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)


Alphini's Puppy Raiser said...

So important & practical!

Melissa Mitchell said...

That's me...practical to a fault:)