“When clients do their homework, it really shows; and Lauren and Goldendoodle Decker showed off today how far they have come!
Taking Decker everywhere Lauren needs to go is very important to Lauren, so public behavior has been high on our list as it is with every dog seeking its Public Access Test
Decker was originally scared of walking past refrigerators/freezers in stores because of the noise they made, and the swishing employees double doors at the supermarket. I explained to Lauren that as she approached these places, I noticed she would look down at Decker expecting him to be afraid, so he fed on her nervousness and became afraid.
So, I taught her how to walk confidently past these obstacles and not respond to Decker; just keep walking as if nothing is wrong. Decker responded beautifully and walked past all the things he’s been afraid of before. I explained how your expectations of a dog’s fear can in fact create it.
I told Lauren how proud I am of her that she has listened to everything she has been taught, not only about training but about dog psychology and how dogs think. Understanding how a dog’s mind works can help one to use them to be the best they can be.
Decker lays on Lauren’s back on command, as the deep pressure helps with her pain, fetches her medications, and watches Lauren on command; the three tasks they have mastered beautifully.
There is nothing so beautiful as a dog trainer like myself seeing such a connection and results with determination and practice.
Update: They did it! What a great team! Lauren and Decker passed their PAT with flying colors!
This team have come a long way in such a short space of time. Decker was originally nervous of large doorways and buzzing machines and even TV’s blaring loudly in the stores, but with the right training, he now passes them all without a single reaction!
Load, unload, walking calmly around traffic, sit, stay, wait, leave it, heel, polite with strangers and ignoring loud noises – he did them all like he’d been doing it forever!
This is mainly because of Decker’s 19 year-old handler, Lauren, who wanted her dog to be her Service Dog so badly that she put 100% into her homework and practiced hard. The result is a very well-trained and well-behaved dog!
Lauren’s mom Shari has been a huge support throughout so I insisted she got in on the picture!
I will still be a source of support and info for Lauren if she needs me, which after today’s performance I doubt will be very often!
Congratulations Lauren and Decker!!