Socialization – Notes from Dr. Ian Dunbar’s book, “Before and After

Puppies should meet 5 new people a day (for the first 3 months). For the first two weeks, the puppy should meet these 5 new people a day at your home (you do it at home because the puppy shouldn’t leave your home in those two weeks because that’s the “fear period,” a strange, one-time period when any negative encounter can traumatize them forever). To do this: After you’ve had the dog for a day, invite 5 men (and 1 child) over one night to meet the puppy (maybe even a TV party). They can hand-feed the puppy some kibble, and hold, hug, and touch him. The next night, invite over 5 women and 1 child (same directions). Repeat for 11 more days. You can have more than 1 kid at a time after a while. After 2 weeks, you can then go outside with the dog to meet 5 people a day. Note: If you don’t do this socialization, the dog won’t like to be hugged, won’t like men, etc. Continue reading

Potty Training 2 – Notes from Dr. Ian Dunbar’s book, “Before and After

Intro The following procedure from Dr. Dunbar is exacting, but if you follow it, the puppy will most likely never potty inside and will most likely never chew on anything it’s not supposed to. As a result, the puppy will be potty-trained quickly (because they’ve only done the right thing every time). Continue reading

Potty Training 1 – Notes from Dr. Ian Dunbar’s book, “Before and After Getting Your Puppy”

Supplies: Playpen, crate, bed Water bowl (no food bowl…all kibble should be fed by putting into the Kongs) 2 Kongs Puppy pads (for when you are away from home) Metal leash (chew- proof) and carabiner Slip-collar (the dog doesn’t wear a collar for fear of choking, but you can use the slip collar when bringing the dog out to potty.) Freeze-dried liver treats (3 per potty) Puppy kibble Continue reading

National Suicide Hotline Phone Number: 1-800-273-8255

PTSD and other psychiatric problems can come with a risk of suicide. If you need someone to talk to, the phone number for the national suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255. It’s free, and it’s open 24/7. Continue reading

Honoring Henry

We are heartbroken to share the news that Henry, one of the first children we trained a service dog for, has passed away after a short and sudden illness. Since early 2013, service dog Bailey has been Henry's best friend and constant companion, and we have loved watching them grow together. We will miss Henry's laugh, how he cuddled with Bailey when he was supposed to be getting ready for school, and how he loved to sneak treats to his best buddy. If you would like to honor brave Henry Wills, 100% of your donation will go towards training and providing a service dog for someone special. The service dog will be named after Henry’s favorite song: Sunshine.

Project Australia

We are pausing all current regular fundraising efforts in order to help our Australian efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and relocate animals that are impacted by the devastating wildfires. Please donate to this urgent relief effort.

Testing Ella’s Reactivity

In a public big-box store with elevators, stairs, moving walkway, parking lot, grocery cart, strangers, and the trainer carrying a garbage can.  

Task of “Cover”

 

Secret Service and White House Dog Breeds

Dog-loving visitors at the White House sometimes wonder why they see several breeds of dogs there, even though the Secret Service uses exclusively Belgian Malinois. The answer can be found a great book, "Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States" by Maria Goodavage. Ms. Goodavage writes about the bomb-sniffing PSCO dogs that are used in the White House that are non-Malinois breeds like Labrador retrievers and Springer Spaniels.  The anacronym PSCO stands for Personel Screening Open Area. The program use these non-Belgian Malinois began in 2014 because the Belgian Malinois scare people and thus people move away from them (which is what you don't want when the dog is supposed to sniff out explosives people might be carrying). These bomb-sniffing PSCO dogs are also known as: Friendly Dogs Floppy Eared Dogs These "Friendly Dogs" (the term used most often) are working dogs and they wear a black vest. Friendly Dogs are friendly, but they still shouldn't be petted by visitors because they have an important job to do. If you want to ask questions of the handler, they might give a quick answer, but since they're working, the author says that a Secret Service employee will often come over to answer questions, instead. Parade magazine had an article on White House dogs with this picture by Maria Goodavage: