Any Service Dogs Here?

This is where to talk about Pit Bulls!

Postby Maryellen » January 11th, 2006, 3:48 pm

Please tell a little about yourself, and how you trained your dog to be a service dog, or was the dog trained by someone else? what made you want your dog to be trained as a service dog?
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Postby pibblegrl » January 12th, 2006, 11:18 am

Dale.

He actually started to help me on his own..then I decided it would be a good idea to build on his desire to help.

Now he is a hearing dog and he helps me walk (kinda like a cane) he has a special support harness that he wears.
He is also a crucial part of my fibromyalgia treatment, when I am in a lot of pain he is right there. It is more a psychological help than anything else, chronic pain is very depressing. Plus, he needs to be walked, that helps me keep up my motivation to get exercise.

As for training him...he just started off naturally and I kept praising him and giving him 'ideas'.

He is a truly awesome dog. And my (and my daughter's) bestest pal.
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Postby Maryellen » January 12th, 2006, 11:25 am

does Dale wear a service dog vest? have you had him certified as a service dog as well??
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Postby pibblegrl » January 12th, 2006, 11:46 am

I have the info I need to get him tested and certified, if I need to. But the ADA doesn't require that the dog be certified.
I did buy him a vest to wear, and he also has the leather support harness (has a long non-flexible handle on it) that he usually wears.

So far I have had no trouble with anyone. Although there are a few ghetto thugs that "know" pit bulls that I have run into that gave me some shiny.
All I have to say to them is :shutUp: :cuss:
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Postby Maryellen » January 12th, 2006, 11:58 am

that is so excellent he can be a service dog.. what made you think he could? was it his just general sensing of your needs??
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Postby pibblegrl » January 12th, 2006, 12:02 pm

Maryellen wrote:that is so excellent he can be a service dog.. what made you think he could? was it his just general sensing of your needs??


That and his temperament. He is so eager to please and wanting to be helpful. Plus he is a total lovebug.

What started me on training him was his insistence on helping me.
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Postby Hoyden » January 12th, 2006, 9:43 pm

I am training my Birdie to be a Service Dog.

I sustained permanent nerve damage during child birth that left me with no feeling from my right knee down. I have really bad muscle spasms and "phantom pains" quite often.

I am prone to falling and once down, I struggle to get back up by myself. Reaching below my knees is next to impossible with out taking a header.

I talked to several service dog training facilities and none where willing to even approach training a pitbull for liability reasons.

I spent 2 years looking for the right pitbull for the job. Birdie was pulled off the streets in Long Island by Animal contol in Oct 2004, adopted by a foster family in Feb 2005, a NY State certified dog trainer, no less and we found her and adopted her in June 2005.

Birdie is able to detect the muscle spasms before they happen so I can sit down and be safe. I have no idea how she learned it, I think my other dog Petey taught her.

We started training with obedience training and socializing her with all the places and things that are a part of my families lives.

We work with an obedience trainer as well as use the Teamwork training books for guidance. We use the Delta Societies guidelines for dogs in public as our bible.

Birdie took her CGC, but failed because she would not ignore the strange dog. She wanted to play with him, kept bouncing and pulling towards him, then picked up a tennis ball and dropped it in front of him.

Our trainer, Frank, said that she still has a lot of puppy playfulness and that we should re-take the test in the Spring when Birdie is almost two years old.

Birdie is doing really well with her training and we have become a great team. My husband says we should re-name her Shadow, because she follows me where ever I go, always on my right.

When people ask me "Why a Pit Bull", I tell them I wanted a strong, compact dog with out a lot of fur and I love Pit Bulls. I also tell them, that it's just a matter of time before I need to use a wheelchair for my own safety and I wanted a dog strong enough to pull it, yet small enough to fit under the table in a restaurant.
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Postby Maryellen » January 12th, 2006, 9:51 pm

that is EXCELLENT that birdie picks up on your condition. some dogs are born with the insight for that, and it sounds like birdie has it.. if you come to the bully lympics in september i will be giving the cgc test that weekend so if you dont do it before then you can try it there.. here are some links for service dog wear for Birdie.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


http://www.servicedogequipment.com/
http://www.classiproducts.netfirms.com/
http://www.helperdogs.us/
http://www.nucapes.com/
http://www.bridgeportequipment.com/
http://www.wolfpacks.com/
http://www.sitstay.com/store/clothing/service1.shtml
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Postby Hoyden » January 12th, 2006, 11:25 pm

We already got her vest & patches. She has the "In Training" patch on her vest now.

Image

She does great in public. I took her to the Renaissance Faire with me this past September and she impressed everyone. The owners call her the official unofficial mascot because she greeted people, kissed kids & old ladies, entertained mentally retarded adults and helped sell T-shirts!

