Erin's Service Dog in Training diary...

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Postby madremissy » October 10th, 2008, 10:28 am

Yeah Summer. I wish you would video a walmart trip one time. :D
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 10th, 2008, 10:49 am

madremissy wrote:Yeah Summer. I wish you would video a walmart trip one time. :D


John would have to film it...and I'm not sure he can drive and film at the same time. :giggle:

Seriously, that's a good idea...I'll see if I can get someone from Fidos to film us one night.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

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Postby TheRedQueen » October 16th, 2008, 12:16 am

Well, sad news...Summer is no longer in training to be a SD. I'll write more later.

Sarah, I'll send you an email this week. :neutral:
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"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby madremissy » October 16th, 2008, 12:52 am

:( :(
I am so sorry to hear that.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » October 16th, 2008, 8:07 am

:(
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Postby Hundilein » October 16th, 2008, 8:41 am

Well that sucks. And it doesn't sound good. :(
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 16th, 2008, 8:57 am

Sorry guys, I was tired last night...and I realize that it sounded really bad!

Nah, we just had a discussion last night after one of the other trainers "tried" to work Summer on the main floor last night. She was uncontrollable in her front clip, and they had to put a head halter on her...and she was still an idiot. She wanted to go after little dogs all night. :nono: Her prey drive is through the roof when it comes to anything small (dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, squirrels, etc)...and I just haven't been able to get a handle on it. She would really kill something if given the chance, I have no doubt...this isn't just chasing behavior. The other trainers saw it last night. There were concerns, but I wanted to give her a chance.

I went in last night, with the idea that maybe I'd swap dogs with another trainer...one who didn't have small animals at home. But then I realized that it wasn't gonna solve anything...it would just remove her from my situation. Right now she has to live in a crate in the basement, and go outside only when all the cats and such are put away (try crating and rotating with a kitten!). She isn't allowed in the rest of the house unless the cats are away, which is rare because kittens don't like being locked away. It really sucks for her, and I feel guilty.

Her skills and obedience are really good...but as soon as she sees a small critter, she can't pay attention to me anymore. We came across a squirrel the other day, and I had to brace myself to keep her from pulling me...that can't happen with a SD. :sad2:

I talked to the two directors of training last night, and we came to the conclusion that if she takes this level of management (with a trainer), then she won't be acceptable to put with a client. We've tried and failed in the past, and we're not willing to do it again. The criteria for a client would be insurmountable for her...someone with no smaller animals (dogs, cats, birds, etc), no one with small kids (kids squealing get the same reaction from her), someone who is very busy and goes out a lot, etc. That's hard to find. :|

So she's staying with me until we can find her a good home. She'd make an awesome performance dog...her obedience is fantastic, she has tons of drive, her retrieving and tugging are fabulous. I'll do a write-up of her later to post in various places.

I feel like a bit of a failure too, as I've only made it to matching once, with a client...and that dog washed after matching. I've washed numerous dogs. I do realize that I take on the hard cases that no one else wants to tackle...but part of me feels like I could do more. But most of me realizes that this dog needs an active performance home...or at least a good pet home where she'd go jogging and run around the backyard. ;)
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Hundilein » October 16th, 2008, 10:07 am

Okay, that's not so bad. I was afraid she'd killed something. I am bummed that none of our dogs seem to be working out, but you obviously are making the right decision. You'll find her a great home and all will be well. And I think in addition to taking on the tough cases, you are also very realistic about the kind of dog it takes to make a service dog, and you don't make excuses.
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 16th, 2008, 10:15 am

Hundilein wrote:Okay, that's not so bad. I was afraid she'd killed something. I am bummed that none of our dogs seem to be working out, but you obviously are making the right decision. You'll find her a great home and all will be well. And I think in addition to taking on the tough cases, you are also very realistic about the kind of dog it takes to make a service dog, and you don't make excuses.


Trust me, we have more dogs wash out then make it...it's a tough job for a dog. We're more realistic than we use to be, I think...we've had a couple of bad cases lately...so we're more picky. Right now, looking at the puppies, I'm pretty sure our poodle won't make it either...so it's not just the rescues. ;)

Moxie is coming back soon, and from what I hear, she's doing great. :D Not all hope is lost! I also have high hopes for Patti and Denver.

This does raise the question...was it worsened (her prey drive) by staying at the prison for so long? Or would she have been better with good experiences with small critters? Who knows? :|
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Jenn » October 16th, 2008, 10:17 am

Awwww poo sorry Erin.

Good luck with finding the girl the right home.
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Postby Hundilein » October 16th, 2008, 10:30 am

TheRedQueen wrote:Moxie is coming back soon, and from what I hear, she's doing great. :D Not all hope is lost! I also have high hopes for Patti and Denver.


My faith is restored :mrgreen: I do hope that at least one of the five we've sent makes it all the way through.

This does raise the question...was it worsened (her prey drive) by staying at the prison for so long? Or would she have been better with good experiences with small critters? Who knows? :|


I was going to ask how much exposure she had to small animals as a young puppy, and what her reaction was to them. Of course there's no way to know for sure whether it would have made a bit of difference.
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Postby fenella » October 17th, 2008, 11:59 pm

Yiu definitely did the right thing. She will make a good dog for someone.
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 18th, 2008, 11:48 am

fenella wrote:Yiu definitely did the right thing. She will make a good dog for someone.


I may have a lead on someone who works with ATF dogs...I think she'd enjoy a job like this!
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby SvcDogSawyer » November 13th, 2008, 7:14 pm

Summer is now with a young firefighter who will be doing S&R with her. The older S&R guy thinks she will do very well.
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 13th, 2008, 7:28 pm

And she hasn't been dumped back on our doorstep...that's a good sign, right? 8)
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Hundilein » November 14th, 2008, 12:12 am

TheRedQueen wrote:And she hasn't been dumped back on our doorstep...that's a good sign, right? 8)


Definitely a good sign. I'm so happy you were able to find her a working home.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 25th, 2009, 12:12 am

Hundilein wrote:
TheRedQueen wrote:And she hasn't been dumped back on our doorstep...that's a good sign, right? 8)


Definitely a good sign. I'm so happy you were able to find her a working home.


Guess who I might be getting next? Denver!

Soon a new SDiT diary...all about my boy, Denver. :D *beaming* He's coming back to me!
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Hahnsie1 » January 25th, 2009, 2:37 am

im glad that this story has a happy ending
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 25th, 2009, 10:20 am

Hahnsie1 wrote:im glad that this story has a happy ending


All of our dogs get adopted out if they don't make it as Service or Hearing Dogs...it's just that some are happy as family pets, and Summer would not have been content that way. So it was a VERY happy ending that we could find her a new job as well as a new home! lol
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Hundilein » January 25th, 2009, 10:23 am

Woohoo! I can't wait to hear all about Denver. He was so good at my house as a puppy (and so horrible at Erin's...wonder what was up with that?) He reminded me a little bit of a little lost kid on the playground though. Something about his eyes made him look kind of sad. I can't wait to see what he's matured into.
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