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Sunshine asks you to “Give to the Max!”

Want to join me and Sunshine and Goose and Winnie in supporting a great cause? “Give to the Max Day” is coming, and if you donate to Pawsitivity through GiveMN, all donations are doubled! Continue reading

Veterans Day

Honoring Veterans Day, we would like to introduce you to Goose! He’s our newest trainee, and he will be going to a US military veteran!  

Sweatshirt

For a short-term promotion, a Pawsitivity Service Dogs hoodie sweatshirt is available. Continue reading

Free: Where I Like to Be Petted (Coloring Chart)

Free to teachers, parents, and anyone else who wants to teach a child where a dog wants to be petted! We have created this coloring chart, which is downloadable as a PDF, to give go kids who are around dogs. They can use their knowledge of the dog (plus your instruction, if needed) to create their own chart of how the dog has shown them the places where the dogs likes to be petted. Feel free to print, copy, and distribute!   Continue reading

Training Worksheets

We use these training worksheets when teaching handlers how to keep up the training of their service dogs. The worksheets are a little technical and don't have a lot of explanation, but we thought we'd post them (with an example worksheet) because we believe that our hard work should be shared. If the worksheets are too technical, reading Jean Donaldson's book, "Train Your Dog Like a Pro," will help.   Continue reading

Handout: Hand Postions When Dog Training

We always train our service dogs in the same way, with the dog on the left-hand side. We also train the handlers how to keep up their service dog's training, and so we use this handout to help them remember where to positions their hands, their clicker (if using a clicker), where to put the treat pouch, and where the dog should be in relation to their body. You can download, print out, or use this handout, if you wish. Continue reading

Handout: Signals of Arousal

We created this handout for handlers so they could easily remember some of the simplest of the "arousal signals" (signs that the dog is excited). While no one particular signal always has the same meaning, this handout helps handlers remember to look out for signs that their dog may be too excited to learn. You can print out this image and distribute it, if you wish.     Continue reading

Handout of Dog Training Cues

When we train handlers to work with their service dogs, we show them both the hand signals and the words to use. Dogs actually understand hand signals much more easily than they do words, so we created a beginner handout which only describes and shows the hand signals so that the handlers can practice without words. This way, the handler is much less likely to use multiple words or to repeat their cues. Note that we use the word "cue" instead of "command" because we use reward-based positive reinforcement training methods, not punishment-based methods. You can download and even distribute this handout, if you wish.  Continue reading

Dog Arousal (Excitement) Handout

When teaching handlers about their service dogs, we often refer to the dog's "arousal level." When we use this term, we are using it in a very specific way: we are talking about how excited the dog is, no matter if the dog is happy or frightened. Some ways to tell if a dog is aroused is to look at their ears, tail, body posture, and eyes. While a dog's body is constantly moving and changing, looking at these indicators can help people figure out at what arousal level their dog is at currently. The lower the arousal level, the easier the dog is to train, and if the dog's level is too high (sometimes called "over threshold"), then they can't learn anything. The handler or trainer must wait until the dog is calmer (or bring the dog to a place where they will calm down). The following handout can be used to put a number on the arousal level, which facilitates communication. You can download a print copy or image, if you like, and feel free to distribute it. We are a nonprofit, and we wish to share these resources with anyone who needs them! Continue reading

Training Criteria Handout

We use the following handout when teaching handlers how to work with their service dogs, and we thought others might want to use it, too. For instance, a dog might know the "Down" cue if the trainer is right in front of them, but not know the cue if the trainer is five feet away, or ten feet, or twenty five feet away. That's the "Distance" criteria, and if the trainer/hander is working on distance, they shouldn't work on the other critera, too, such as holding the down for a certain amount of time (Duration), or following the cue when other dogs are around (Distance). Feel free to download and distribute as you wish!   Continue reading