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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-16-2015 01:35 PM
Thecowboysgirl PS sorry for all the typ-os, I am on the tablet and the keyboard is wacky. I should have proof-read
08-16-2015 01:31 PM
Thecowboysgirl We did an owner/trainer program with a service dog school that was local at the time. She spent 6 months in a puppy raiser home, a woman who is a CPDT, so a quite capable puppy raiser. At the time I was not ble to do the baby stuff full tie. I did meet her at weekly group classes though, throughout the whole time she lived with the puppy raiser. I handled her during all classes from puppy k on. She moved to live with me permanently at 9 months, she is now almost 9 years.

From nine months until at least 18 months (I dont remember exactly), we continued group classes with the same school, and private appointments working on public access training. I task trained her myself with mentorship from the program.

I know that she had an ideal first 9 months prior to living with me. I am sure I made plenty of mistakes with her but she has still turned out to be everything I couod have ever dreamed of.

I'll be honest, I am hesitant to list her breeder or the school that helped me train her by name because I have seen so much flaming on this board and I don't want myself or anyone else involved with her to be critized for letting her behave in an un-service-dog-like-manner when she is off duty. I take my right to have her with me seriously and would never let her do anything to jeopardize her right to public access or that of any SD. Like I said, I think she is a special dog and I think most people probably should wash out a SD or SDIT thst shows protective behaviors.

Generally, though, we dont meet threats in the grocery store....and in a nutshell I do think a dog with good common sense can understand that certain behaviors are acceptable in certain circumstances and not in others. My dogs all have "inside" and "outside" behavior, for instance.

I will say she was from one of the last litters that her breeder produced and I have not had good luck finding any dogs related to her in other breeding programs. I googled it to death because I am about to get a puppy to train so she can retire. I forgot all about this forum until recently, I woild have asked all of you if anyone knew of a dog related to her in a breeding program. Too late now, we are picking up our new, unrelated puppy, TOMORROW!!
08-11-2015 08:27 PM
onyx'girl Thecowboysgirl, can you share her pedigree, and was she trained by you or professionally?
08-11-2015 08:24 PM
Thecowboysgirl
Gsd service dog who acts like a dog when off duty

This may be controversial, but I must add my experience here. I have an 8.5 yr old female working line GSD who is a medical service dog. She is exceptional in almost every way. I our case, yes, absolutely. She is a normal GSD when she is off duty. She has saved my bacon more than once, in situations I believe could have been potentially truly dangerous. She was well socialized her whole life, and I believe it is that plus what she was genetically to start: she is super at recognizing humans doing things they shouldn't be doing and alerting me if I haven't noticed.

In harness, in public, she is demure, quiet, tolerant. She has never been "protective" in public, and after a long career from which she is near retirement, I can pretty safely say I dont think she is going to blow it now.

She has a totally uncanny ability to know how to act in what situation, and she has at times been a fearless protector from creepy lurker in the woods while hiking (completely untrained, instinctual behavior), and other times calmly tolerated being inappropriately groped by a TSA agent who did absolutely everything wrong as far as dog handling manners. She almost literally rolled her eyes as me as if to say, mom, he is so stupid.

I feel she is a once in a lifetime dog...I dont think she is average...I think that the average sd handler should really look hard at a dog who ever behaves protectively. My dog has not yet in her life made a mistake about when to protect me or how intensely to do it, and she is in public in harness many times per week. We have flown together dozens of times, stayed in hotels, ridden on subways, commuter rails, taxis ect. Her worst mistake in public access manners is occasonally sniffing something out of curiosity.

She normally barks once if she hears a person near my truck, basically just to announce that she is there. If I tell her it is fine, it is fine.

So it is possible for a professional service dog to basically act like I would hope any of my GSDs would act...bravely and aggressively display a protective stance if they notice something legitimately out of the ordinary and otentially dangerous, stopping when asked, and calm, social and reliable with normal, calm, social people.
06-22-2014 01:13 AM
shilorio
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colie CVT View Post
I do understand that one. They have a level of understanding with it, but they still have a level of focus on you that most regular pets don't have. Just my noticing between dogs who have a job and purpose beyond family friend and companion.

The most adorable thing I saw was when my friend who has a guide dog took his harness off on a hike to give him some time to relax and get some water without her getting wet in the process. He had no idea what he was supposed to do! He was trying to see if anybody who was around knew what to do lol. He's one truly amazing animal. She's one fearless woman. It is inspiring to see them work as a team out on hiking trails, navigating together. I seriously feel in awe of her. She's not completely blind, but her ability to see is down to some colors and shapes. It's her third dog she was matched with and it's a match made in heaven.


