Sunday, May 30, 2010

News: Human Foods Poisonous to Pets

From Yahoo: Here is a handy list of the top common foods that are toxic to your pet along with tips on what to do if your pet happens to get a hold of any of these substances.
The list:
  •  Avocado
  • Onions, onion powder, chives and garlic
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Yeast dough
  • Left-over bones
  • Foods with a high salt or fat content
  • Chocolate, coffee, alcohol
  • Sugarless candies (products sweetened with xylitol)
  • Macadamia nuts
Learn why these foods are dangerous          

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Service Dog Handling Tip #1: Out of the Way

Knowing the place where your dog will be most out of the way is one of of the arts of top notch service dog handling.
Moving furniture should be of very last resort and you need to teach your dog curl up. A good way to teach this this to dog not natural curler is to a blanket and teach the dog that it must keep all it's parts on the blanket. You fold the blanket successively smaller over time, still asking the dog to all their appendages with in confines of the blanket.  Your dog should also be trained to go on cue to all the following placements:
-In front
-Left side
-Right Side
Furthermore your dog should see your equipment as an extension of you and be more than happy to curl up tight against a wheelchair/scooter/Walker. Which means they have to trust that you will not move without fair warning.
Your dog needs also to be comfortable going under:
Tables, Chairs, Benches, your legs

Common Places a Service dog can be out of the way in a public:
-Under the table
-Under your chair
-Under your legs (usually means you have to scoot your chair back a bit)
-In a corner
-Next to your chair against a wall
-In between your and your table partners chair

Finally your dog should be comfortable with people stepping over them.
Overtime an experienced dog will naturally gravitate to the most out of the way placements, because they do not want to get stepped on!And all working dogs do get stepped on from time to time. A solid dog will take these rare incidents in stride. The most common situations a dog may get stepped on despite the best efforts to be out of path:
-The bus/subway/train
-Movies/theater house (can you say dark)
-Bars (generally not a great place for your dog)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Exciting scholarship opportunity for 2010 IAADP conference

Come Join Us in Seattle!

     IAADP is looking for the future leaders of the assistance dog
movement. Thanks to our generous sponsor, Nutramax Laboratories,
IAADP will be able to provide two scholarships for IAADP members in
2010 where participants can learn more about issues of importance to
consumers in the assistance dog field.

The $500 scholarships will help to cover travel, hotel and
registration for the IAADP and Assistance Dog Club of Puget Sound
joint conferences.  The place: Seattle, Washington Embassy Suites;
the dates: Sept.25th (IAADP) and Sept. 26th (ADCPS)

Please provide the following background information:

1. Name
2. Address
3. Telephone
4. E-mail address
5. Name and breed of assistance dog
6. Type of assistance dog (guide, hearing or service)
7. IAADP member number

Please give us your thoughts on the following four questions: (No
more than 500 words per question)

1. What has been your involvement with the assistance dog movement?
2. What do you hope to get out of attending the conferences?
3. What do you see as the major issues confronting the assistance dog
movement in the next few years?
4. What role do you see yourself playing in addressing these issues?

Please provide three references, not family members.

For details about the conferences, check out

Please e-mail your completed application to Toni Eames at
eeames at or send it in print, braille or on cassette to
3376 North Wishon, Fresno, CA 93704. Applications must be received by
July 20, 2010.

The IAADP Board looks forward to meeting you and your dog in
Seattle.  Of course, everyone with an interest in the assistance dog
field, including assistance dog partners, puppy raisers, trainers and
administrators are encouraged to register and attend the conferences.

