How to train a service dog advanced command skills?

Introduction

In the previous part of “How to train a service dog?” article series, I instructed you how to use click training to teach assistance dog the basic commands such as sitting, recalling…

In this article, I’m going to show you the rest technics that a good service dog must have

A good assistance dog should be able to well behave even when he’s off leash.

In order to train your therapy dog to well behave even there’s no lead on him, we use the Premack Principle which uses the excitements and distractions as a powerful rewards.

Loyalty – a hallmark of the best therapy dog

The candidate must concentrate on you. This is absolutely crucial due to the fact that a handicap may need instant support at any times. Therefore, it’s necessary to teach the assistant to remain faithful to his owner. Simply put, he has no right to greet other individuals.

Firstly, you will need a friend. Put the dog between you and your friend. Tell your friend to approach him slowly. In case the trainee doesn’t focus on you and look at the approaching person, what your friend will do is to stop immediately his motion and ignore the dog. Otherwise, click and pay the trainee yummy treat.

Secondly, continue that process until the candidate realizes that he will receive no rewards if he cares about strangers.

Using this concept to teach the dog not to be distracted by other elements such as food dropped on the ground, other animals like cats or vehicles.

Teach your companion when he is allowed to rest and enjoy his free time

A service dog is definitively not a machine. Just like us, he needs some rests to charge up his vitality. Thus, it’s necessary to teach him when he’s permitted to enjoy freedom.

To train this command, ask a friend to come with a dog toy. Click and say “Play”, then reward when your companion pays attention to the toy.

A good therapy dog must have the ability to perform appropriate behaviors when they access public territory

These public set of skills play a vitae role. The other people will respect your dog and allow them to access the places where the dogs are supposed to be banned for example museums, stores, theaters, cathedrals, planes… These set of skills include:

Firstly, the control ability for needs regarding to urinating and defecating.

Secondly, ignore the irresistible smell food and drinks as well as anything interesting and noisy.

Thirdly, move quietly and calmly in a heel position in a public place. When needed, the service dog will be able to change his posture to support his owner.

Fourthly, stay calm and friendly, never show the signs of aggressiveness to strangers and other dogs.

Make sure to buy a service dog vest for your companion in order to let the public know that your therapy dog has already been well trained.

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