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That's really amazing and awesome to hear!
Some people really don't understand just what dogs do for us
People always question me about me and my dog but never understand
06-21-2014 01:47 PM
Colie CVT I do understand that one. They have a level of understanding with it, but they still have a level of focus on you that most regular pets don't have. Just my noticing between dogs who have a job and purpose beyond family friend and companion.

The most adorable thing I saw was when my friend who has a guide dog took his harness off on a hike to give him some time to relax and get some water without her getting wet in the process. He had no idea what he was supposed to do! He was trying to see if anybody who was around knew what to do lol. He's one truly amazing animal. She's one fearless woman. It is inspiring to see them work as a team out on hiking trails, navigating together. I seriously feel in awe of her. She's not completely blind, but her ability to see is down to some colors and shapes. It's her third dog she was matched with and it's a match made in heaven.


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06-21-2014 01:22 PM
shilorio
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colie CVT View Post
I should probably clarify.

What I meant by they don't really have an "off" time is that when you train dogs to help you with things like anxiety or depression, they will be sensitive to your moods and your general demeanor. They will know when you aren't quite yourself and they will be concerned and watchful. They may offer certain tasks that they were taught how to do without having the vest on or being prompted. It can be confusing for a dog who does their best to focus on you and your needs to also keep an eye on the world around you and do something like warn.

I know that a task that some PTSD dogs have is to stand as a barricade between their handler and whatever is stressing them. However that should be a non-threatening action. Just a body block to keep their handler away from the stress. Barking is one of those tricky things where if you let it happen in one avenue, it may come up in others, and a service dog who is barking without requiring attention to be brought to the handler (I know a girl who has disassociative episodes and seizures, often leaving her suddenly on the ground and helpless that needed her dog to alert people she required help), could be seen as disruptive or potentially aggressive even if it isn't the case. People generally are fairly ignorant when it comes to dog language and tend to assume the worst first. Once a dog is encouraged to use its voice, it can be harder to get it turned off if that makes sense. And him barking if you are in a store or another place where a barking dog wouldn't be welcome, it can cause you added stress and potentially being asked to leave. Even places that allow service dogs will ask you to leave if your dog is not behaving correctly.

Believe me I understand not exactly wanting to deal with medications that alter who you are. I am fighting with my own problems right now and sadly some day soon I may be looking at medications that make being able to move and think like I am harder than it can be at times. But just in my noticing with my golden and with other service dogs of different types and levels of training, they are always on alert, regardless of the vest and if you are playing with them. If they sense a need, they'll be there to offer help. Part of what makes them good at what they do is being able to tell when you need them most.
Elios does always notify me even when he is off vest.
But for an example, I have noticed that when he is on vest he is so unbelievably calm and focused and when off leash I can tell he knows he can relax a little.

Medications are really hard and it's hard to want to change who you are, so when me and my dr talked about having a service dog, and when I tried it out, it fixed the problems. It calmed me when I never thought I'd be calm.
06-21-2014 02:06 AM
Colie CVT I should probably clarify.

What I meant by they don't really have an "off" time is that when you train dogs to help you with things like anxiety or depression, they will be sensitive to your moods and your general demeanor. They will know when you aren't quite yourself and they will be concerned and watchful. They may offer certain tasks that they were taught how to do without having the vest on or being prompted. It can be confusing for a dog who does their best to focus on you and your needs to also keep an eye on the world around you and do something like warn.

I know that a task that some PTSD dogs have is to stand as a barricade between their handler and whatever is stressing them. However that should be a non-threatening action. Just a body block to keep their handler away from the stress. Barking is one of those tricky things where if you let it happen in one avenue, it may come up in others, and a service dog who is barking without requiring attention to be brought to the handler (I know a girl who has disassociative episodes and seizures, often leaving her suddenly on the ground and helpless that needed her dog to alert people she required help), could be seen as disruptive or potentially aggressive even if it isn't the case. People generally are fairly ignorant when it comes to dog language and tend to assume the worst first. Once a dog is encouraged to use its voice, it can be harder to get it turned off if that makes sense. And him barking if you are in a store or another place where a barking dog wouldn't be welcome, it can cause you added stress and potentially being asked to leave. Even places that allow service dogs will ask you to leave if your dog is not behaving correctly.

Believe me I understand not exactly wanting to deal with medications that alter who you are. I am fighting with my own problems right now and sadly some day soon I may be looking at medications that make being able to move and think like I am harder than it can be at times. But just in my noticing with my golden and with other service dogs of different types and levels of training, they are always on alert, regardless of the vest and if you are playing with them. If they sense a need, they'll be there to offer help. Part of what makes them good at what they do is being able to tell when you need them most.
06-20-2014 08:57 PM
shilorio
Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
Since OP is probably not coming back at this point, I’ll put down my thoughts on this for others to read if they ever look this thread up, and maybe we’ll get into a fun discussion about this.

