Training Boi - Mobility Service Dog

tortoise

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Today's training:
Trying to get a faster sit
Little bit of sit stay at 6 -10 foot distance
Straight line backing without spatial pressure
Tether training

Worked on bracing while I sweep. He didnt know how to sidestep to the right. I think he got it today.
 

tortoise

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Boi is enough improved with respecting my space that I'm comfortable letting him on my bed. He makes a good body pillow! 😍

DH and I discussed and decided COVID activity is low enough to resume training him in retail. I did that today. I scoped out the emptiest parking lots and got McNuggets for high value training treats.

We started at the farm store, walking through the store to evaluate his training status. He needed work on not scanning the environment and being more neutral towards people. Made progress there, bought him treats and a rope knot ball.

Pet store was next. The store has wide aisles and small carts, so it's a good place to start teaching a dog to walk near a shopping cart. He was cautious at first but a chicken nugget changed his mind fast. We walked around for a long time and I spent too much money on him.

I bought grippy socks for him. He needs to learn to wear boots. But I'm procrastinating on spending the money on them - not cheap!! So my solution is to teach him to tolerate footwear with cheap(er) socks and continue procrastinating. He will need boots for wheelchair pulling in summer.

We went to a grocery store next. It wasnt ideal. Its a particularly challenging store. I dont know what it is, but I've had several service dogs not do well in the store. But its the best one for COVID precautions, it wasnt busy, and DH asked me to get a couple things, so I made the best of it. Fortunately the things we needed were nearby each other and near the second entrance. He did fine, more distracted. Until some guy minding his own business walked by. Boi was starting to fixate on him. After I corrected his behavior I looked at the guy. He did look and act strange. But still not okay behavior. I need to get him out more, go to Walmart where the customers are more diverse.

I am thankful I was able to train in retail. He is doing better than expected for his amount of exposure and training. I hope COVID activity stays low and I can continue training him in retail weekly or so.
 

baymule

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This is very educational. Thanks for taking us along on your's and Boi's training.
 

flowerbug

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Boi is enough improved with respecting my space that I'm comfortable letting him on my bed. He makes a good body pillow! 😍

DH and I discussed and decided COVID activity is low enough to resume training him in retail. I did that today. I scoped out the emptiest parking lots and got McNuggets for high value training treats.

We started at the farm store, walking through the store to evaluate his training status. He needed work on not scanning the environment and being more neutral towards people. Made progress there, bought him treats and a rope knot ball.

Pet store was next. The store has wide aisles and small carts, so it's a good place to start teaching a dog to walk near a shopping cart. He was cautious at first but a chicken nugget changed his mind fast. We walked around for a long time and I spent too much money on him.

I bought grippy socks for him. He needs to learn to wear boots. But I'm procrastinating on spending the money on them - not cheap!! So my solution is to teach him to tolerate footwear with cheap(er) socks and continue procrastinating. He will need boots for wheelchair pulling in summer.

We went to a grocery store next. It wasnt ideal. Its a particularly challenging store. I dont know what it is, but I've had several service dogs not do well in the store. But its the best one for COVID precautions, it wasnt busy, and DH asked me to get a couple things, so I made the best of it. Fortunately the things we needed were nearby each other and near the second entrance. He did fine, more distracted. Until some guy minding his own business walked by. Boi was starting to fixate on him. After I corrected his behavior I looked at the guy. He did look and act strange. But still not okay behavior. I need to get him out more, go to Walmart where the customers are more diverse.

I am thankful I was able to train in retail. He is doing better than expected for his amount of exposure and training. I hope COVID activity stays low and I can continue training him in retail weekly or so.

if you are motivating him with food treats then being in a food store may be one reason why he would be more excited/distractable. just my hunch... :)
 

tortoise

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if you are motivating him with food treats then being in a food store may be one reason why he would be more excited/distractable. just my hunch... :)
Yeah that makes sense. But I find that training in pet stores is more difficult for dogs than a grocery store. Boi was doing great is the pet store - ignoring merch and people. Thats interesting because when I start taking a dog to a pet store, I let them sniff merchandise and take it off the shelves and greet people. At the first step its more imprtant to me to learn their favorites and give them a good first experience in a retail environment. He did not react to the grocery section of the farm store yesterday. He has not had a problem in gas station (walking past hot sandwiches and fried chicken).

There's something about that one store. I've handled service dogs for 14 years and that one store is a standout. I dont like that store either 😂 I'm not concerned about his distraction in that store, but I will make sure to train in other grocery stores.

I would normally be training in restaurants too, but COVID has messed that up.
 

tortoise

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DH was off work today, so I trained Boi in retail again today. 😍 By the end of our trip he was much more neutral to other people. 🎉

I decided to start over and retrain positions (sit, down, stand) because I don't like how he was taught them.

Also worked on some heeling minutiae and a little bit on stays.

His obedience is behind where he should be. I've been unfocused in training him.
 

tortoise

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I've been stuck on training retrieving a basket task. Boi had been stuck on the behavior of throwing the basket rather than carrying it. I was talking with another service dog owner-trainer last night and realized one of the tips I gave her might work to get Boi unstuck. It worked! He is unstuck! He is able to carry the basket well enough to retrieve it. He did a few successful repetitions last night. 🎉

He is learning the new sit and down cues well. Still using food lures and expect to use them for a long time.

I've been developing his behavior of nose-nudging a door closed. Previously he was depending on a physical target, but was going great with persistently and forcefully closing the door. (It sticks). Now he is not dependent on the target but we lost the behavior of pushing hard enough to latch the door. The target is more important. I need to add distance to targeting next so I can send him across the room to close the door. When that is mastered, I can revisit getting him to push hard and latch it.
 
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