Want to train my pup - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Want to train my pup

My son does have Autism, and I just wanted to train Diesel to help me out with a few things, mostly just alerting me if my son is messing with the locks because he can be out the door and half way down the street in the time it takes me to use the restroom.

Diesel is here to be a best friend to my son first and formost, and they are, my son cant identify me as mommy but you better believe he knows who Diesel is, but Im a single mom and I want him to be trained to help just a little.
I unfortunately can not find a trainer in Houston to help me take this on who is not looking to charge me $1000 to just train Diesel to do two things. Does anyone know of a book or videos online that will help? Im not expecting him to be trained for a while, but I like to be prepared.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 06:07 PM
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Re: Want to train my pup

I'm going to be direct with you.

Training to alert is, in my experience, a series of several smaller skills that are chained together. It's not simply a skill set that can be trained in an hour or two. So $1000 may not be an outrageous amount, if you're allowing $75 an hour for 10-15 sessions. That would be for a dog that is simply trained to help out at home. For a dog that truly deserves public access -- a true service dog -- you're looking at a lot more than that, provided that you use a private trainer.

There are books and videos. Leadership I and II are probably the most reputable (available at Dogwise and Amazon). These are available as both books and videos. There's no need to buy both versions.

But realistically, if you're putting your son's life into a dog's paws, you can't do it cheaply or without a huge time commitment. My SDIT will have my life in his paws when his training is done (in the meantime, I'm limited in terms of what I can do and where I can go since my last SD died). I won't claim to understand what your needs or situation is, but I do understand what it's like to worry about serious risks and to hope that a dog can provide ways to minimize the risks.

Yes, a dog can. But he has to be a very well trained dog if you're going to count on him to perform this task. Not only do you need a dog to know these skills, but he has to be 100% reliable. These don't come easily, and to be perfectly frank, they don't come cheaply.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 11:46 PM
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Re: Want to train my pup

A parent should never rely on a dog - no matter how well trained -to keep their child safe.

If possible, train your dog to alert if your son touches an exterior door which would include the knob, locks, or door itself. BUT, never think you can relax and let the dog step in as a main guardian. Please just consider the dog as an extra step along with secure locks and bells or other type of alarms installed.

The type of dog that you need in this case is a Trained Companion Dog which is a well-behaved, gentle, in-home companion that has some advanced training. The dog can be trained to bark (I would probably not recommend this if you live in an apartment where the noise would irritate close neighbors) or else come to you and perform a trained signal to alert you that your son is touching the door.

No matter what duty you give the dog, you do not want the dog to ever think it is in charge of your son. Keep the whole job as a game for the dog. Your son touches the door, the dog notifies you, and the dog receives a reward. This makes the act of your son touching the door as a signal to the dog that a reward, cookie or belly rub from you, is on the way and not something that the dog has to keep your son from doing. A dog in charge in turn expects to have the right to discipline the member below them.

The best thing would be if you could find a trainer who would look at the training in a positive fashion for the dog and not try to train your dog into becoming a babysitter or caregiver for your son. If you are not able to find or afford such a trainer then the best thing to do is to find training methods that follow this concept.

Do you have any training experience? Knowing how much you can do will allow everyone to have a base point to begin giving some guidance or advice.


TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Want to train my pup

Oh wow, you mean I wont be able to leave my dog at home to baby sit my son while I make a run to starbucks? Well this was pointless then

I never said I was relying on the dog to keep my child safe. I said I wanted to train a dog to notify me when my son was trying to undo locks.

I dont think youll find a parent of a child with autism relax for a second and put their childs full safety in the hands of anyone. Im a hovering wench to his teachers and doctors. But it would be nice to use the restroom wiuthout a panic attack.


Thanks for your advice 3k9mom! very helpful
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 04:18 AM
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Re: Want to train my pup

Wow where did that come from? No one said you were taking off and leaving your child home alone. I hope you get the help that you need and that all works out for you and your son - have a nice weekend. I'll just step out of this thread.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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