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Discussion Starter #1
Things To Watch For And Avoid:

People who guarantee their work. Qualified behaviorists and trainers will always do their best for you, but cannot guarantee outcomes, because animals have minds of their own, and can never be completely controlled by humans.

If their recommendations involve choking, hitting or slapping your pet, confinement or isolation, this indicates little or no understanding of animal behavior.

People who misrepresent their qualifications. People who call themselves animal behaviorists, even though they're not academically trained in animal behavior.

People who want to train your pet for you. Most behavior problems are a result of interactions between the animal, the care giver and the environment. Giving your pet to someone else to "fix" the problem is rarely successful because these three elements aren't addressed. Owners need to work with the animal in the home environment.
 

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Thanks for the tips, Liz.  (The link didn't work for me, though.)

I replied to your post in the welcome forum yesterday regarding Service Dog training but I guess you didn't check back there, so I'm re-posting my question here:


Liz, I just googled "training service dogs" hoping to find some books with instructions on how to go about it, but came up empty.  As I said, this is actually going to be my 16-year-old daughter's dog, but I would love to see if I could train him to alert me to certain sounds that I simply cannot hear (smoke alarm, tea kettle, even the phone and doorbell if I'm not on the main floor of the house).  I swore when Zelda (our last dog) died that I was DONE with animals:  they're soooo much work!  But after all the reading I've done about Boxers (they sound like such characters!)  I'm actually excited and considering adopting a second in a year or two that will be mine and it would be a huge plus if I could train it to hear for me.  I think I'm also suddenly open to the idea of having a dog again because my daughter is the last of my kids and I have a feeling I'm going to be one of those people who takes the empty-nest syndrome hard!  I guess I'll know better in a couple of years, after seeing how things go with Atticus.  And of course, there's always the chance that my daughter will find she really isn't as prepared for owning a a handful of a dog like a Boxer while she's attending college and (undoubtedly) wanting to spend a lot of time partying.  I keep pointing that out and she just says "He's going EVERYwhere with me, mom!"  Yeah, we'll see.  

Thanks!
AnnA
 

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Discussion Starter #6
summer---No it isn't bad that your dog hasn't gone to a trainer.  It's bad when dogs don't get ANY training.  Owner training or professional training= personnal preference, thats all.  So long as your dogs behavior and attitude are okay with you then its fine.

AnnArtisan---If I were you, I wouldn't bother training Atticus as a service dog for you.  It won't be fair for you or the dog.  Also, I've been to college and I can tell you right now that it won't take long for your daughter to realize that any dog, not just a Boxer, is gonna be too much of a handful and too much work while attending classes and partying.  She also can't take Atticus everywhere with her.  Only Service Dogs are allowed to go everywhere with their handlers (like Lilly does with me).  Atticus is only going to be a companion dog and therefore unable to go to class, shopping etc..etc.. with her.  If she does take the pup with her and try to play him off as an S.D. she can go to prison as it is against Federal Law and State Law.

Liz and Lilly
 

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lillyzmomma\";p=\"15925 said:
AnnArtisan---If I were you, I wouldn't bother training Atticus as a service dog for you.  It won't be fair for you or the dog.  
Why would it be "unfair?"   You mentioned in the welcome forum that Lilly is a Hearing Service Dog and that you mostly trained her yourself.  Further, what's the difference between training a dog to alert you to a sound or training it to fetch a stick?  They're both conditioned responses.   I'm really stumped by your reply here.

lillyzmomma\";p=\"15925 said:
She also can't take Atticus everywhere with her.  Only Service Dogs are allowed to go everywhere with their handlers (like Lilly does with me).  Atticus is only going to be a companion dog and therefore unable to go to class, shopping etc..etc.. with her.  If she does take the pup with her and try to play him off as an S.D. she can go to prison as it is against Federal Law and State Law.

Liz and Lilly
And, WOW.  I guess a person needs to be verrrrrrry literal with you, Liz.  Maybe you don't have kids and just don't understand that they are given to hyperbole.  "Everywhere" does not mean places where dogs aren't allowed and she certainly doesn't plan to "try to play him off as an S.D."  Are you being purposely insulting?  Because this entire response really raised my hackles!

AnnA
 

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Thanks for the website Liz!! The one in the first thread isnt working because there is an extra dot at the end :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
AnnArtisan--I'm gonna be really clear here.  

1)  I have THREE children.  I know how they are give to speak at times.  I also know how teenagers are.  I'm not trying to be insulting, however coming back at someone with insults isn't the best way to deal with the situation either.  I also wasn't trying to accuse you or your child of anything.  Be literal if you like, but it was an attempt at education.

2)  As for my dog, Lilly.  I love her and my life has been blessed with her, but I don't recommend just training a pup to work for you as a convenience.  If it weren't for Lilly there are a miriad of things I WOULD NOT be able to do normally if at all.  Life as a Service Dog is hard.  The responses aren't just conditioned, but REQUIRED.  Service Dogs have to have the right temperament before they can get the right training.  Boxers have a tendency to have the right temperament.