Here are pictures people sent me of us working together

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Birdie meeting one of Rosalita's puppets, the puppet pet her on the nose and the kids thought it was great
Image

Gorgonzola the Titmouse, her buddy. The mouse gave Birdie treats.
Image

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This little girl loved Birdie.
Image

Her Dad did too!
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Doing a trick in front of the Wenches Guild. There were a bunch of kids behind my daughter in the green cape
Image

Walk with friendly strangers
Image

I love this picture that one of my fellow Wenches took. "Watch me" command.
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We were in this crowd. The horses, noises, yelling, crashing etc.. didn't phase her. She did get nervous when the knights were battling too close, but I just put the end of my cape over her and she calmed right down.
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This is Larry, Birdie's service dog buddy at the Faire. He was trained by NEADS. He was afraid of the crack of the bull whips, but Birdie and I helped him through it. Funny how another dog walking with him made him less afraid.
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Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men ~ General George S. Patton, Jr.

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Postby mnp13 » January 13th, 2006, 12:15 am

Not to be a jerk... but why is that dog wearing a halti if it is a service dog?
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Postby Hoyden » January 13th, 2006, 1:12 am

mnp13 wrote:Not to be a jerk... but why is that dog wearing a halti if it is a service dog?


Larry? The folks at NEADS probably suggested it. Alot of the service dog owners I talked to use Gentle Leaders for their dogs.
Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men ~ General George S. Patton, Jr.

She taking all the stars down from her sky to hang them up someplace new, where there's better weather and the sky's a different blue. ~ Autumn Fields
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Postby pibblegrl » January 13th, 2006, 11:36 am

Hoyden wrote:
mnp13 wrote:Not to be a jerk... but why is that dog wearing a halti if it is a service dog?


Larry? The folks at NEADS probably suggested it. Alot of the service dog owners I talked to use Gentle Leaders for their dogs.



Yeah, I have seen a lot of service dogs that wear haltis (for whatever reason)...a seeing-eye dog with a pinch collar..

I think some organizations my require the halti but I don't get the whole pinch/choke collar thing...

I use a regular collar, a few actually, we sometimes like to dress smooch up 8)
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Postby Hoyden » January 13th, 2006, 12:55 pm

pibblegrl wrote:
I think some organizations my require the halti but I don't get the whole pinch/choke collar thing...

I use a regular collar, a few actually, we sometimes like to dress smooch up 8)


My agreement with the owners of the Faire is that I would maintain or be able to regain control of Birdie at all times while she was on the Faire grounds. So I used the pinch collar.

Also, we were going to coming into contact with things that she had never seen before and some of those things you only see at a Renaissance Faire, so I wanted to be sure that I had total control, no matter what happened.

You don't see hawks, people in armor, wearing medieval clothing, renaissance clothing, jousting and so many other things in every day life :)

She is still in training so I opted be safe and get a few yucky looks and comments then end up on the front of the newspaper because something bad happened.

Whether I use the pinch collar or a limited slip collar (martingale collar with a buckle) depends on where we are going & what we're doing. If it's a trip to the mall or the store, I use a Limited Slip collar. If it is somewhere we have never been or we're going to meet something new, I use a pinch collar.
Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men ~ General George S. Patton, Jr.

She taking all the stars down from her sky to hang them up someplace new, where there's better weather and the sky's a different blue. ~ Autumn Fields
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Postby pibblegrl » January 13th, 2006, 12:57 pm

I have to say- she is sooooooo cute in her little outfit.

Oh, and I feel like shiny today I wasn't trying to be a pinhead about the pinch collar or anything, just pointing out that I never use those tools..I feel like on most dogs they are unnecessary.
When some idiot needs reassurance that I have complete control over my dog, I let him know (in no uncertain terms) that I do. I will not put something on him that he doesn't need or that I feel kinda presents the wrong image for our breed. I was asked to muzzle Dale once when he was younger (as a reassurance to some idiot, not because of his behavior) and I went off on the guy..completely high and to the right.
I have to go home and take a nap soon...I am so ready to drop.
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Postby mnp13 » January 13th, 2006, 3:46 pm

I use a prong collar on Ruby, and I also have an RTC which I use a lot when she is off leash. Prongs are not PC but are sooo much milder than choke chains - don't get me going on choke chains!!!

I have a serious aversion to haltis, even more than my feelings on choke chains. Personally I think they are a horrible tool to use with any dog.

Limited slip collars are great, and can function as the mildest form of 'prong' collar.
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Postby Maryellen » January 18th, 2006, 4:15 pm

awesome pics of birdie and you at the faire!!that is great she is calm around all the noise and people and horses.. sounds like she is made to be a service dog!!
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