|Barked: Wed Jan 4, '06 12:48pm PST |
|I say first make sure that you are really alerting to all anxiety attacks like Dodger is. It won't be very much use if you only alert to half of them! So give it a week and watch closeley and see if PR is doing it as much as and as clearly as Dodger is. If he is, then you can consider training him. I'd start with going to dog friendly stores like some bookstores, some Macy's or whatever. Take him to these new situations (without getting a vest first) and make sure he'll be OK waiting in line, not sniffing everything etc. If that works out, then I'd get a vest or bandanna or something.
Technically you don't need to have a vest/bandanna or anything like that to be working as a service dog. However, not having one tends to create problems in my experience! Without a vest people just won't believe you. I know that R H Jelf makes an in training bandanna for only like $8 so you might start there. However vests are more convincing than bandannas! So while you can do it, I wouldn't reccomend going out without some sort of visual identification. Otherwise you'll just get a hard time everywhere you go.
If that all works, you can alternate your dogs from day to day while training them and see which one will work best for you. You might find that you like Dodger's size better as a more imposing presence, or you may like a smaller more discreet dog like PR. PR might have his own issues that you would have to deal with. I guess you just have to give it a try and see what comes of it.
The dog agression thing is big, but not overcomable. After being attacked Sabrina developed fear agression towards other dogs. We've been working on it for about a year now and though if the dog is less than 10 feet away from her she is distracted but usually will respond to a watch command, she is OK with dogs at further distances, dogs barking behind fences etc. So you can get over it, it's just very hard! Also makes the training hard because at least for us I couldn't go anywhere around other dogs with Sabrina in her vest for a while because she couldn't behave. But it can be done. I would just hire a training to evaluate your dogs and help you decide these things if you still are having questions about it. They will be able to tell how far they think your dogs can come in various training proccesses etc.
Good luck with it all and let us know how it turns out!
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