Training Your Puppy to be a Diabetic Alert Dog

Training Your Puppy to be a Diabetic Alert Dog. My training manual is in
workbook format with links to online resources, training videos, recommended
products,how to use collect and use scent samples, forms to track
scent training,training checklists, and much more. 122 pages.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

what I have learned so far

1. No two dogs are exactly the same they don't all learn the same and what works for one dog will not necessarily work for yours so be creative and do what works for your dog.
2. No dog is perfect-they all have behaviors you need to help them overcome.
3. There is not one trainer that will have the perfect answer to every dog training question/problem you have so surround yourself with respected quality positive method trainers and family's that are training their own alert dogs to help you.
4. It is easier to replace a behavior then to stop a bad behavior. If the dog likes to chew blankets then give him/her their own towel/blanket that they are allowed to chew every time they start to chew your blanket.
5. It is easier to get a behavior to stop by ignoring the dog then by constantly telling your dog no. Every time lucy would start to nip my hand I turned my back on her until she came in front of me and sat. She soon learned that nipping equaled me ignoring her and she loves my attention.
6. It is very hard to unteach a bad behavior so if you've got a puppy pay close attention to what you are teaching it. jumping on people, jumping on couches may be cute for a puppy but its so hard to unteach.
7. When you are deciding what alert to teach your dog think about your 50+ pound dog doing it during prayer at church(for example). Think about your dog doing it to others people after all alert dogs can and probably will occasionally alert to other diabetics. If your dog's alert is to jump on you and it jumps on a stranger at walmart you can be asked to leave at best or cause harm to a stranger at worst.
8. Dog training is suppose to fun for both you and your dog. So start a training session happy and end it with your dog wanting more.
9. Don't give a command to your dog unless you can make sure the dog will follow through with it. This applies commands your dog hasn't mastered. If you are sitting down with a plate full of food don't tell your dog who is across the room to sit because if the dog doesn't sit you've just taught your dog to ignore your commands.
10. Your relationship with your dog should be a partnership after all you are relying on your dog to save your life so give her reasons to want to.
Wow, I didn't realize I had so many and I feel like I just started. Please comment with additions I'd love to learn what everyone else has learned so far.


Abi Thornton said...

thanks, valerie!
i'll add a few.

1) it is easier to prevent a "bad behavior" than to wait until they have learned it to try to correct the behavior.
2) always trust the dog!
3) understand what your dog is trying to tell you - thats part of being a team.
4) have realistic expectations of your dogs - it's just a dog!
5) set your dog up for success.
6) make eye contact with the dog before each command.
7) alot of times it is OUR fault when the dog does something 'wrong'. are we setting them up for success? or failure??
8) teach your dog to LOVE to do what YOU want them to do! make it fun. if it's a fun game, why WOULDN'T they want to alert??

Valliegirl said...

I have another one
After you have eye contact with your dog give it a command one time. If you have to say "sit" four times to get your dog to sit you've just taught your dog to ignore you three times. If you want your dog to obey on the first command you have to help your dog learn to obey on the first command.

Abi Thornton said...

thats a good one. i was in the doctors officce the other day and listened to a young mother tell her child (who was laying accross three chairs in the waiting room) to "sit up" 9 times!! i was sitting there thinking, 'my dog could do better than that'!
NEVER give a command more than once!!

Valliegirl said...

i guess maybe we should elaborate on that. If lucy and i are in a really distracting environment i might pull out a treat to help lucy focus and obey me on the first try. If i give a command but didn't have lucy's attention its my fault she didn't obey on the first try so getting her attention first is key. And lastly, if lucy is looking at me and i give her the command "down" for example and she doesn't immediately lay down i wait a bit while staring at her or i say "excuse me" or "hey" to let me know i mean business. Sometimes it just takes her a few seconds (especially as she is an adolescent right now) to realize she must do what i tell her. And if she really doesn't listen I go test because sometimes she doesn't listen when my sugar is off lol.