|Barked: Sun Jan 4, '09 4:47pm PST |
|That is great your dog is already alerting you. Having a dog that alerts is a two way street, you've got to listen to your dog, and your dog has to pay attention to you. It sounds like your dog is already doing some behaviors to alert you, so you have two choices. First you can pay attention to your dog when it is exhibiting these behaviors, and reward it when it does so that you strengthen the alert. The other option is to try to shape your dog into doing a new alert behavior. To do this, when your dog alerts the old way, you need to then have it do what you want it to do for the new alert. So if for example you want your dog to bring you medication or a blood meter, you'll have to train the dog to bring the item to you when you say the command. Then whenever your dog alerts, give the command to bring the item. With repitition, the dog should eventually learn that when it goes into alert mode, it should bring the item. I've had good success with Sabrina's alerts just realizing what her alerts look like, and then paying attention to her behavior. With Ollie, his alert to my panic attacks is barking which is not acceptable, so I am trying to shape it into a different behavior (ideally I'd like him to touch me), however he doesn't seem to like this very much so we are currently trying to compromise on a quiet alert that is acceptable for the both of us.
Anyone can train their pet to assist them around the house, and your post does not mention if you are interested in trying to make your dog a service dog or not. Just in case you are thinking of trying to train your dog as a service dog, just wanted to point out that you have to have a life limiting disability, your dog must be trained to assist with your disability, and the dog must be trained not to cause disturbances in public. It takes about 1-2 years to train a service dog and it is very very important to start out with the right dog as many dogs are not suitable and do not enjoy service work. If you are interested in goign this route, talk with your doctor to see if they think you are disabled, then find a professional trainer to evaluate your dog and assist with your training.
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