3)  The flunk out rate for a hearing dog in training is 98%.  You are teaching the dog to not only alert you to sounds that you cannot hear, but need to know about (such as my children crying, ppl saying my name, the doorbell or someone knocking on the door, the telephone, emergency sirens while driving my car, when someone approaches me on my deaf side etc etc etc...), they are also taught to ignore sounds that a regular everyday dog would naturally respond to (car horns, other dogs, smells etc etc etc...).  We teach them to ignore other dogs completely, other ppl to the extent that they only respond/alert when the ppl are directly involved with/to you or are a threat to you (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH PROTECTION TRAINED), as well as be completely focused on you and your needs.  I love my Lilly Bear, but her life is a hard life.  Yes, she gets to go everywhere with me, but she does not get to experience it the same way a normal dog would.  She is expected to behave appropriately AT ALL TIMES.  

My husband will tell you that Lilly is a family dog (she loves my kids and hubby), but she's MY dog.  Service Dogs bond VERY DEEPLY with their handlers.  It is necessary for the kind of work they do.  I am constantly defending her in the outside world.  She has days where there are things I need to do, but don't do because I want her to have a day off to just be a dog, but those days are at home.  Anytime she leaves the house with me, she's on duty.  If we go to the beach or the park...she's working.  PPL are NOT allowed to pet my dog without asking permission, they aren't allowed to talk to or otherwise distract her because that makes it more difficult for her to work.  In all honesty, its against the law to disract, touch, harrass, or otherwise keep a Service Dog from working.  If convicted, there is a $500,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.  These dogs are federally protected.

The reason that I said it is unfair to train the dog for that kind of work is because it is hard on the dog.  A regular trained behavior is considered effective if the dog does it 80% of the times you give commands, but for a service dogs training to be effective, it must be 98% effective.  Especially for hearing and guide dogs.  These dogs not only hear/see what what we cannot, but they are capable of saving our lives with their training (as Lilly has done for me several times)!!!  Lilly is two years and 5 months old and has spent nearly everyday of her life training to work for me.  The behaviors you are talking about training Atticus to do will take a lot of time and effort on your part.  Even if you get a trainer (or do it yourself), it will take several weeks of consistent, daily training sessions for the behavior to be learned on a rudimentary level.  Then it will take several months for it to be fine tuned enough to be considered remotely effective.  You can only train one behavior at a time and most Service dog training doesn't start until the pup is 18 months old (if you go by the typical recommendations from a training school).

I'm not trying to be insulting, I'm trying to be realistic.  I thik that if you really want an S.D., then you should get a dog (from or school or one that you can train) for yourself.  This is advice from a trainer AND SERVICE DO HANDLER!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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AMEN Liz!!!!! :lol:  I didnt find your previous post insulting to Ann! It might just be me lol I read it like 12 times :roll:
 

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RoxyGirl22\";p=\"15954 said:
AMEN Liz!!!!! :lol:  I didnt find your previous post insulting to Ann! It might just be me lol I read it like 12 times :roll:
That doesn't surprise me in the least, RoxyGirl22.  

It's kinda freakily bizarre, but I've been cruising dog related sites for the past few weeks trying to educate myself about the new addition to our household and have found that, for the most part, there are truly "alpha people" on most of these sites:  People who would rather tell you you're wrong/misguided/clueless than simply answer the question you're asking.  A very simple and obvious example:

Q:  How big should I make my dog bed?

A:  Most of us crate our dogs.

@[email protected]#!%^%[email protected]#[email protected]!$!!!!!

You may have missed that exchange, Roxy.  I'm asking for general measurements, she's pretty much telling me I'm wrong to even be asking the question!   (Sheesh. If you don't want to go measure your dog's bed, or if you truly have not given him a comfy spot to hang out that you CAN measure, um... just don't reply to the post!)

To then come back to this thread and read her warnings that my daughter could face stiff penalties for passing her dog off as a service dog.   OMG!  How dare she assume that such nefarious behavior would be either practiced by my daugher or condoned by me.  

AnnA
 

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OK.  I know it's none of my business and I don't want anyone to get mad at me.
But let's all just calm down.  I have had several responses that I don't care for, but I just ignore those and go on.
Let's all be nice here girls.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK...I'm being attacked here and I don't much care for it.  

AnnArtisan--the measurements depend on the type of bed you want.  I use a crate mat.  It's 32x20 or so.  

As for the previous post in this thread, I've said all I'm going to say.   I'm not going to apologize for something that I didn't do.

If you don't like someone's response to your post, ignore it and move on.  If you don't want EVERYONE'S opinion, then don't post a question on a forum.  Sometime's you're not going to hear what you want to hear.  Just let it go and move on.

NEXT TOPIC PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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Boy I can feel the love!! lol My SIL who is completely deaf and now going blind in her one eye..(damn diabetes) got a German shepherd about 3 yrs ago and never thought about using him as her eyes and ears but he started doing it all on his own..They now live in Florida and when one of the many tornados came during the middle of the night last year..Zeus made sure to wake her up and wouldn't stop until she was up and out of bed..She just thought he had to go to the bathroom and took him outside but he didn't have to go..She flicked on the TV and seen the tornado warnings and was floored to realize what he was trying to do..Needless to say she started working with a trainer and Zeus is now officially her ears and eyes..Okay sorry to ramble on..just tryin to change the mood on this topic..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you, ClloeBellesMommy!!!

Liz and Lilly
 
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