Service Dog Training Agreements through A Better Pet are 6 months long (with option to renew) for a reason. Regardless of how well trained the dog is under my supervision, placing the dog with his or her future partner(s), teaching owner(s) (and in Mabel’s case, a family of 5 who are each benefitting from her presence) how to handle with the same fluidity as well as developing functionality with respect to the purpose of the dog for service to mitigate disabilities is a process. It requires knowledge, guidance, support, supervision, commitment, patience, humor and the ability to feel comfortable asking for help as well as learning how to filter out the recommendations, suggestions, etc. of well intentioned but ultimately sabotaging others who are encountered.
Tribble, Franny’s first born, was placed officially with her partners on April 17th – two parents and 3 children ranging from 2 1/2 – 9. In her first month she developed a relationship with each member of the family but also unraveled a wee bit as family was still new to the routine of incorporating a service-dog-in- training (SDiT) puppy while simultaneously living a hectic, active life (especially with end of the school year activities required lots of additional commitment, practice and oh yeah, lots of driving).
She returned to me a month later for a boot camp and officially became Mabel. Four nights and nearly four full days of observation, training, reconnecting her with basic manners and accountability along with lots of play with her litter mates, other relatives and good friends, rest, good eats, good chews, walks in the neighborhood, lots of DIPs (link to DIP here) and Mabel, rebooted, was ready for a return.
Today’s return was an exceptionally fun one — Dad John teaches history at the Hershey Montessori Farm School giving me an opportunity to teach John how to handle her in a unique and animal filled working farm and school environment where she could also add therapy dog to her resume. A wonderful time was had.
She excelled at her manners under John’s renewed enthusiasm and ability to focus and we met a slew of critters — ducks in a pond, turkeys, a cow, some horses and goats! She rocked it. If and as possible, she will spend time here balanced with time with her family to provide a well rounded, enriched activity environment and can spread her simple, honest and deep integrity that positive training works and creates a willing, biddable working dog.
For your enjoyment, some of the training videos are offered below. We are working on producing a documentary on the partnering of this dog with this family, primarily intended to mitigate some of the symptoms of the middle child, a nearly 9 year old daughter, Caroline, with autism.
For more information on the service dog training provided at A Better Pet LLC, please feel free to contact us.