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Old 11-17-2010, 12:32 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Default Logan's Training Progress

So last week and this week, we went to our rally trainer's place and did down-stays while there were obedience classes going on. This is in preparation of tomorrow, when I get to take Logan with me to see Les Mis (not live, rebroadcast 25th anniversary concert in a movie theatre). Dogs are his BIGGEST distraction right now, so it's great for him to be on a stay where other dogs are running around, training, doing agility, etc.

Last week his did all right. He was a little fidgety and repositioned himself many times, but it was still a decent stay considering all the distractions. I don't expect a dog on a long, long down-stay to remain perfectly still. I think I'd die if I had to remain perfectly still for 3 hours, so I don't expect my dog to either. Getting up, repositioning, and laying back down on occasion is okay with me for longer down stays. Anyway, last week we did 1 hour, took a 10 minute break, then did another hour. He didn't make noise (whining is my biggest concern, because he does sometimes whine when he's bored), but he was clearly highly distracted.

This week...OMG HE WAS AWESOME!!!! He stayed under my legs the entire time. Never got up. Never made a sound. He did roll from one hip to the other a few times, getting comfortable, and that's absolutely fine with me. But he was **** near PERFECT. With EIGHT DOGS running around! Even when the other dogs barked or were playing he was great. We did a full 2 hours, no break between the two hour classes. And he knew several of the dogs in the second class from rally/playing/CGC/etc.

To top it all off, I had an email conversation with my rally trainer about SDs, SDiTs, and training/behavior standards. She is fortunately educated about SD laws, and she was concerned when I told her we were going to see Les Mis and I wanted to practice down-stays because she knows Logan is still an SDiT, and they don't have access rights in Kansas without prior permission. I have written permission that I can bring Logan, got it weeks ago - before I ever bought my ticket. We're staying in a dog-friendly hotel for simplicity's sake, and because Motel 6 is cheap ($35!) and reliably clean and friendly. It was SO NICE to see someone actually aware of the laws, and making sure others are aware. And she told me it was nice to see someone aware of the laws, and intending to follow them. Anyway, tonight after our 2 hour stay she sent me this email:

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Logan is exceptionally well behaved. It is hard to believe that he is still a pup, too. Great job training him!!

NC


I'm SO happy with Logan! We're going to go see Les Mis tomorrow, and then Thursday work a little on public access before we head him (assuming ther'es no bad weather). He's such an awesome dog!
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:13 AM
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Romy Romy is offline
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Sweet! Give him a huge hug from me, and congratulations! He's come so far thanks to you. I know Mel is super proud of all the work you're doing with him.

Have fun at the performance. You're going to love it.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:47 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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That's awesome! Most people are suprised to find out that most service dog behaviors are relatively easy to teach, as compared to long down-stays!

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Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
Logan is still an SDiT, and they don't have access rights in Kansas without prior permission.
In TX, SDiTs have all the same access rights as SDs (as do SD trainers ), so I don't understand the KS law. How do they know that your dog is an SDiT as opposed to a SD? Like, if you give your dog a treat in public do they jump all over you and say you can't train? I mean, it seems pretty easy to get around that law... As we all know, dogs are "training" their entire lives, it's not like at some point they're "Done."

Which brings up the next question, how will you know when Logan is "done"?
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:53 PM
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That's fantastic! Way to go, Logan! Give him an extra treat from me, and have fun tomorrow!
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:34 PM
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Romy Romy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
In TX, SDiTs have all the same access rights as SDs (as do SD trainers ), so I don't understand the KS law. How do they know that your dog is an SDiT as opposed to a SD? Like, if you give your dog a treat in public do they jump all over you and say you can't train? I mean, it seems pretty easy to get around that law... As we all know, dogs are "training" their entire lives, it's not like at some point they're "Done."

Which brings up the next question, how will you know when Logan is "done"?
I always wondered this. With Strider he couldn't technically be "done" until he turned two and could learn the balance assist tasks. He's still gaining new tasks as my needs evolve, sometimes as he thinks them up. lol.