I’ve been doing some protection training for a time now, and the person I work with also has experience training PP dogs. In his opinion, a lot of it is the show the dog can put on. Most people, aren’t going to keep coming if your dog is barking its head off at them at the end of the leash. This is something trainable, and even if the dog doesn’t have the perfect temperament for this type of activity…only a few trained/experienced people will be able to tell that the barking is forced and that the dog is showing some sort of anxiety and if truly attacked would probably tuck tail and run.

To that extent, you can take it a step further with the right dog and train it to bite a sleeve or a coat. You can then remove those things and bite hidden sleeves and basically “trick” the dog into biting a “regular presentation” rather than what our sport dogs are used to seeing.

Now, most of protection IMO is an obedience exercise. It’s teaching your dog when it’s okay to do X and when it isn’t. It’s quite fun to teach this to a dog, and over the past few months I’ve taught my dog to turn on and off at a command and it’s pretty cool knowing that at any point that I feel threatened by someone, I can turn my dog on, walk past them, and then turn him off. As my instructor put it, you can easily make the excuse to a stranger that your dog is just aggressive towards everyone or that “he never does this, I don’t know what’s gotten into him” until you’re past the situation. Will my dog bite if given the chance? Yes. But I haven’t yet progressed onto a hidden sleeve and unlikely that I will at this point because I’m not looking for that.

So, can a service dog be taught this. I’m sure it can. But I don’t think it has anything to do with a vest being on or off. I personally wouldn’t want a dog making its own decisions on a hiking trail about what is a threat and what isn’t. I can also imagine there could be some problems if your “service dog” ever acted out like this in public either when it was supposed to or it wasn’t. A dog with public access rights is IMO held to a much higher standard than a regular dog, and if your dog shows any type of aggression…warranted or not, you might be quite a bit of trouble.

The problem with the social anxiety disorder you have is that the dog's service to you is to calm you when you get anxious. The dog learns this and picks up on your chemicals to do this. I do not believe that you can teach the dog that when he's wearing the vest he reacts one way to your anxiety, and when he's not wearing the vest he reacts a different way. It will lead to a lot of confusion, and more than likely the wrong reaction in the wrong situation if he's ever tested. And if we assume you could do that, what if the vest is off, and you get anxious for the wrong reason and the person coming towards you is completely friendly...your dog does what he's trained and attacks. You realize you just lost your dog right?
Thank you.
My dog is trained that when he senses my anxiety and or break down he nudges, tugs and lays on me until I am alright.
I always wanted to do schutzhund (honestly for the obedience, and like you said the "switch") but I haven't done any other training besides service work . Even when I've been so busy we have just worked on going to school and places practicing his long down waits.
Thank you guys for the feed back.
I'm going to just continue what I've been doing!
06-20-2014 08:47 PM
shilorio
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colie CVT View Post
This would be why I have two different dogs. My golden is the one who helps me with things when I need him to help me and my female shepherd is the one who tells people they best stay away if she feels there is a good threat (she's very defensive of the car). However, if we were just walking down the road or out hiking trails, she is a perfect lady. She will walk right by people or walk up and ask for attention. She's good with everyone that she comes across, canine or human alike. You would never believe that she is the protection dog if you didn't see her in my car or working with the trainer.

Service dogs don't necessarily get to be "off". They should generally always be aware. I have seen the difference between when the vest is on and isn't on in perhaps a level of focus, but it is never fully gone. Times when I feel shaky or find myself on the ground needing help up (thank you totally screwed up left leg), my golden is there. He is very in tune with emotions, and he tends to kind of watch people we are out with if he thinks they may require help through steep or rocky sections, just as he would help me.

Generally speaking the sheer size and look of a GSD will make people think twice because of associations with what they can do. My first GSD was big and all she had to do generally was look at people with her ears forward and tail up to get them giving us some space lol. She was a total bluffer too.
Before I trained him to do Service work I talked to many device dog handlers and trainers about what I wanted him for, he is for panic attacks , anxiety attacks, and my bipolar swings.
There fore he is not having to be with me at all times. So I bring him where I know I will have these issues, ie crowds, elevators, stressful places ect.
Why can't service dogs have off time?
I think he does really well, working and being rewarded with off time. He enjoys his work and he enjoys his play. He is a well rounded dog .
I agree with no off time iif the dog is a seeing eye dog or a medical alert such as low blood pressure but he is not .
He makes me happy and not have a break down in public, I would rather have a service dog then to take pills that make me who I am not.
I was just curious as to if it was possible. Not saying I would do it.
But thank you all for your feed back, I appreciate it a lot
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