|Barked: Mon Nov 26, '12 9:31pm PST |
|Quite a few people on here have trained their own SD, most with the assistance of a professional trainer and some as part of a program that offers Assisted OT'ing. It isn't for everyone and there is a greater chance that your dog will wash out (leading to difficult decisions for most people).
Since you mentioned tasks that are for in-home use, the big question is this: are you looking for a SD that you plan to take into public or just for a Skilled Home Companion that only works at home? The latter is easier to train and has nearly a zero washout rate since public access is no longer part of the equation. If looking for the former, I'd suggest having the dog evaluated by a professional trainer/behaviorist to ensure that it has the right temperament for future public work, keeping in mind that at 9 months, it still has 1-2 fear periods to go through.
Also keep in mind that some of the tasks you are wanting to train for (like opening the fridge) need to wait until the dog is more mature (bodywise). The basics of tug/pulling can be taught now. Depending on how much mobility work you expect of the dog, you will want to eventually have it's hips and elbows x-rayed to ensure it isn't dysplastic.
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