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I have a little bit of a unique situation. My pup CLF was sent back to me from a trainer who was having difficulty with FF. I think it was a case of the program not matching the pup. I took her to another trainer who has a tremendous reputation and he has high hopes for the pups and thinks she should overcome the issue. It may be a few months before I can get her to a new training so I am working with the pup in the meantime and working mostly sharpening OB. I have a unique situation... My 12 year old son has Autism and It's impossible to make him understand how not to play with the pup. He absolutely loves the dog and she plays very well with him, but they play keep away with toys and other stuff. because of his situation he is limited in speach so he doesn't try to give the dog commands. I let them play when he want's, but I am careful to work on obedience and marks when it's just me and the pup. It seems she knows that with me it's business and fun-time with my son. She seems to be understanding the difference. Is it too much to ask the pup to learn two different sets of rules. I am not really interested in competing, but may play with it a little. I am really going to try and get her to hunt first.
 

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I think dogs are very contextual. they learn the rules in one setting or with one person, and can learn another set of rules in a different setting or with a different person. I also think that dogs are great with understanding a special needs situation. I think you're Ok with what you are doing with your son, and then with you.
 

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I don't know much, but I agree with Susan. It might take a bit longer and have some things pop up here and there, but in the end if it makes your son, dog, and you happy knowing they're happy; there's your answer.
 

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She'll learn the difference. I like to say "It's only a problem if it's a problem." If you start seeing things in the dog's work that you think are being exacerbated by your son's play, then you need to address that, but if you aren't seeing any issues then there's no need to do anything about it. There are things you can do to help her though.

Let your son play with special dog toys. Reserve retrieving items for training.

The more consistent and clean you are in your handling, the easier it will be for the dog. Many dogs will react to stress in the handler by goofing off, if she has a habitual style of play you might see that in response to nervousness on your part.

Build warm up rituals to transition the dog from down time to work time. Out of the truck, air on leash, warm up heeling, it doesn't matter what you do as long as you are consistent in doing it. The dog will let you know what she needs. I trial my dog mostly in agility, and one of the most enjoyable parts of trialing has been learning what he needs so we can enter the ring as a team. It's helped me learn a lot about my dog.
 

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You should contact pro Scott Dewey,he is leaving the field trial game and starting a new venture of training dogs for kids with Autism and also for vets returning from military service, I think your child is exactly what his new venture is all about
 

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I think it is possible that your pup has found a higher calling for her life.

My first thoughts after reading your post jumped to the wonderful therapeutic impact that your pup will have on your son over the next decade.

Colleen did 400 hours of one-on-one therapy as part of a specialized teaching program with a severely autistic child in our community over the course of four years until the family moved. This does not make her an expert, but her experience made us both more aware and knowledgeable of the needs of autistic children and their families. Your son's active social interaction and bonding with your pup offers your son an important avenue to connecting to his social world, counter to autism's tendency's toward isolation.

Have you weighed the gifts your pup has as a companion to your son versus a hunting companion? What effect will sending your pup away to a pro have on your son? Maybe a Day Training arrangement with a pro can fulfill both roles that your pup will have in your life.


Jim
 

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I could not agree more with Jim - for all the official Therapy dogs in this country, there are 4 times that who are just "pets" that are doing the work every day.

I think the dog in my avatar is the best dog I have ever owned and I count his greatest feature is his loving and gentle relationship with our grandchildren, puppies, kittens, etc. He is a great bird dog but long after he is gone, we will not be talking about any of the ducks or pheasants he retrieved but how he would get down on the floor and gently try to get the toddlers and little ones to play with him.
 

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Dogs know, it might take a puppy awhile to figure it out, but they can tell the difference. I have a cousin who's child is Autistic, they brought her out to visit one day, and my BLF turned Juila, who I had never heard speak, into a talkative inquisitive, take me here, take me there maniac. She would hold on to her collar as Kota escorted her around the yard, of course I had to go to Julia said because Kota is my dog. So I've got a 6 year olds, hand lock around my wrist draggin me parents in tow all over the yard, as Julia Talks to Kota, about every flower, & bird, she even talked to us a bit. I've never seen my dog be so calm and patient, she certainly isn't that way with me when we work, but she just knew. They visited a couple more times, and it was always Where's Kota? After seeing that Her Parents signed her up to get an Autistic assistance lab, who is trained very much like a guide dog, really helps the children to interact, also provides a constant companion, plus a bunch of useful skills, such as guiding them out of dangerous situations, and altering parents when they are needed. I would bet that with a little assistance you might be able to do a lot of the training yourself, still if you only want a hunting dog, hunt test etc. Don't worry as the Pup ages she will learn to tell the difference, all that training will help her in interacting with your son, she might even start to take a certain degree of responsibility for him, all on her own, often times females are like that.

Also You might get them both involved in Running the venues, if I recall there was a thread awhile back about a mentally disabled young man running and titling his dog in HRC last year.
 

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Like others have said, dogs are situational. She'll figure out the rules with you and the rules with your son.
 

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I think it is possible that your pup has found a higher calling for her life.

My first thoughts after reading your post jumped to the wonderful therapeutic impact that your pup will have on your son over the next decade.

Colleen did 400 hours of one-on-one therapy as part of a specialized teaching program with a severely autistic child in our community over the course of four years until the family moved. This does not make her an expert, but her experience made us both more aware and knowledgeable of the needs of autistic children and their families. Your son's active social interaction and bonding with your pup offers your son an important avenue to connecting to his social world, counter to autism's tendency's toward isolation.

Have you weighed the gifts your pup has as a companion to your son versus a hunting companion? What effect will sending your pup away to a pro have on your son? Maybe a Day Training arrangement with a pro can fulfill both roles that your pup will have in your life.


Jim
There is your answer...
 

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The pup can do both. I have a 5yr old YLF that I play tug all the time always did. She is a HRCH with one pass from MH. She knows the difference of play and work and you pup will to. Let the pup play with you son, it can only do good. As some said, try to train with a pro but keep the pup home for your son.
 

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I think the dogs can easily distinguish the difference. The voice commands aren't key anyway as dogs communicate with their bodies, not words.
 

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Get them some dog toys "balls, rope bone etc" to play with, and let em have at it. It's not going to hurt a thing. In fact, it may very well help the current situation. I'd love to meet your son sometime.
 
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