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Thread: service dog training

  1. #1
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    Default service dog training

    Is anyone familiar with service dog training? How does obedience training in these dogs differ from what we train for in our hunting and test dogs? Is it mostly positive reinforcement and who puts out books or videos on this type of training, or references?

    THe part I'm most curious about is just OB mainly. Not knowing anything about their training it seems like these dogs would need an extreme measure of socialization to be able to do what they do. I talked with a guy camping this weekend who was training his dog to be a seizure assist dog and just noticing how he went about handling the dog around people and new situations and then doing a little OB with him on the side with some bacon from the morning breakfast, the dog was only 7 mo old so still a pup but very easy going already.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    I was a field trainer for Paws With A Cause . Clicker training for most OB and touch behaviors. Picking up objects and opening doors cabinets etc is based off a trained retrieve/loose force fetch. The OB and socialization needs to be very well done. Dog needs to be able to ignore people, food, dogs , noise etc Goofy , exuberant dogs need alot of work , they can be happy workers but need to be able to control their emotions. An OFF switch is mandatory.
    That being said I don't see any reason why any solid OB program would not work. I have seen recently where some service dogs were missing because of running away and wonder why these dogs have not been trained to a SOLID recall! ( ecollar perhaps).
    My Crosby is well on the way to being a helper dog , by fetching anything I drop. The other day he was playing on the couch with a toy and knocked over my little computer table, (computer was on my lap) He knocked off two phones, a remote, a book and some mags. I said to him "Crosby , what have you done? Now, pick it all up!"....... and he did.
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    Member Oz1's Avatar
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    I used to raise puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. The main function of a puppy raiser is to socialize the pups. They are taken everywhere, restaurants, movies, church, etc. we also were required to attend puppy classes twice a week, that were really very good. They had to have basic OB skills and were tested every quarter or so by a rep from the school. These labs were from an strict breeding program and were really very laid back. Unlike them, my Cam (avatar) is a furball of energy, which is what I wanted, of course. Oz
    The more people I meet, the more I love my dogs!

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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    He knocked off two phones, a remote, a book and some mags. I said to him "Crosby , what have you done? Now, pick it all up!"....... and he did.
    Uh, oh... You may have created a monster. He'll be constantly knocking things down now so he can pick them up and bring them to you.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

  5. #5
    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    My dog is a service dog. The biggest thing is that they have to be able to focus 100% of the time, and they have to be totally non-reactive. As was said, the "off switch" is totally mandatory as they are often required to lie quietly for hours at a time. Start with that type of puppy, and any good obedience training program will work. Of course, they do need to learn some different types of skills ("help me", as mine is a mobility assist dog, "back-up" because he needs to back into a row of seats on a train, or under a table in a restaurant, and so on) but a lot of it is really basic obedience and good manners.
    Another thing that is imperative in a good service dog, and I believe this is genetic and not trained, is the ability to make a decision and ignore a command if it puts the person at risk. For example, if a sight assist dog is told "let's go", but there is a car coming, he has to be able to make the decision to not obey the command.
    Just a side comment, if the harness isn't on, they know it and they are pretty much just normal dogs. Put the harness on, and they know they are working.

    Barb Gibson
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard N View Post
    Uh, oh... You may have created a monster. He'll be constantly knocking things down now so he can pick them up and bring them to you.
    LOL you are absolutely right, he has been scanning that table since, wanting to fetch me something from it. He gets soooo tickled with himself when he fetches objects to me. He loves when there is trash in the yard and I tell him to get it..."here ya go MOm! What's next huh, huh ,huh, What's next????"
    On that note the dog I trained to be a demo dog for PWAC was named Samantha. Sam was taught to fetch everything from a book to a quarter , open and hold commercial doors ( the heavy glass doors) sliding doors, cabinets and the fridge. She was taught to fetch the pop from the door. She decide to help herself one day to the pork roast in the fridge....I had to put a hook and eye on the fridge....
    Last edited by Bridget Bodine; 10-21-2013 at 05:01 PM.
    BB
    Sight To Sea Labradors
    Southern Cross at Sight to Sea SH "Crosby" (by NAFC FC AFC Cody Cut a Lean Grade)
    Tealwood's Willing at Sight to Sea JH ( by CH I am Able)
    Briarglen's Running on Faith JH (by FC Fish River's Out of the Park)
    Glendair's Come Home to the Sea ( By Ch Topform's Edward MH, QAA)
    Sight To Sea's Take Aim SH (by Sight to Sea's Southern Comfort SH )Aug 23 2003-Feb 2013 Go get em , Man!

    Manager of www.DeCoverlykennels.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member Joe Brakke's Avatar
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    Look into the AKC Canine Good Citizen "CGC" program requirements. This is the requisite to any formal TD or Service Dog Training.

    http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm
    Joe B.

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