service dog journey

Not quite a training log

But I’m trying to get back in the swing of blogging regularly and logging Jack’s training. It’s been wonderful to be able to look back at the logs of what I did with Kaylee- both useful, and emotionally rewarding- and I know it’ll be worth the effort to do the same thing with Jack.
Jack has now hit double digits as an ‘official’ service dog in training, passing the 10 hour mark this week. His training around the house is going really well, and he’s reliably waking me up on a schedule /and/ for unscheduled times when the alarm I’m asking him to alert to (a specific ring tone on my phone) goes off.

His training in ‘public’ reminds me just how far we have to go- but he improves every time we’ve gone out. So far, he’s been to our local outdoor pedestrian mall for Santa photos, a few local parks, and several different pet supply stores. Attention is a WIP- he’s doing well at low distraction levels, though, and Leave It needs me to sit down and actually teach it more deliberately instead of redirecting. Bad trainer, no cookie. LLW also needs some work. I’ve begun teaching heel more specifically, as I’ll want him to actually heel casually while working and not just walk on a loose leash.

Working around other dogs still needs more work, although he IS getting better. He met Jen’s wolfhound bitch Lene on Friday, and other than a ‘o.0 wow, you’re big’ moment, he thought she was pretty cool and tried to initiate play, but was pretty relaxed after I asked him to chill out and lay back down. He’s definitely /capable/ of the impulse control I need. Speculating on what breeds are in his makeup is endlessly fun; his temperament is very generic good-drivey-dog, he has no particular herding or hunting instincts that I’ve found yet, and he’s just such a mishmash. He’s got a shepherdy muzzle except for the length and definitely shepherd eyes and voice, but his structure and ears definitely aren’t. ACD x BYB Akita was one suggestion we came up with that’d explain his body shape and coloring and most of his features, but the temperament on that cross sounds like a nightmare, and Jack is SO amiable that it just doesn’t seem at all likely. Who knows? Not me, and it doesn’t matter in the end, but it sure is fun to speculate. :)

Deep Thinking – Service Dog Blog Carnival #5

This post is quite a departure from the normal fare that will be found on this blog, which is meant primarily for dog training and my own dogs. However, since Jack is, or will be, hopefully, a service dog in training – and I’m supposed to be hosting the next Service Dog Blog Carnival in December- I really wanted to participate in this one, which closes tonight (10/23/11).

A blog carnival is a collection of posts from bloggers who blog on a certain topic or theme, all inspired by the same prompt/theme. In this case, it’s achievement- it’s hosted by Cyndy O at Gentle Wit. ¬†Because this topic is fairly personal (and not really about dog training), I’ve put it behind a jump. It’s also REALLY rambly. So read on at your own risk.

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