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  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    Default Kit, My Service Dog in Training

    It's official! Kit is now my official service dog in training--technically my hearing dog. I think Lucky's skittish behavior made me realize he is unhappy doing public access. He works from home and is very content. Kit by comparison does not work at home at all. She mostly lays there sleeping all day so this works out well.

    I've been working hard with Kit and her behavior in public is impeccable. It helps so much to have a very confident and food motivated dog if you want it to do service work! I've never seen her show signs of skittishness. We met up with a group of service dogs in trainig (SDiT) this weekend and she did fantastic. They had a meet at Universal Studios City Walk on a Friday night, which was insanely crowded. Kit is practically bomb proof while in public. We walked by many night clubs with music blasting in full blast and this dog did not even pull. There were entertainers coming up to us in stilts and lots of neon lights. Kit didn't react and was very happy during all the commotion.
    Here are some photos! She had to use Lucky's vest because we never planned for her to be a SD so it is a little small for her. You know what the best part was? There was a Pyr in the group. That dog one of the best trained SD I've ever met. It is a Pyr mixed with Husky and they became fast pals.
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    I am going to start this thread to talk about our journey together.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

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    This is amazing!!!

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    congratulations team Kit !!!!

    I don't think I could be as unaffected by all those sights & sounds!

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    Congratulations! That is no small feat to have accomplished with Kit! Love hearing about your progress together!!!

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    So happy for you that Kit shows good potential to be your service dog!! Lucky gets to be the home dog and Kit goes out with you. You get to utilize the best aspect of each dog, how great is that!

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I love this so much, and for so many reasons!

    First of all, a huge congratulations to Team Kit!!! For a young dog to maintain her composure in an atmosphere as chaotic as Universal Studios is phenomenal.

    It is also pretty phenomenal that you know Kit and Lucky well enough to know their strengths and weaknesses, and are willing to work WITH them, instead of AGAINST them. That requires a hearty amount of self-awareness and empathy.

    I am so excited to hear all about her adventures as an SDIT!!!

    Hooray!!!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    Thank you guys!! I love hearing your feedback! ��It is Florida summer so we are only working indoors or at night. We put on the booties during short day walks on the weekend. Kit actually does really well in these boots. I could Not believe it.
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    We are working on fetch lately. I know LGDs don’t have much prey drive since they sit to guard. So far she would chase a ball but not retrieve. At this point, I just want her to pick up an object “take it”. This comes very naturally to retrievers like Lucky. If any of you guys have any advice on this, I am all ears!

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Zech's Mom's Avatar

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    Snow this is so cool - YAY Kit!!! what a great start also. I have NO advice on the fetch thing, The last companion animal I had that fetched reliably was a my Russian blue cat LOLOL... ( my 20 years last of dogs were/are Wolf, Shiba-Inu, and Bernese/pyr not fetching dogs for sure.) Zech will fetch and play, but his favorite time to do this is when hubby or I are putting on our shoes LOLOL See I told you I would be no help but I am so happy for you both and Proud of kit too!

  9. #9
    Road Dawg

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    Here’s how I would try to shape fetch: hand the dog a toy and then take it and give a treat. Work on the idea that the toy can be traded for a treat. Drop the toy and trade for treat while adding the fetch command. Gradually increase the “drop” to a throw.

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    Kit only plays fetch with her brother Lucky. They literally fetch balls for each other. With me, she won't even pick up a ball. So far, I've put a rope in her mouth but I don't think she understands that she is suppose to "take it" herself. I still click and treat when she holds the rope for a few seconds.

    Training update: My dog had a really vocal day. When the weather sucks, she tend to alert bark like she was guarding against thunder. I took her to my therapist's office today. My therapist has a PSD and a Therapy dog. She hasn't seen Kit since she was a misbehaving puppy and I told her that I would love to show you her fantastic progress.

    O-K! I spoke too soon! Kit loved my therapist and jumped on her. When her GSD howled, Kit started barking and when I told her to stop, she started whining. It was a complete disaster. I've seen her better behaved at the vet. She behaves well in crowds but when there is a person who looks into her eyes, she freaks out and wants to sit on their lap. Usually, it is always a stranger and never someone she is already familiar with. I wonder if it is the LGD instinct that makes her guard but instead, triggers adrenaline in the same way but the result is overfriendliness. This has to do with the way she is socialized as a puppy. Kit loves people! Her "over-friendliness" is the like what you see in many energetic young retrievers. My therapist was really nice and said it is still a working progress. She is 18 months and still a teenage drama queen. When I told Kit not to hug my therapist, she laid down and cuddled her feet. This is manipulative Kit trying to get attention. She knows people can't resist the foot cuddle!

    Kit is very manipulative if people don't give her attention. At the dog park, she doesn't jump on strangers off leash. If they ignore her, she stealthily position her head right underneath their hands. The classic Kit manuver! 90% of the time, people will fall for her move. If they don't, she starts leaning in. Whatever it takes for that scratch on the head.

    Note to self: Need more training before taking Kit to therapy again. Not sure how to fix the vocalization issue. She makes a lot of noise. I am certain some of this is just a teenage phase. We need to fix this before taking her to indoor public places. For now, we are going to stick to outdoor venues, pet stores, or hardware stores. Essentially, pet friendly zones. Once she calms down as an adult, we will graduate to SD locations.

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