Has anyone trained their own service dog

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

Dragon - Adopted

Barked: Mon Nov 26, '12 7:50pm PST 
My human has a rare type of neuropathy. She can't take me on walks until the male human puts a ramp in for her wheelchair. Her black cat helps her with her seizures (tho I can tell when she's sick too but I think she'd be mad if I jumped on her)

She wants help to open the fridge, oven, if she drops something I can pick it up without eating it - simple helping stuff she needs help with - that way she doesn't have to depend on the big male or little male all the time.

Work hard; Play- harder.
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.
Samson- Service Dog, TD, CGC

More Loyal Every- Day
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 8:15am PST 
I trained my own service dog and it took two years of intense training. I trained most days of the week and when he was ready brought him out to public places every weekend. Training for behaviors such as picking up and bringing dropped items is fairly simple if you have a dog with food, toy, or praise motivation. I would suggest watching these videos for a step-by-step tutorial on how to train for opening doors and picking up dropped items.

http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EqALzQpQEk&feature=share&list=UUbClNYe2z7nR wPNU9y3fDzQ


Mali Woo
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 8:32am PST 
I trained my own service dog. I started training her at 11 weeks of age. She makes sure I don’t fall when I walk. She braces me when I get up and down in chair. Mali can also pull my wheel chair. She braces me on stairs that do not have railings. She reminds me when I am standing talking to people or shopping that I am starting to tip to one side… to correct my balance. She tells me when I have been ignoring my pain to long that I should go home. She tells me when my blood sugar is to low and even if it gets to high.

My girl told me when my heart was enlarged and when my thyroid was flip flopping from hypo to hyper. She helps me with panic attacks; she makes up new tasks to do for me before I can think of them myself. She has 73 and counting.

Sometimes the things she does are not so funny at the time but I can laugh later. Like the time when we had been at the doctor’s office for hours. I went into the ladies room and she flushed the toilet for the first time without being asked to. My bottom was splashed with water. ~ Rolls Eyes~ I had never taught her to flush a toilet.
Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 12:39pm PST 
I have trained my American Staff. Bull dog I trained her for a few things but she mostly ended up training me. LOL She really has her own tasks and ways to alert me I did teach her a lil manners and I plan to take her to a few play dates when I can cause I find that bullies have a tendentcy to be more routie when they are not constantly socialized. Don't get me Wrong she is a very well behaved SD but when she is off her leash and out of her vest she is a ruffyan/wolf LOL. She has slowed down a lil now since her fourth B-day but she will go form sleepy hound dog to wild vixin in a min. She won't jump when she is in vest, but when out; watch out she jumps up and can nock you down just that easy. She dose not mean to she just wants to get up and lick peoples faces. I have so many people around me that encurage her to do this and when I think I have her solid with it someone else is encuraging her to do it again. They may think it is ok but I tell them it is not. You have to be consistant with your dog with your training and what you want him or her to do for you. This I do with Sadie but a dog is a dog and they also have a mind of their own
sometimes. It's in their nature to be a dog sometimes too. Lots of love cause SD's do need Love too. The med. people list the SD as a med device but it dose not mean you have to treat it as so.
Abrams Tank- SD

I'm trying to- fill some BIG- paws
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 6:06pm PST 
My husband and I are training his third SD. Tank is now 11 months old he is half German Shepherd half Labrador. Tank has only been in training for about 5 months officially. He has been to the VA stand down event and has been into several other places where normal dogs dont go. My husband and I know that while Tank's down stays are solid he will not be ready for the spring semester of school so my hubby isnt going to worry about that right now. We are focusing on the majority of his PSD tasks right now but after he is two and has had his hips and elbows x rayed then he will be starting his mobility training. edited to add in that two books that you might want to have your human check into getting is Teamwork one and two. They are training guides for people with disabilities to be able to train their own SDs

Edited by author Thu Dec 13, '12 6:08pm PST

Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 1:21pm PST 
As I said I trained Sadie my staff. bull terrier mix (best way to say it). She pretty much ended up doing most of the stuff I wanted her to do on her own so all I did was incurage the behavyors I wanted her to do that became tasks.