From our dear trainer, Emmett, in Georgetown, who is working with Madeline and her SDIT, American Staffordshire, “Hera”. Madeline suffers from PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
“This was my fourth session with Madeline and beautiful “Hera”. Today, we went to Target, and worked on getting Hera to “cover” Maddie both in front and behind to help keep Maddie calm in stressful or crowded situations. We also worked on having Hera look back on cue to give Maddie a better sense of security when she is walking alone. Finally, we worked on Deep Pressure Therapy. This was the task we worked on the most today. It was the hardest for Hera to catch on to, but it is very important to help someone when they are feeling anxious.
In addition to disability-related tasks, we worked on Hera’s “sit/stay” and “down/stay”. Hera performs a beautiful “sit/stay”, but her “down/stay” could use some work.
This was Maddie and Hera’s first session after a long break with central Texas trainer, Jackie, who has moved to a different territory to cover. Hera and Maddie seem to have made significant progress since then, which means they have been working hard during the break!
Hera knows “down”, “sit”, “stay”, “leave it” (her record is 15 minutes for leaving dropped food), “controlled exit and entry into and out of a vehicle”, “heel”, and avoiding distractions. When they are out together, Hera’s sole focus is on Maddie. They have a wonderful bond.
For homework, Maddie and Hera will be working on “cover”, “check”, and DPT as well as Hera’s “down/stay”. At the next session, we will be conducting a mock Public Access Test so that Maddie and Hera can get a feel for the process.