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New Service Dog Courses Begin January 1st

New courses begin January 1st – ENROLL NOW!

I’ve created a couple of in-depth, advanced training courses which are designed to use the programs outlined in my books, and which will be further tailored to the needs of individual students.

With the advanced class, the sky is the limit! It’s like a cross between a group class and my personal coaching programs. The Group part of the course takes place online in a Private Facebook Group.

I’ll be spending personal time with each student through phone or video (with Skype or Facetime) with a 15 minute, One on One coaching session each week to work on fine tuning your dog’s progress to work with your needs.

If you are interested in taking one of my advanced group classes, please click the link below to go to the appointment menu and choose either “30 Day Basic Foundation Skills Training Course – 010117” or “30 Day Basic Psychiatric Service Dog Course – 010117.” (Please take only one course at a time. You can continue with the other course next month.)

Each course is an entire 30 Days of personalized coaching, training exercises, group activities, and even games and prizes. Come and join the fun!

Please remember to choose your preferred time for your first Private One on One Coaching Session for Week 1 from the available appointment times when you sign up. (Choose from between January 1st and January 7th – You will set up your other 3 Private Coaching appointments later after you are enrolled.)

Classes Begin January 1st. Click here and sign up today!  https://live.vcita.com/site/yourservicedog.com

Good news for you and for me!

I have decided not to retire just yet, so I will be accepting some new clients, both paying and pro bono.

I’m a firm believer in “paying it forward” so I’ve always made it a practice to take a certain percentage of pro bono clients. I like the saying, “Helping one person may not change the whole world, but it can change the world for one person!”

Unfortunately, like most everyone else, I have only so many hours in the day, and more people are requesting my help than I can give proper attention to.

It saddens me to have to turn anyone away, and I’ve been searching for a fair way to choose between the many people asking for help.

I’ve decided that a good way to do this might be a random drawing. We won’t know until we try it, right? So, here goes!

This is my 30 Day Premium Package, and it includes 2 scheduled Skype or Phone Coaching Sessions per week, and 3 “emergency” phone calls per week which may be placed any time, 24/7, plus much more!

This means that the winner receives up to 4 hours of One on One coaching from me PER WEEK, and 3 of those sessions can be any time you feel you need them.

Join today, and even if you don’t win, I still help everyone on the Facebook group as much as I can, and the other members of the group are very supportive and helpful too!

Current GiveAway

What Prizes Would You Like To See in a Giveaway?

“Giveaways” are becoming quite popular these days, so I thought I’d get in on the fun and see how it goes.

This giveaway is just a really quick one to test how it works and also find out if enough people will play.

The prize this time is for a Service Dog patch for your Service Dog’s Vest, which is a simple but indispensable item. Besides, to some people, patches are like Pokemon – you gotta get ‘em ALL! 😀

I plan to have other and possibly more interesting prizes soon, if people show interest by participating in this giveaway. This first one is to sort of “test the water.”

What is your style when it comes to patches? Do you prefer just one or two which are “to the point” or does your Partner wear as many patches from your collection as you can artfully display on his Vest?  🙂

Please comment below on this post and tell me what kinds of prizes you would like to see me offer if I keep doing giveaways.

Also, if you wouldn’t mind, please click one or more of those “social” buttons at the top of this post and share the fun!

Please note that if you choose to join the Mailing List, in order to be verified you will need to click the link in the email that arrives to make sure it was really you who signed up. Otherwise anybody could sign you up just by putting in your email address, and we wouldn’t want that, so it’s not official until you give permission by clicking the link in that email. 🙂
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New Service Dog Training Book is LIVE Today!

TrainBook2CLICK HERE to Purchase

Because I want to make sure that you succeed, this book comes with a COMPLIMENTARY COACHING SESSION In case you have a training question that the book didn’t answer.

This book is dedicated to the veterans of all wars, who with good reason comprise a large portion of those afflicted PTSD and other related disabilities.

Of course, it doesn’t take the carnage of war to cause PTSD; If our own “worst nightmares” become reality, severe psychological wounds can occur when the horror of the traumatic experience crosses the threshold of tolerance.

Training Your Own Service Dog – Book 2 (Psychiatric Service Dogs) takes up where Book 1 leaves off, taking your dog from the basic foundation training common to all Service Dogs, to performing Tasks and Work for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other disorders.

Many people cannot afford the cost nor abide the long waiting lists to acquire a trained Service Dog from an organization and so are opting to train their own.

I believe that everyone who needs (and wants) a Service Dog should be able to have one, so I’m retiring from my Service Dog Training Coach business to focus on consolidating my lifetime of training experience into books (as well as dedicating time to answer questions on the phone or via Skype for my readers).

This book contains detailed information specific to Psychiatric Service Dogs and how they do their Work, including a 30 Day Intensive Training Curriculum with step by step instructions for training your own Psychiatric Service Dog.

I will teach you how to take your dog from the basic foundation training that you learned in Book 1 to teaching specific Tasks and Work that your dog might do to assist with the challenges unique to your situation.

Many people cannot afford the cost nor abide the long waiting lists to acquire a trained Service Dog from an organization and so are opting to train their own.

It’s my hope that my books can help assure that those needing a Service Dog to combat the challenges of living with a disability may now have the means to train their own competent and reliable Service Dog.

If you are training your own Psychiatric Service Dog, this book can help guide you through the process.

Remember to CLAIM YOUR COMPLEMENTARY COACHING SESSION!

CLICK HERE to go to download page.

Tenative Retirement

It is my (tentative) plan to retire from active Coaching, and focus on consolidating my knowledge into books.

I will still be available for my current (as well as any previous) clients, but will be taking few if any new ones.

I plan to teach an occasional Training Seminar, (hands on with dogs) so if that interests you, watch for updates on the website, and you can sign up HERE so that I can notify you by email if I schedule anything.

Please Don’t Let a Child Do This!

I found this video and thought I’d share it. We all know that children are sometimes harder on dogs than they ought to be, which is why they should be supervised while they are still learning how they ought to treat others (canine, fellow humans, or otherwise).

This is a very tolerant dog, (as dogs should be, of course) and his owner should protect him, rather than encouraging the child to abuse him like that.

Testimony To Varah

Here is a video that Varah’s new partner and her husband made for us. I still miss Varah a lot, but knowing that she’s making such an important difference in someone’s life makes it worth it.

Note – The audio seems to be in a loop and plays twice. You can tell when it is starting over because you hear the introduction again…

Varah and Her New Partner

Varah’s new partner is working hard to establish a good relationship with Varah, and Varah is responding well. We’ve been doing daily home visits for them to learn to work together, with lots of bonding time.

Varah is a fully trained service dog who has done a fantastic job mitigating my disability during the time that she has worked for me, and very soon we will be training her to do diabetes alert for her intended new partner. I have no doubt that Varah will excel at that task because she already understands the concept of alerting to my medical condition (which is NOT diabetes) and also does well at the general scent discrimination training games that we play.

In the next day or so Varah is going to have her first overnight stay, and in the meantime her new partner is preparing the scent samples for Varah to train with.

It’s an exciting time for all of us!  🙂

 

 

Varah’s Vocabulary

This is a partial list of Varah’s Vocabulary that I am making for her new partner, and I thought that I would share it here. I will add more to it later, but right now we need to get ready to take Varah over for another in-home visit with her new partner, and today we plan to give them some alone time to get to know each other better, thus the need for a written list of the words that Varah knows and exactly what they mean to her.

Sit – Usual dog sit position

Lie – Usual dog lying down position. This is her default position for waiting under the table in a restaurant or to give her something to do if she is alerting or otherwise poking you, and you are already addressing the problem need a break from the “Touching”.

Touch – She pokes with her nose to get your attention to alert to your medical condition, but on her own she learned to do it to get my attention when she needs to go outside. If she wants to go outside, she will run toward the door and back to you between poking. It’s easy to tell the difference.

Stand – She rises to her feet to let you put on her Packs or to allow you to brace yourself on her shoulders to help you stand up.

Stay – Used to get her to hold a position such as Lie, Sit or Stand. Give command as: “Lie, Stay” or “Sit, Stay”

Heel – She should walk beside you, well focused on you, turning and stopping etc when you do. For myself, I do NOT require an automatic “Sit” when stopping, because lots of public places are dirty, or there may be water puddles or snow that I would rather she did not have to sit in…

Come – When you say “Come” she should present herself directly in front of you, making eye contact. For myself, I do NOT require a “sit” when she arrives.

Stand, Stay – She braces herself so that you can brace yourself on her to get up if you have fallen. Be sure to only put weight near her shoulders, above her front legs, and not lower on her back.

Take _______ – “Take” tells her to pick up something that is nearby and in sight, or has a permanent location. “Take Phone” “Take Socks” Etc.

Find _______ – “Find” tells her to go search for an item that is not nearby in sight, and which usually does not have permanent location. “Find dish” “Find ball”

Give – She will hand an object to you.

Tug – She takes an object in her mouth and pulls on it

Open – Usually by pulling on a cloth or rope tied to drawer or door that needs to be pulled open (she does however understand doors pretty well and knows that sometimes they open by pushing.

Shut – She pushes with her nose to Shut a door or drawer that is already open. She has generalized doors and drawers quite well and does cabinet doors and refrigerator doors as well as the ones that you walk through.

Go – Go directs her to walk. She will walk in the direction that you point.

Go In – “Go in” directs her to go into the space under a chair, table or bench or church pew to be out of the way, especially in a public place where she needs to wait. Also for crate or any other such area to which it would logically apply.

Up – Up tells her to go to a higher elevation, such as a couch or bed. “Go up”

Down – “Down” does not mean to assume a lying position, it directs her to go to a lower elevation if she is up on a bed or couch. You would say, “Go down”.

Paws Up – Directs her to put her paws up on something that you indicate.

That – “That” indicates an object for which you are not sure she knows the name. Point to an object and say, “Take That” to have her pick it up. Also, when teaching her a new object word, say, “That’s Monitor” for example, if you would like her to fetch your blood sugar monitor, (which I would recommend)   Then tell her “Touch Monitor” and “Take Monitor” until she learns the word. In the case of the monitor, find a good sturdy case with a handle on it to keep Monitor in, and keep an extra one in a permanent place that is easily accessible to her and teach her where it is.

Leave It – “Leave It” tells her not to touch or bother a certain thing.

Excuse Me – It means she is in the way and will move for you. It pays to be polite!

Rug – Can be a towel or blanket or an actual “rug” for her to lie on for a bed. It also provides a boundary that relieves stress if you need her to stay in one spot, but she doesn’t have to hold a certain position, only confine herself to the rug. It is like crating without the crate. Tell her “Lie on your Rug, Stay. Stay on your Rug”.

Wait – “Wait” is for when she needs to exercise some control, usually before she is about to do something that she knows you are going to ask or allow her to do, like not diving into the food before you put it down, or jumping in or out of a vehicle. However, she is trained to wait for your invitation before getting in or out of a vehicle, so it would be unlikely that you would need it for that situation at this point.

Flip Light – She uses her nose to turn on a light. If it is already on, “Flip Light” will get her to pull it down the other way, and she usually uses her front teeth for that. If the light is above her head you need to teach her the location and provide a chair or something for her to reach it.

Potty – “Potty” is the area that you have designated for her to relieve herself in, not the act of doing it or the excrement itself.

Pee Pee – Urine. This tells her to relieve herself, and it’s a good idea before going somewhere to ask her to do that. She will usually ‘try’ and manage to do a little bit even if she has already done it  recently.

