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Old 08-02-2012, 02:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Autism Serive dog

Hello,

I'm new here

I wanted to ask if anybody here has trained a Autism Service dog(or PTSD dog, or other Psychiatric service dog) and if so could you give me specific details about what you trained for and how you trained for it?

REMOVED BY MOD .... for my service dog right now, and while that's going on, and before I finally get my pup, I want to make sure I've covered everything I'm going to train for

Thank you

Last edited by ILGHAUS; 08-02-2012 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Removed section of post explained per PM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Since each handler's needs vary so does the training. There is no set formula to training.

You need to first decide what tasks the dog needs to perform and then find a trainer with experience with a working dog and even better if experienced with a SD.

As to the dog make sure that you have someone knowledgeable to choose the proper dog for you. Those traits that make a good pet do not always make a good SD.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have worked with dogs all my life, I've trained 2 medical alert dogs(one of them was also assistance)
So I know how to train and how to pick the right dog

I'm just trying to figure out what tasks might be helpful for me that I haven't considered yet
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'm just trying to figure out what tasks might be helpful for me that I haven't considered yet
To decide on tasks you can sit down with your medical care provider or anyone on your care team and make up a list of what you need to have done for you and then think if a dog can do this for you.

Example: If you are afraid to enter your dark home because you fear someone is inside ....
Train your dog to go inside and turn on several lights throughout your home.
Train your dog to walk all the way through your house and then to escort you inside. (Most dogs will bark if a stranger is in their home. If yours doesn't then train it to alert in some manner.)

This serves two fold, your dark home will have lights turned on for you and by the simple action of your dog walking from one end to the other and returning to you in a relaxed manner you now know that no one is inside who should not be there.

What tasks to train a Psychiatric Service Dog are so based on the needs of the individual handler that I believe this is the one that sharing lists is the least helpful for solid tasks. This is also the one that fellow handler's of SDs are the least likely to "share".

By the time that someone is ready to use a PSD they should have been already going through the training and using their learned skills such as coping behaviors, working on any needed medications with their medical team, and past the beginning of living with their disability(ies). By that time, hopefully they are in a pretty good place of knowing what their needs are and have a list of these individual needs and are able to know which of these are the most important to begin working with.

Your needs can then be broken down into catagories:
Strong Tasks: Those tasks that can be demonstrated on command/and can legally stand up proving your dog is mitigating your disability under the ADA.

Weak Tasks: Those tasks that are harder to demonstrate on command or legally are in a grey area for your disability.

Bonus Training: Not a need - so not a real task - but more on the level or a want. Something that is of help to you but not something that would fall under mitigating work for your disability.
Examples:
Emotional support or giving you a sense of feeling good.
Picking up dropped items if you have no problem picking them up yourself.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for that post, it was helpful.

I hadn't even thought about house search! I get freaked out when it's dark, that someone's going to jump me or something, irrational fear I know.
This is why I asked my question, because there are things I haven't thought of.

My planned Tasks-

-Deep Pressure(on foot, lean on, lay on)
-Leading(removing me from a situation like a fire alarm, or to a familiar place when disoriented)
-Interruption(stop behaviors like stimming/self injury)
-Intelligent disobedience(not letting me leave when I've left something behind or dropped something, or when I walk into a road)
-Alert to high meltdown possibility(so I'm able to remove myself)
-Card trained(hand-out card, like to a police officer if I'm unable)
-Help with personal space when around people
-Assistance work(picking up, fetching, lights/doors/ect.)
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
-Help with personal space when around people
This is one where I see problems in how some dogs are expected to act. One person told me that their dog was trained to keep others at least 3' away from them. I then asked how the dog did this and why they felt entitled to such a space if they were in a crowd situation.

A 3' space is not a guaranteed right nor can we expect it except in certain circumstances such as walking through a parking lot or down a typical street. A dog can not be expected to know when such a distance is proper or can be expected and can not be allowed to make that decision in most public situations.

The only way a dog can help with personal space is by positioning its body between a handler and another individual. The dog may not push against others, may not show teeth, growl or bark, or in any other manner show any form of protection or aggression against others.

If your dog stands at your back it should stand in such a manner that it is a simple barricade and not a defense posture. If the person reaches over the dog toward the handler the dog may not react in anyway other then to push against the handler to try to get them to step away from another. Again, the dog may not touch nor project an aggressive action toward the other individual.

The best way to teach this is by teaching body positions to the dog in relationship to your position. A command such as heel, right side, front, or behind and then having your dog stand or sit to your preference. This way the dog is taught where to place their body and does not connect it to any guarding action on their part.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
-Intelligent disobedience(not letting me leave when I've left something behind or dropped something, or when I walk into a road)
This is a tricky one and should be taught very carefully and only for a situation where the handler or dog could be harmed or killed such as the example of walking into a road when it is not safe to do so. It needs to be taught in planned stages or the dog can become fearful of approaching and crossing a road at any time. (Guide Dog schools have a certain manner that this is taught and it is necessary to use several people who know how to carry through with this.)

For the matter of leaving something behind or picking up something dropped then that is more of a pause in the follow through of the original command where the dog does an action that was not commanded and then proceeds to perform the original command. This too needs to be taught in a slow planned manner so as not to confuse the dog.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
positioning its body between a handler and another individual
This is what I meant, because I have issues say if I'm standing in line and someone is 3 inches behind me and really doesn't need to be, I could give the dog a command to get behind me when we got in line so it wouldn't happen.

I'm terrible at dropping and leaving things behind, I'm famous for leaving my phone, EVERYWHERE.
But I specifically want to train for stopping me from crossing the street because I'm in shutdown mode and am not paying attention to anything or because I'm having a meltdown and am running away without paying any attention. I need to be stopped before I run into the road. I'm also going to train for the dog to stop me every-time I cross the street till I say it's ok
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I saw a really interesting video demonstrating a dog preventing someone from crossing a road (and other tasks), I don't know if this is helpful but I thought it was interesting: http://tinyurl.com/blmkrcw
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you for posting that, it was interesting to watch
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