LISTEN TO YOUR DOG– Learn to listen to your service dog in training. If your dog appears to be uncomfortable meeting another dog, animal or person, don’t insist that he say hello. He’s telling you that he isn’t comfortable for a reason, and you should respect that. Forcing the issue can often result in bigger problems down the line. In public, your pup should not interact with other dogs. The vest is on and he is working. If you allow your pup to interact with the vest on then he will think that he can greet any dog at any time.
BE GENEROUS WITH YOUR AFFECTION– Most people don’t have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he’s doing the right thing. Let him know when he’s been a good boy. That’s the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise. It’s even okay to be a little over the top.
DOES HE REALLY LIKE IT? Just because the bag says “a treat all dogs love” doesn’t mean your dog will automatically love it. Some dogs are very selective about what they like to eat. Soft and chewy treats are usually more exciting for your dog than hard and crunchy treats. They are also easier to use when training. If it is soft and chewy then they can finish it and move on to what you want them to do next. If it is hard and crunchy it will take them longer to chew and swallow, thus giving more lag between commands.
TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT HIM TO DO- There is nothing inherently wrong with telling your dog “no,” except that it doesn’t give him enough information. Instead of telling your dog “no,” tell him what you want him to do. Dogs don’t generalize well, so if your dog jumps up on someone to say hello and you say no, he may jump higher or he may jump to the left side instead of the right. A better alternative would be to ask him to “sit.” Tell him what you want him to do in order to avoid confusion.
BE CONSISTENT- Whenever you’re training your dog, it’s important to get as many family members involved as possible so everyone’s on the same page. If you are telling your dog “off” when he jumps on the couch and someone else is saying “down,” while someone else is letting him hang out up there, how on earth is he ever going to learn what you want? Consistency will be the key to your success. Your pup should not have free range on the furniture. He needs to learn that he can only come up when invited.
SDWR, provides custom-trained service dogs for invisible disabilities such as Autism, Diabetes, PTSD, and Seizure Disorders. If you have any other questions about our Service Dog Raiser Program please visit our FAQ page. For more information visit www.sdwr.org or call (540) 543-2307.