Service Dog Training Program
Helping the Rocky Mountain Companion Dog
and it's people reach their fullest potential
"Prince" was placed in October 2020. Now working full time in Texas, "Prince" continues to amaze us with what he can teach us. He has proven alerts, tasks, mobility assistance and stability in Public Access situations. We hope to work with Prince and his person providing assistance to reach certification in 2021.
SIT - rear on the floor, triangle, no side sit.
STAY - remain in place, do not move
WAIT - stay in this general position, wait for the next move
TAKE - place object in mouth, hold
Build a Fort - DPT - go under blanket/anti stimuli
Down - Lay down, belly on the ground (is permitted to roll onto side
Under - place as much of body as possible under directed furniture
BY ME - Heel, left side
GET IN - Heel, right side
STOP - negative motion
STAND - from a sit position, stand up
PUT IT ON - stand for gear up
TAKE IT OFF - stand for gear down
HELPING - Brace next to counters, tables
Brace and Balance - counter weight throw, block and lead out
Pick up objects - TAKE object from surface and place in handlers hands
DPT - Build a fort, LAP therapy
Body chemical reading - nose and tongue placed on pressure points, alert to body temp
Alert to Alarms - taught tones eleicit "Big Face" and poking arm with nose.
Classical Conditioning for non verbal communication and transference of task targets
Operant Conditioning for Alerting and Object Manipulation
CGC and DWG PA Cert.
Off Leash recall
Hold and Carry
"FIND--Person & Object"
Testing will be by Video Submission.*
AKC's CGC Urban Registration
Classical/Operant Conditioning Task Definition
Classical/Operant Alert Definition
Non verbal communication and task DISTANCE learning
My theory was that considering his temperament scores, and my "gut feeling" about how sensitive this baby puppy was; he was not going to be able to take being corrected and managed as strictly as I would be used to training a service dog.
Under normal circumstances, I would not allow behaviors such as sticking his nose fully into the fridge, bumping every part of my body with his nose. He lightly brushes his nose over any bare skin he can locate (except the face, he's very polite about the face). He will nose around in purses and suitcases, grocery bags. He is allowed to snuffle laundry, however he is not allowed to nose into trash. When is is frustrated and he can't handle it, he will find a roll of toilet paper, paper towels, or even a stray napkin and tear it up. Chews feverently on bones and "his" chew toys.
I have not discouraged any body to body contact from him.
I have found that the American Alsatian is not in need of as much repetition to be trained as other dogs.
AS LONG AS no prior corrections or conditioning have been made of ANY action in the training.
I have found that is much easier to teach a brand new behavior than to alter a previously conditioned behavior.
This goes doubly for manners and "taboos" like nosing around in purses. If I were to have corrected him only once about sticking his nose in my purse, he would have never done it again, and I would have had a heck of a time teaching him to retrieve anything out of any container from then on. I would add here that he has never taken anything out of my purse, fridge, or counters. He had assumed the patio table to be fair game. This was odd to me, because he genralizes very well. The outdoor table was different. There was a three week period when he would take just about anything left on the table outside. Some he destroyed, some he did not. One day I caught him on the upswing, we made eye contact. I ran after him and scolded him with big motions. Hehas not taken anything from that table since. I can recal him taking food from the table once. I caught him on the last swallow and scolded him. Has not done so since.
We've hardly left him alone at all during his first year. Today at one year old, he is trustworthy for long periods of time at home by himself. (We always leave at least one other dog with him.)
At one year old, I feel he is ready to begin discerning what is needed for him to retrieve (such as medication, water bottles and soft materials). I believe this should be a snap because he enjoys tasking, and finally being able to chain the action of locating, putting that something in his mouth and carrying it over to you will be enjoyable action for him.
Prince's Training Journal
WRITTEN TO FORMULA:
DATE/(age)/TASK,SOCIALIZATION, OUTING or EVENT/TIME, invested,worked/NOTES
PA=Public Access: Training/Conditioning intended to make the Service Dog behave in a predictable appropriate manner in Public Areas. (Defined as ANY location outside of home facilty and property). Training and conditioning to allow to service dog to perform task-trained behavior in a appropriate and predictable manner.
