Pawsitivity Service Dogs


Pawsitivity Service Dogs

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#summershirtproject #bekindtoeveryone Continue reading

Part 3, Notes on book "Animal Assisted Play Therapy"

As part of our staff's continuing education training to continuously improve, we take yearly seminars to improve our skills.  Encourage people to let the dog come to them. 3-second rule Works especially well for cats Pet for 3 seconds. Stoop. Watch for stress signals. Relationship builder: Point out treats that you "find" on the ground, Horses: Work for 90 minutes. Break for 60. Work for 90.   Continue reading

Emulating Germany

Did you know that Germany outlawed shock collars many years ago? And now, Petco in the US stopped selling shock collars! So cool! (Goose approved this message.) #petco #stoptheshock We believe in positive reinforcement training for many reasons, including that it works better than punishment.

Notes from book, "Social, Civvy, and Savvy"

Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDAT-KA KPACTP has written a wonderful book on socializing puppies, "Social, Civil, and Savvy." We are continuously improving, and reading about new animal training techniques is part of this process. Here are my notes! Continue reading

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