Rachel and SDIT Nova

From trainer Beverly, who is working with Rachel and her SDIT, Nova. Rachel has PTSD.

“Rachel, Nova and I started at my home discussing some of the smaller issues/new tasks and how to work on them, since Nova already knows the basics such as “sit”, “down”, “stay”, “heel”, “load”, and “unload”. One of these is to get Nova to put “pressure” on Rachel by laying on her when she is feeling particularly anxious. Since Nova likes to be where she can see Rachel, we discussed incorporating the “watch me” command with having Nova lay on Rachel with her head on her stomach or chest and her body on top of Rachel. She will use high value treats to coax Nova into position and use the “watch me” command to engage the eye contact.

We also worked on front and back “cover” more, having Nova use deep touch when she covers. Nova did very well. We then went to the D&D feed store, where they were having a couple major events to include a doggy costume contest and adoption event. Since crowds are one of Rachel’s triggers, this was a great experience for desensitization. We had Rachel use the cover (with more pressure on her legs from Nova) several times with good results. We also taught Nova “up” to put her paws and chest on Rachel’s legs when Rachel is sitting and needs to have Nova even closer. The session went very well and both Nova and Rachel handled all the many distractions and people perfectly.

Rachel will work on these skills and return within 6 months for another session (skill review) or sooner if needed.”