I was asked a GREAT question recently: “I wonder if you have tips on keeping up training with a dad. My daughter got hers in December and I want her to keep up her skills.” I realized that I talk a lot about how much work a service dog is, and how much on-going training is required, but I never really showed you what a daily or weekly training regimen looks like. This post will show you a lot of different things we do with our dogs to aid in our working, training, and handling of them on a daily basis. While there are occasions that these dogs get free time, we keep them pretty busy (and they keep us pretty busy) all day (and night) long.
Spring break is over, the kids went back to school. When I got home last night, I told the kids that after dinner I would take them to the park to go run around. We had some odd blood sugars during the day (normally the case after a week away from school) and had to do a site change at 3am that morning, so we were keeping a close eye on our daughter. It was a beautiful afternoon though, and it seemed like a great night to be outside.
Meet Canine Hope’s Lexi. In the picture above, she is the black lab. 🙂 More »
Our son’s Kinder teacher asked if we could bring Major in to talk to the class about service dogs. Our son now goes to the same school as our daughter, but his class starts 45 minutes later. My wife and Major are always there for drop off and pick up, so we like to make sure all the kids are educated on proper service dog etiquette and educate them on what types of jobs they can do, so we were happy to oblige. More »
Here we introduce you to a slightly different type of scent training. We are utilizing a $3 muffin pan from Target, a few tennis balls, and some kibble. We drop some kibble in one of the muffin openings, and cover it with a tennis ball. We will use several tennis balls, but only put kibble under 1 or 2 of the balls. The hope is that the dog will only grab/move the ball that has the kibble underneath, not all of them, and hopefully not run off with a ball. More »
Let me preface all of this by saying that I am not a dog trainer or a breeder. I’m just a dad that decided that getting a service dog was important for our family. Since then, I have become more and more involved, met a lot of people, and learned a tremendous amount along the way. These are my thoughts on considerations that should be made on the journey towards aquiring a service dog. As always, take what I’ve made here, and salt it to taste. 🙂
Okay, so you’ve officially decided you want to pursue getting a Diabetic Alert Dog for yourself or your family. Now comes some big decisions. Many organizations offer different types/levels of dog. There are puppies for self training, started dogs, and finished dogs. I’m going to discuss these, and the responsibilities required of you for each type here. But first, let’s talk about several of the most common deciding factors families use to determine which type of dog to get. More »
The question has popped up, “why use a scent stick?” The answer is simple. These dogs love to retrieve. They think it’s fun to go out in the yard and play fetch with it. And while it is loaded up with scent (in our case, “low” blood sugar saliva on dental cotton), it is very close to their nostrils. The whole time they have it in their mouths, the scent is as close as to their nostrils as we can get it. More »