The Alexandria Dog
Training Company LLC

  Alexandria, VA

Service Dog Info Center

Let Your Service Dog In Training Be A Puppy

Posted by greenribbondog on January 6, 2020 at 11:30 AM

I keep seeing posts online asking for help with a service dog in training that is having difficulty in a relatively unchallenging environment. Often, it's a puppy under eighteen months old -- sometimes even a baby puppy under six months! -- that is being asked to go everywhere with the owner on a daily basis, working or training for long hours. And the pup is having a melt-down over a minor issue. Can we say predictable?

 

Please let your puppies grow up before putting them into full work! We don't ask kindergarteners to do a full day's school work because they're just too young, don't have the attention-span necessary, and don't have the stamina to do so. We don't ask third-graders to handle calculus when they haven't yet mastered multiplication and division. And tired-out puppies don't have the energy, resilience, or mental focus to learn well or manage potentially scary or chaotic situations when they're exhausted and overwhelmed.

 

Not only is there a progression of skills that dogs need to master before moving on to more challenging ones, they need to learn each new skill in a calm, low-distraction setting before practicing that skill in a more distracting atmosphere. Jumping ahead on skills tends to leave holes in the dog's training foundation and weaken their ultimate reliability in future situations. Asking them to handle very challenging environments before they're mature enough is asking for failure. Pushing a puppy to work too much too soon is a recipe for early burn-out.

 

Think a service dog can't get burned-out? You'd be wrong. I once saw a Lab (adult, not a puppy) in a clothing store wearing a service dog vest and behaving well, heeling nicely next to his owner. The problem? The dog was very clearly depressed and unhappy, staring despondently at the floor the entire time, completely shutting out the rest of the world, including – as much as possible while still doing his job – his owner. I still feel bad for that poor dog.

 

Before you insist on taking your service dog in training with you next time you leave the house, consider how stressful the environment will be, how long your outing will be, whether your pup will be able to take a real break and rest undisturbed sufficiently, and whether the puppy is ready for that specific outing. Yes, INTRODUCE your puppy to new situations, environments, and challenges, but don't over-do it. Take short trips, focus on your pup while you're out rather than your errand, and ensure the puppy has a pleasant, HAPPY experience. Build a confident, secure dog instead of an anxious, nervous wreck that clings to their owner and freaks out at simple things like the lights being dimmed in a movie theater or a shiny, slippery tile floor. Temperament plays a strong role in ensuring a good service dog, but experiences also contribute.

 

Training can wait until your puppy is mature enough and READY for each step. It shouldn't be a race to get your puppy fully qualified as a service dog in the shortest time possible. That way lies washed-out service dog candidates, failed partnerships, and canine burn-out.

 

Let them grow up. Let them explore. Let them be DOGS.

 

 

Categories: None

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

12 Comments

Reply cialis 5mg
12:04 AM on August 22, 2020 
Quanto Costa Il Cialis Tadalafil amousy https://artsocialist.com/ - Cialis FafGrees Cialis Lo Pueden Tomar Las Mujeres BeemiBibJevy best place to buy cialis online reviews bubopsPayops Generic Cialis Lowest Price
Reply cialis without prescription
12:15 PM on September 16, 2020 
Levitra Non Funziona amousy https://biracialism.com/ - Cialis FafGrees Where Can I Buy Cheap Flagyl With No Prescription BeemiBibJevy Cialis bubopsPayops Independent Online Pharmacy Reviews
Reply adheste
9:21 PM on December 10, 2020 
Finasteride Costi Propecia amousy cialis online reviews FafGrees Prix Cialis
Reply adheste
10:39 PM on December 10, 2020 
cialis en el deporte amousy cialis online FafGrees Zithromax Affect Birth Control
Reply adheste
4:22 PM on December 11, 2020 
Pastilla Cialis Ereccion amousy cialis online cheap FafGrees generic cialis india
Reply adheste
4:39 AM on December 12, 2020 
Wii Amoxicillin Clear Up My Gingervitis amousy cialis professional FafGrees Clotrimazole Pills
Reply adheste
6:36 PM on December 12, 2020 
Discount Generic Amoxicilina Website Direct Macclesfield amousy ?»?cialis FafGrees Acquistare Levitra
Reply adheste
6:43 PM on December 12, 2020 
Keflex Vs Bactrim amousy can you buy cialis online FafGrees Cialis Cancer De La Prostate
Reply adheste
3:09 AM on December 13, 2020 
acheter cialis pas cher en france amousy cialis FafGrees Cephalexin Uti Dogs
Reply adheste
7:57 AM on December 13, 2020 
Amoxicillin Erowid amousy buy cialis generic online cheap FafGrees where to but cialis
Reply Tyronesperm
1:13 AM on March 16, 2021 
The model time I slogan Gail Dines converse, at a convention in Boston, she moved the audience to tears with her characterization of the problems caused nearby obscenity, and provoked sniggering with her spicy observations upon pornographers themselves. Activists in the audience were newly inspired, and men at the event – sundry of whom had never viewed obscenity as a problem in advance of – queued up afterwards to pawn their support. The scene highlighted Dines's explosive charisma and the fact that, since the dying of Andrea Dworkin, she has risen to that most baffling and spellbinding of free roles: the elated's cardinal anti-pornography campaigner.

show-off-your-tits
Reply Randyzek
11:52 PM on April 22, 2021 
Very much a prompt reply :)
wrestlingisabelle