clicks her fingers to make me sit), lay down & up command.... She gave me treats when I did them right and didn't give me a darn thing if I screwed up... I think I like the idea of doing it right.. I get a reward.. yippee!!! Also, we have do a paper on our breed. Since I'm a Boxer/Labrador Retriever mix mom had to write about both breeds... Well, she finished that assignment already... She found out that I have traits of both breeds.. I'm smart like a Boxer and Lab... Quiet like a Lab, have the famous "kidney beannie" dance of the boxer - man can I wiggle my butt... I can be goofy at times like a Boxer, then the Lab part makes me settle down. Boxers are "LAP DOGS" - Just like me... LOL
Well, that's the end of day one for attending Service Dog School. I'll be back next week to let you know what I've learned in class.
Sort By Oldest First
(What does RSS do?)