From our trainer Andrew, who is working with Wounded Warrior Esteban, who suffers from PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
I had my first session with Esteban to find him the right dog to begin his Service Dog journey. He requested meeting SDIT Tango from our Assessed Dogs section, and they bonded extremely well right off the bat! Tango seemed to take to his new home and new “dad” almost right away! My mother, Service Dog Express trainer Beverly, trained Esteban’s roommate’s Service Dog Sassy for Wounded Warrior Jason, and these two amazing warriors seemed to become good friends immediately as well – and that is how Esteban decided he could benefit greatly from a Service Dog! Our first session simply consisted of going over basic obedience and taking baby steps towards going for walks by teaching “wait” and patience at the door. It will not take Tango and Esteban long to learn what they needs to, as Tango is very intelligent and Esteban is very dedicated. They are going to be a great team!
At our second session, we began working on commands such as “watch me”, and correct heeling positions. We worked a little more on waiting at the door with patience before going for a walk – Tango gets very excited! But they are both beginning to understand the importance of patience before going out. We really emphasized the “mark” word during this session, and I explained the difference between “wait” and “stay”.