Update on the Power Chair Test

This is an unedited video of the first three minutes or so introducing, Shiloh, my Summit Assistance Dog Service dog of nearly two years to a loaner power chair. I will, hopefully, have a power chair soon. Shiloh shows the expected unsureness about where to be and is also adjusting to working on a flexible length leash. Please note she has been working along side a manual char for nearly two years at this point and has never stained, pull, or bolted on a regular six foot leash. Flexible leashed are for dogs with advanced training who will not take advantage of the added freedom. As you watch the video you will hear me give Shiloh cues and advanced warning of any change in direction. If you don't warn a dog about changes in chair direction and they do get run over:
1: you may hurt the dog
2: you may cause them to believe that they must stay as far away from the chair as their leash will allow.
 The chair was running at its lowest speed to give us both time to react and adjust. This video was shot by Catherine Berger.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Video: Susquehanna Service Dogs: Enjoy the Journey

This great video from Susquehanna Service Dogs out of Pennsylvania shows the life of a service dog candidate from puppyhood to team training. For it was kind like a Where's Waldo of identifying the different stages and training exercises.Here I caught:
  • Whelping box with litter mates
  • First semi-solid food (yumm)
  • Intro to a kneeling bus
  • Interacting and being patient with a small child
  • Greeting older dog
  • Wearing strange items like jingle bell collars and antlers
  • 101 things to do with a box (clicker game)
  • Parachute tunnel
  • Novel surface gauntlet-look at that puppy's tail waggin' with excitement
  • Visit-with head gently in lap
  • Down-stay while being stepped over
  • Down-stay at a distance-look that happy engaged face
  • Wait until released to eat watch the drool string!
  • Tug open a door
  • Distance recall
  • Leash retrieval
  • Heeling next to a power chair (note bungee leash to make sure does not get caught in the drive wheels)
  • Heeling next to a manual chair
  • Providing light forward momentum using a handle and body harness
  • Stopping on  stairs
  • going under something
An action packed  three and half minute video... Did see anything I missed?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Experience Together: Area Dog Show

In early April Shiloh and I set off to an area dog show, my first dog show in person. I was really excited since this show was a something for every dog enthusiast: conformation, Rally-O, agility, Utility, and Obedience.Also I knew that it would be a veritable smorgasbord of dog gear (and I love gear!). I must admit I was a bit worried that I would need to be constantly on guard for other dogs and drive by petters, since this has happened a nearly every other dog centered event. I was ecstatic to find that had absolutely no problem with anyone dog or human interfering with Shiloh. We had to sit within feet of the entrances to the rings to be able to see anything and while there were dogs interested in Shiloh and the handlers were right on their dogs. There were also dogs and handlers that so busy they would literally walk right over the top of Shiloh and never even notice her.Shiloh could cared less as well.

Friday, May 7, 2010

News: With his best friend by his side, the trials of life are less daunting!

A college student named Gabe and a black lab named Ruth – their lives were destined to come together and make each of them complete. In August 2009, Gabe Murfitt, a sophomore at UW graduated from Canine Companion for Independence (CCI) with his new service dog, Ruth VI, or Ruthie. Gabe needed help in his daily life and Ruthie was a solid, calm, easy-to-handle service dog. She needed someone to help.Read More

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

News: Health Watch: Service Dogs

Really well done story! Watch these dogs work and the variety of people interviewed!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

News: Service Dogs - Why Do Some Quit on the Job?

In January, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine quietly embarked on an important new study to investigate a curious phenomenon: trained service dogs suddenly quitting early on in the job for no apparent reason. Until now, the issue had not been examined.

"We're studying seeing-eye dogs and a population of assistance dogs to try to find out why they don't seem to want to do it anymore," the study's lead researcher, Dr. James Serpell, tells Paw Nation. "They just seem to stop working, meaning they stop doing what they're trained to do." Read More

Monday, May 3, 2010


WASHINGTON — This week VA clarified a scarcely known benefit in Title 38, offering benefits to veterans using certain types of assistance dogs. AMVETS, which recently called attention to Title 38 Section 1714, successfully received guidelines from VA on how to properly file for the benefit. AMVETS encourages any veteran with an assistance dog, previously denied or awaiting approval of this benefit, to re-apply immediately. Read More

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