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Service Dogs

Service Dog Graduates


Congratulations to Team Kayda -- they have just achieved service dog certification through K-9 Prodigy! It's an extremely challenging, minimum 6-month program consisting of many hours, documented taskwork, and the nervewracking Public Access Test. They dug in, worked hard, and ultimately sailed through -- setting the stage for a wonderful working life together.

I am so proud of this team!

Graduating a service dog team

One of the service dog teams is about to graduate! What an amazing time!

Here's the inside scoop on K-9 Prodigy's owner-trainer service dog program, and the graduation requirements. All the requirements are based on recommendations from Assistance Dog International, but there's also some K-9 Prodigy-specific ones!

1) Minimum training hours. 120 hours is the minimum recommended through Assistance Dog International. Since our dogs come in through a variety of backgrounds, the K-9 Prodigy training hour requirements are 120 hours for a dog with a substantial training, obedience and socialization background and 180 hours for dogs with less previous training.

Cues Vs Commands Part II

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Remember this video from yesterday? We were talking about "cues" versus "commands" when working with dogs, and I was saying how for this dog, in training for autism work, his trained support pressure needs to be reliable when the handler needs it, *not* when she can rationally and logically command him to do it.

"Cues" vs "Commands," Service Dog Style

A quick note -- the training string is hereby officially "full" -- I'll still go out and do an assessment for you, if you'd like, but it's going to be mid-June because I'll have availability to take on any more dogs!

So, things are busy and happy, with some fantastic dogs! Now, let's go ahead and talk about "cues" versus "commands." Let's talk about them "service dog style," because when you're talking training, service dogs are frequently the gold standard!

Training for Reliability: Service Dog style

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I just love this video of Team Kayda. They're the perfect team in many ways. They've just begun Month 5 of training, and are due to graduate after Month 6! This video demonstrates Kayda's taskwork and shows that she performs "individually-trained tasks to mitigate the person's disability.

Pros and Cons of Training Your Own Service Dog

Are you considering training your own service dog? It's not a decision to take lightly! Owner-training is a huge commitment -- not something that you can do "on the weekends" or "when I get around to it." Good owner-training takes a substantial amount of time, energy, and good old-fashioned hard work. If you have a disability and are considering training your own service dog, here's the quick-list of pros and cons.

Pros

1) No wait time.Many service dog organizations have a wait time of several *years.
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