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Pawsitivity Service Dogs

Getting a service dog if you have a dog already

People often ask us if we recommend getting a service dog if they already have a pet dog. While we have done that before, it's not ideal, and some organizations won't do it at all. A service dog is supposed to be focused on you and be able to help you with your disability. When a family has a pet dog, though, the service dog will naturally want to play with the other dog he/she will learn that there are plenty of other fun things in the world besides you. This scenario is far from ideal, and it's one reason why we insist that handlers never bring their service dog to a dog park.  Continue reading

Innovation for escalators

While we usually train our service dogs to handle elevators, we tell the handlers that it's always best to use an elevator or stairs because a dog's nail can get caught in escalator tread. One handler came up with a neat workaround though: putting secure booties on the dog!    Continue reading

Fun pics from a graduated service dog

Xander’s man texted us these great pictures of Xander. They graduated several years ago, and have already gone on dozens of airplane journeys. We occasionally need to travel with a service dog, usually accompanying a recent graduated handler/service dog team, and if we have questions about the most recent regulations, we can always ask Xander’s man because he has such an incredible amount of experience flying together! Continue reading

Service Dog Practicing Heel

Lexi’s woman shows how a service dog training never ends. In this video, the service dog is focusing intently on her handler...she hardly needs the cue “Heel” because she is already in position (in order to watch her handler). Great work!! Continue reading

Myra Fourwinds Dog Training

People in the Twin Cities, MN area often ask me if I know someone who could help them find a service dog candidate, or help them train their own dog to be a service dog. We don't do that at Pawsitivity, but I always refer them to Myra Fourwinds at Dog Services. She is now available online, too, via Facebook, or vie mail at dogservicesorg@gmail.com.  Myra also sells some great posters and brochures on both dog training and service dog training, like this one: Continue reading

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