10/18/20 8 weeks old- first leash/collar experience/(approx. 15 min) / - DEER - scared him - end of leash. Screamed flailed. Reeled him in - crying the whole time. Slacked leash and held him very close beside me soothing and comforting him. Did not recover on site of incident. Had to pick him up and end session - returned him to littermates Eye Rah and Stella.
10/25/19 Socializing at ritzy Rover /3 hours total /car ride in kennel/ (15 min. inside building/ - Car ride was good. Settled down after about fifteen minutes. Whined occasionally. Threw up twice. Good exit - allowed himself to be lowered physically to the ground. Inside Ritzy Rover Pet Salon he was in "Freeze" mode, with one small attempt to bolt when the blow dryer stated in the room next to us. The taught leash was uncomfortable for him, perhaps more uncomfortable than the noise he was enduring
11/1/19 - Outing, leash work, Car ride crate practice/various places-outdoors/5 min x 4/ - Crated in car, drove for 10 min approximately between stops. Practiced at coming out of kennel on his own, was lifted down. Followed me with leash on, never extending the leash to taught. Going back into kennel was challenging the first and fourth time. He would put his feet down in front of the kennel and not lift them into the kennel. Stiff (partial freezing?)
11/14/19-Outing, car ride/Soggy Dog/1 hr outdoors, 15 min inside/One at a time pups inside lobby area, standing, didn't ask or employ commands.
11/29/19 Outing, car ride, stairs, people/2 hrs. Went to the rec center, walked out front, used the outdoor staircase, used SIT and STAND commands, practiced at taking vest on and off. Practiced at getting in and out of car. Threw up two times.
11/30/19 - Car ride, LAP therapy in the back seat - 1/2 hour, - intended to help with car sickness and acclimation to long car rides. Back seat positioning.
11/30/19 - PRESENT - "TASK - TAKE" take object from hands, hold in mouth for as long as asked to.
TASK TRAINING USING A CLICKER - begin by clicking with every slight manipulation of the mouth onto object -
OBJECT: block of wood
12/1/19 - Outing/Leash work/ 10 min intervals 4 hr span. Wandered around the yard and road in front of our house. Got a couple of corrections for going to the end of the leash (verbal, snap on collar). Practice at going through doors - did really well, stayed right beside me smooth progression through the thresh hold.
12/7/19 - TASK "Touch" - 2-3 min intervals - from date to approx. May 2020. /Asked to "bop" nose precisicely on black dot drawn on an index card. Progressed to card being placed in various locations, heights and depths.
1/4/20 - Harness/SD vest acclimation/3 min intervals-2 days/ Practiced taking harness of and on without sitting or standing or bucking out of harness when brough over his head for removal.
1/5/20 - TASK Hearing sound detection - clicker trained, with my phone, set an alarm four times a day for several days. Changed distance from myself, locations and heights. Solid after three days, will respond immediately to the alarm sound.Very confident that with clicker training, any "alarm" s can be generalized and transferred
1/7/20 - Public Access/8:30 am to 2:30 pm - stayed at my station at the groom shop. I groomed four dogs while he was directed to lay still and not interact with the dogs. He was not permitted to establish eye contact with any dog on my table. Had to leave the room several times.
1/15/20 - Visit to Walmart. Worked out side with carts and approached doors but did not enter.
1/27/20 - Public Access with TASKS - alarm, touch, down, stay, Take, walking with SD vest. Worked on refining these, lightly, as I believe he is entering his "Shy Stage", so we will limit Public Access, and work with tasks at home.
FEBRUARY - Covid restrictions, Limits Access to Public. - Worked with all above mentioned tasks. Began off leash access to the yard. Crate training almost over - will use bell to ask to go out.
3/1/20-TASK - "Touch" transferred to various objects including a different colored dot on larger paper.
