Pawsitivity Service Dogs


Pawsitivity Service Dogs

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Elevator practice

Goose, a PTSD service dog in training, did very well in the elevator. (We have been practicing in different locations.) On the way up, he even stepped up onto the cart!

Update from Sunny!

Update from Sunny! He got a new pig today and he hasn’t put it down he’s so happy! 🐷 Sunny is named after the favorite song of a boy who received an autism service dog from Pawsitivity, and his favorite song was "Sunshine on My Shoulders."

Home Light

Story time: (I'm writing this because I want to support one of our sponsors, HomeLight). When we had to sell my parent’s home a few years ago, we had a great deal of difficulty because they had lived in it for years and had only done minimal updates. There was nothing really wrong with it, but it hasn’t been redone in years. We thought about redoing the kitchen and bathroom, but I didn’t have the skills to do it alone. Luckily, there was a good solution. Continue reading

Pawsitivity featured in Monitor

Local non-profit trains service dogs for vets and kids Executive director Tom Coleman with Winston, a service dog-in-training. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin) Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2021 10:30 pm Midway Como Frogtown Monitor and Longfellow Nokomis Messenger Continue reading

Part 2, Notes on book "Animal Assisted Play Therapy"

Two Pawsitivity staff members will be taking a seminar on Animal Assisted Play Therapy to help us work with children with autism and other disorders. Here are some notes from a book we are studying. Horse training: 95% of horses are trained in the traditional way (which is based on aversion or even pain) "The horses are dead behind the eyes." Clicker training (positive reinforcement training) is rarer but has amazing results. Dog training: Only 40% of training is the traditional way (which is based on aversion or even pain) Clicker training (positive reinforcement training) has amazing results. Tip: Some people like to use a graveled-area with horses so they don't graze. Note that there is a disadvantage to this method because the horses will show fewer natural behaviors. Flawed ideas: Dominance theory of dogs (ala Cesar Milan) Natural horsemanship for horses (same thing) Dog stress signals (many of these signals are constantly changing so they are easy to miss): Head: Head-turning Pulling head down Ears: Ears down Mouth: Lip-licking Tense muscles around lips Yawning Panting Closing the mouth (both panting and closing the mouth sometimes doesn't mean stress) Eyes: Showing whites of eyes Looking at you out of the corner of their eye Tense muscles on forehead Body: Freezing (whole body tense) Shaking body (as if shaking off water) Pacing Turning body away (or walking away) Horse stress-signals (even more constantly changing than dogs, so they are easy to miss, often several right in a row): Head: Head-bobbing Head-shaking Ears: Ears back (ears forward is curiosity) Ears flicking back and forth One ear forward and one ear back  Mouth: Tense mouth Constant lip-licking  Constant chewing Grinding teeth Panting Nose: Flared nostrils Tense nostrils Eyes: Eyes partially open and muscles at the top of the eye tense (a bit like our furrowed brow)  Tail Tail-swishing High head carriage with tail pressed down Feet: Pawing Freezing Constant movement Sweating The frequent dropping of manure Lack of interest Listlessness Note: Extreme horse stress signals: Stereotypical behaviors: Weaving  Box=walking Crib-biting Wind-sucking Kicking Self-mutilation Aggression to humans Bolting   Continue reading

Notes on book "Animal Assisted Play Therapy," Part 1 of 2

Some Pawsitivity staff are taking a week-long class on Animal Assisted Play Therapy in late 2021 to help us work with people with disabilities, including psychiatric disabilities. Here are notes from one of the textbooks. 2 methods of AAPT (Animal Assisted Play Therapy): Directive - teaching skills or addressing problems. Always goal-directed. Non-directive (unlike AAT/Animal Assisted Therapy, which is always goal-directed) Continue reading

New Rules For Airline Travel with a Service Dog

The airlines are subject to new rules for service dogs who are doing airline travel, to take effect on December 30th, 2020. The full details are on a PDF at the US Department of Transportation's website, but the main things to know are: Continue reading

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!  


Guess what? A Pawsitivity Service Dogs hoodie sweatshirt is available. Continue reading