We've never lived in a state where SDiT didn't have the same rights as SDs. I figure if you go by the definition, trained to do tasks to mitigate a disability, and the dog has good public access behavior then you're good from a legal standpoint. Say, your dog isn't acclimated to elevators yet so you're still working on it, but he is trained for a bunch of tasks and behaves well, I would consider him a SD if you need to go somewhere that requires his support.

The distinction might have been made before it became common for people to train their own service animals. With an organization the training is a distinct period that takes place before it is placed with its handler. So when a dog is in training at an org, even though it can perform in the capacity of a service dog, the person handling it is not disabled. Which makes it not a service dog because it's not mitigating someone's disability.

Last edited by Romy; 11-17-2010 at 03:38 PM. Reason: confusing way of wording things
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romy View Post
The distinction might have been made before it became common for people to train their own service animals. With an organization the training is a distinct period that takes place before it is placed with its handler. So when a dog is in training at an org, even though it can perform in the capacity of a service dog, the person handling it is not disabled. Which makes it not a service dog because it's not mitigating someone's disability.
Yeah, this definately makes sense.

I'm still curious about how a person training her own service dog determines when he's "trained."
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:41 PM
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I had a trainer mentoring me, and she helped me understand when he was ready to take the training patch off. She did a lot of testing with him. He took the TDI with distractions far far beyond what the other dogs had. Her aussie went into season at the time of the test, so she brought Sassy in and put her in a down stay 5 feet from Strider and walked away. I put him in a down stay and left the room for five minutes. The tester said he never once tried to get up or sniff her. Pretty good for an adolescent intact boy dog. Without all those evaluations to show his progress I would have had a hard time knowing what he was proofed against.

He was set back a lot after being attacked by other dogs, but once he was solidly ignoring them again I felt comfortable taking him out of "training".

ETA: I think everybody doing an owner trained SD should also have a good pro trainer mentor. It really helps having an outside perspective on your dog's behavior and how he's progressing. There would probably be a lot more successful owner trained dogs out there if this was the case.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:48 PM
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My state is the same as Sael's, and Enzo is close to being finished. She's still training in some task work, and some of her public access skills (like down stays) need to be proofed, but after overcoming this hurdle with her being so obsessed with greeting people, she's progressing quite quickly. She'll be three in February, and I hope to have her finished at that point.

We've gotten permission from a few places to come in while she's still in training, and I will always ask before she's a full fledged SD before entering a store, but she's doing really really well. Her biggest hurdle NOW is ignoring dogs in her face. She wants to sniff, and she's learning that's not appropriate with the vest on. When her task training is finished, hopefully soon here, and she's proofed in a wide variety of situations that we're likely to run into while out, I think I'd consider her trained.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:15 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Logan did AWESOME!!!! It turned into a 4 hours stay instead of 3 hours, with going early, intermission, and everything. And this was coming off of a 3 hour car ride. Of course we did have a short break from the car ride to the theatre, but not much. We checked in at the motel, potties, and went to Petsmart to get some treats because I forgot to bring some. Anyway, he did great in the theatre. He found the bathroom for me, and then we went in, got our seats, and settled in. We were in the accessible/reserved seating, and the spot I chose had to seats and then spaces for wheelchairs on either side (there were no wheelchairs there). So he got to sprawl out in the entire footspace for 2 seats instead of squished under my seat. For the first hour and a half he was out cold. I let him get up and stretch during intermission, and then the second half he was a little fidgety, but not too bad. He wasn't disruptive, and he overall was really good. I did learn a few things - such as a chain martingale isn't the best idea for a quiet movie theater But even that wasn't really an issue. After it was over Logan led me to my car like a pro. He got cold during the show, which I hadn't really planned on, but my legs were cold too. I brought a blanket but left it in the car, of course. So I covered him up with my sweatshirt and he was fine.