3/8/20 - Mobility - Using Brace and balance during turns, different sloped terrain. Bracing when losing balance, especially down hill. He is currently having difficulty working NOT on the left. He gets very nervous when he is placed on the right. Will use two commands to help him discern working on the right, vs the left "BY ME" - right "GET IN" - left
3/12/20 - Using "BY ME" with harness only. Routine established, clicking primarily for right sided reactions to commands.
3/15/20 - TASK "Touch" - /3 sessions fifteen min. each./(NOTE response fades after 7 minutes. He still wants to perform, but gets sloppier and sloppier. At 15 min he was not performing any longer. Was he full? Too many treats?) placing his old index card with black dot into a container, and only clicking when he pushes the tupperware container backwards. This should mock the pressure needed to push a button into activation.
3/27/20 - Outing - Obedience/Mobility/45 minutes in unpopulated public park. Interacted with life-like statues, different terrain and stairs, building features. Practiced at turning into pathways and around artwork. Used "By Me" only briefly - he started well, but fell apart after a few steps.
4/10/20 - Public Access/Soggy Dog/8 am to 4 pm/min. 3x's each exercise/ Laydown, wait for me. Ignore commotion. Stay in place during packing of belongings. Lead out door. Load up into car.
4/18/20 - EXACTLY the same as 4/10/20.
4/20/20 - Visitors in the home - Barked. Was not willing to be petted. Stayed in the general area - watched and observed, but did not offer to approach any of the visitors or workmen.
4/27/20 - TASK - UNDER - 3x's 15 min. intervals/Luring clicker/shaping remaining under the table while attaining a "Lay down" position.
4/28/20 TASK - UNDER - same - using plastic chair, I desire his entire head under the chair and remaining there. This made him uncomfortable and he did not want to do it.
5/4/20 - Public Access - 1/2 hour/Public Park - well laid visible trails, benches, TASK Under, By Me, Laydown, stay - recall.
6/2/20 - TASK - By Me - Get In switching between the two as needed for stability in the driveway, yard - paths, road and in and out of car.
6/ 18/20 - TASK - HELPING - Stand still and solid between myself and the counter for dishes, stability and extra security in Public buildings, at the check out line, and at home, doing household chores such as dishes or office work.
6/20/20 - Outing/Obedience and Mobility/ walked down hill (approx. 1/2 mile) to bus stop. Waited, expecting him to stand in place for 10 min. He was hesitant to be on the road so close to passing cars. Did better once we were off the road side. Dave came to pick us up and he jumped into the car as directed, without taking his vest off. He layed down in the back seat, adjusting his weight and position to compensate.
7/17/20 - Outing - Practice getting in and out of car. Exposure to electric doors in retail stores. Big R, Safeway, King Soopers. Got out, approached doors, remained within 20 feet until doors opened and closed fully. Various people passed by - everyone is wearing masks now. Doesn't seem to bother him. Turned around, got back into car, immediately drove to the next location
8/5/20 Car ride - /Evergreen Lake/ outing with the "dads"/1 hr. /walked around the lake (approx. 1 mile) No vest, used leash in "suitcase" style for control when passers by - put him into "HELPING" position.
8/7/20 TASK - UNDER & Down/stay/ & TAKE - too excitable after the first success - he couldn't focus. Chaining went well, he leaves himself open for more commands
8/9-10-11-12/2020 - TASK/same as above 10 min intervals. Still very excitable after the "Take" - focus is better. Must use clicker more
8/28/20 through 9/2/20 Full time /Visit with McCurdy's - went well, no potty accidents, followed directions. They expressed he was home sick after three days, but did not have separation anxiety. Jumped into their vehicle without aid when it came time to leave their home.
9/5 - 2020 TASK - Begin TAKE & HOLD, hard plastic glasses case. Using clicker
9/9 - TASK - TAKE goes well, he isn't holding
9/12 - TASK - HELPING & TAKE - solid, but won't hold still
9/14 TASK - HOLD - must use clicker at extended intervals. He will hold then
Remaining notes on site. Available upon request