Poop – Feces. Like the above, it reminds her to get on with it if she has to ‘go’.

Socks – She recognizes socks and can find them if you send her on a search, or better yet, keep them in a specific place so that she can fetch you a clean pair when you’re ready to put on your shoes. (Unless you just want to play the “Find It” game, which she enjoys)

Kong – She loves her kong!

Ball – She likes balls of all sizes and will happily go find you one if you ask.

Dish – She recognizes all bowl shaped containers as “Dish” and will fetch it for you, and especially loves bringing you her own so you can put something in it.

Stuffy – A stuffed animal. We usually name them “Stuffy Bear” or “Stuffy Rabbit” to differentiate between them. She especially likes the ones with squeekers, but will randomly perform a ‘squeekectomy’ on them!

Phone – “Phone” refers more to the container that I keep the emergency phone in to protect the phone, rather than the phone itself.

There are more which I will add later…

Just Suppose…

Note: This post is mostly for those who do NOT have a disability. Those of you who do have such challenges are of course very well aware of the limitations and frustrations involved.

I usually advocate that people visualize only good and positive things for themselves, but for the sake of illustration I would like for you to imagine that YOU were to acquire a disability that substantially limits one or more of your major life activities. It would be impossible for me to provide a comprehensive list of examples, given the variety of unfortunate possiblities, but for our demonstration I will use some common disabilities that most people are familiar with.

Suppose that you could not hear. (That can occur for a variety of reasons, you don’t have to be born that way) You can learn sign language to communicate, but door bells, normal alarm clocks, and smoke alarms are useless to you. You cannot hear your child or spouse call your name, and you don’t know when someone rings the door bell.

What if you could hire an employee whose only job was to stay at your side and tell you when your baby cried or to warn you if the smoke alarm goes off, and to wake you in the morning when s/he hears the alarm clock?

Or suppose that you have diabetes. (That can happen unexpectedly too) You have to test your blood sugar level throughout the day and night, but sometimes the levels can still become unexpectedly high or low, even though the food that you have been eating seemed appropriate for the amount of insulin that you had. You can’t always tell when it is happening, and the situation can be life threatening.

What if you could hire an employee who had a “magical” ability to know when your blood sugar was rising or falling and could let you know precisely when it was at a level that is getting unsafe, but well before it is too late to do anything about it?

Suppose that you could not walk, (Yes, that too, could happen to YOU) or perhaps even if you can move yourself from place to place, it’s too painful for you to bend over and pick up an object from the floor. If you drop your pen in the middle of writing an important document and can’t otherwise get to another one, you have to hope that you don’t have a deadline, because it is just more than you can handle to get down there to get it.

What if you could hire an employee whose only focus is to wait upon you to the best of his or her ability, picking up what you drop, fetching items that you commonly use, helping you with some of your clothing, or bringing you a drink or snack?

Further suppose that this employee is completely non-judgmental, unobtrusive, dedicated and loyal, and loves you with all of his or her heart and their greatest joy in life is to be beside you serving you as best they can. You don’t have to feel guilty that they have devoted their lives to helping you live a more full and normal life. You love them too, and together you make a great team.

Yes, of course I’m talking about a Service Dog.  🙂

Service Dogs are excellent “employees” who do all of those things and more, enriching the lives of their “employers” and allowing a disabled person to overcome some of the difficulties of living with a disability.

Suppose again that you could not hire this employee because your income is limited by the very disability that you need the employee for…

One last supposition – Suppose that YOU could make a difference in the life of someone who lives with the reality of a disability such those just mentioned?

Here is your chance to help someone who can’t afford the cost of Service Dog Training.

We’d like to help as many people as possible who suffer from disabilities and who desire the Assistance of a Service Dog. If you qualify or know someone that does, you can help by referring them to us and/or make a donation by clicking the Donation button at the top of the page. Thank you in advance…..

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