Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Training day 3- you can't plan in dog training

Almost all the SD (service dog) owners I know have said, "you can't plan in dog training," and now I know what they mean. I had a day planned for me and Bailey- we would have training, lunch, and then go to Starbucks. However, when we got to Bailey's house I could tell he was really tired. I tried doing the bell but he was just not into it. He then fell asleep for a good 30 minutes. Then I tried again with the bell and same thing. It was lunch time for the humans so I thought it would be fun to eat in the outdoor play area where he can be off leash and play. He played for 10 minutes and then passed out again. He was however really good again while I ate- not trying to eat food off of the table or me. He just hung out next to me and slept. After lunch I was going to try the bell one more time but he just bee-lined for the crate and laid down in it. I definitely took it as him saying, "Mom, I'm tired!" So we played with is favorite toy (the stick) and he enjoyed that. I took him on a mini walk and then put him in his crate. He has a big day tomorrow- possibly getting neutered.

Listening to your dog is extremely important. If I just did what I planned to do and did not take into account how he was feeling I probably would have gotten not desirable behavior or he would have done what I wanted but not enjoyed it. Service dogs must love to work for you and in the beginning you have to make it fun. Hanging out was definitely not a waste of time. Bailey and I are still getting to know each other so a less intense training session means more time for bonding.

Tomorrow Bailey is either getting neutered and getting his tooth out (a baby tooth that's stuck) or setting the date to do it. So I will either see him Friday (if he's not neutered) or Tuesday (if he is).

1 comment:

  1. my best friend is adopting a retired racing greyhound who's started the training to be a service dog, and my friend is totally committed to finishing the training. i love your blog because 1) you're very smart and insightful and 2) this blog shows what my friend will deal with while he's training. i'm not disabled enough to require a service dog, but i would LOVE to have one! i'm glad you have one who you've connected with and all that. good luck!