Today after we check out of the motel we went to a mall for a bit, and then to Kmart, and a rest stop on the way home. He did great! At the mall he wasn't distracted by people or even by the smells of the food court. He stopped at stairs like he was trained to, and handled the elevator well. The only part he wasn't real fond of was the glass barriers where you can look down over the edge and see the level below you, so we're going to work more on the edges of bridges and stuff to get over that. We do go on bridges a lot (there are some really nice bridges by the Keeper of the Plains) but not really on the very edge, and there are decent barriers, so it's just something to work on a little more. He didn't flip out or anything, he just balked a bit. At Kmart he was perfect. I got a second set of footie pajamas This is his second time in Kmart.

He's starting to get to the point where I'm not as conscious of him being there. I don't have to watch his every move, because he knows how to behave. The first time I went into Kmart with him, I was super nervous. This time it was no big deal.


Quote:
The distinction might have been made before it became common for people to train their own service animals. With an organization the training is a distinct period that takes place before it is placed with its handler. So when a dog is in training at an org, even though it can perform in the capacity of a service dog, the person handling it is not disabled. Which makes it not a service dog because it's not mitigating someone's disability.
You would think, but actually here trainers from programs DO have access rights with the SDs they're training. Owner-trainers do not. Go figure :P

Logan is at the point where public access training is coming into play. Judging by these last two days, he's ready. So far I'm only doing public access with him out of town for two reasons. 1) I need the help when I'm out of town...I know the city around here pretty well and am comfortable with a lot of things around here, but elsewhere, not so much and 2) My coworkers don't yet know that Logan is going to be my SD. They're mostly somewhat bigoted, and judging by their reaction to some other non-traditional SDs that have come through they're not all too accepting. But the time is coming soon for me to tell them. My friend/former roommate will probably be the first to know. I have finally "come out" to my family (my dad's known for ages, even before I told him he assumed that was the case, lol, but now my whole family knows). Once my coworkers know, I'll start public access around here, too.

Another reason he's just now starting real public access is that I had to get his marking completely under control. He was never terrible, but I'd rather wait a little longer and be 100% sure he's not going to mark, than to push it and end up having him pee in a store. But marking, other than outside where it belongs, is far behind us now


As for SD vs SDiT, my opinion is that as long as I still expect him to make a mistake sometimes, he'll be an SDiT. Of course fully trained SDs make mistakes on occasion, too, but it's more likely with an SDiT. For example, him being fidgety in the theatre is something I wouldn't expect in an SD, but is something I would expect in an SDiT during its first time there. It wasn't disruptive because there was no one near us (the theatre was actually quite empty...not even half full) but had there been someone next to us it may have been disruptive to them. Most people with SDiTs have an "in training" patch or something on them, so that's what identified them as an SDiT. Technically they could be asked to leave, even if they're behaving, and refusal of access isn't something you can legally do anything about with an SDiT. I know a lot of people take their SDiTs everywhere anyway, and don't have a problem. Legally speaking, as long as the dog is task-trained and well-behaved they're an SD. If I were looking for a place to live now and I found a no-pets place, I would count Logan as an SD. Gavroche is even technically an in-home SD, legally speaking (he has tasks, too), though he's actually an ESA.

Logan will probably be "finished" within the next 6 months. He just turned 18 months, and I think by the time he's 2 he'll be done, except for some light mobility tasks that I'm waiting to train until later. He'll probably start working full time in February. We still have to solidify some tasks, and teach some others (there are some I never really thought of until recently). And of course solidify public access manners. My dad has trained dogs for decades, and has trained SDs before. He's helping me, in that when I have questions I ask him. Our rally trainer is also helping to a degree, such as giving feedback like above and give me the opportunity to proof and stuff. My dad is definitely my dog mentor, and has been ever since I got Gavroche. He's THRILLED that I'm into dogs now. Of course I've always loved dogs, but I haven't really been totally into then until I got Gavroche, so 2 1/2ish years ago.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:19 PM
MyHorseMyRules
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Way to go, Logan! What a good boy! Give him lots of love and extra treats because he totally deserves them!
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