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.


out of the brave- comes the- shiverer!
Barked: Mon Jul 1, '13 11:31pm PST 
I will eventually getting a service dog (first obtaining a puppy of sound personality, then training on my own with the added aid of classes, and taking them to CGC and service work specific training classes). In the meantime I have a very limited schedule where I will be spending most of my day with my two Chihuahuas. Both are female (sisters), 5 years old, which I adopted about 2 years ago. They have been slowly (and I mean excruciatingly slow) been becoming more socialized and obedient. They're good at sit, down, stay, come, up, off, leave it, and in your bed. It has taken me the longest time to get them responding to my commands 85% of the time. They're horribly scared of everything since thy were abused in their past, afraid with strangers, dogs, and everything new. I'll be taking them to an obedience class starting next month, so hopefully that will help with both their confidence and obedience. I won't, absolutely won't, get a puppy until they are very well trained so they don't lead the puppy in an undesirable direction. I've been using clicker training.

My question is: Will getting a puppy that doesn't have such heavy emotional baggage that I will be able to mold more easily help with the speed of training? Do I just have stubborn or emotionally scarred dogs that will never be stellar? And can training a puppy for service work be any easier if done a certain way?