Category Archives: blog carnival

A very good down

This is my post for The 10th Assistance Dog Blog Carnival where the theme is Perfect 10.
Jory is my fourth guide dog, and we have been a team for almost 10 weeks. When I come home with a dog, there has always been a new skill to teach or an old skill that needs to be polished. Valerie had to learn to come on command, Zorro needed to heal, and Dee needed not to bark every time people came close to us or opened our stairway door leading to our floor in the apartment building.
Jory is an excellent guide dog, and she is 20 months old. She is fast-paced, confident in crowds, and loves to learn new skills. She can find railings for stairs, find rooms after going to them once or twice, and loves traveling. She heals, comes when called even if someone is petting or playing with a toy with her,and can hold a sit-stay for more than 20 minutes. However, the skill we are striving to perfect is the down. I cannot figure out why she doesn’t like to do it half the time. It doesn’t matter if she is in or out of harness, on carpet or tile, or in familiar or unfamiliar places. She especially doesn’t like to do it in small spaces, like on the floor in the front seat of a car or between my feat and the legs of a table. I could physically force her into a down, but I don’t like to train like that.
Clicker is my first method. She can put her nose on my hand and move to follow my fist. I moved my hand first with a treat to get her into position, and that helped some at first. After that, I took away the treat, moved my fist, and c/ted when she started going into the down position. I moved on to moving my fist and c/ted after she was completely down and settled. That works sometimes but not always. I am obviously miscommunicating somehow, or there is some reason why she doesn’t like to down, and I cannot figure out what it is.

It is especially frustrating in public or when I’m working. I go to the houses or schools of blind children and adults to teach braille and technology. I was sitting in someone’s kitchen and asked Jory to go under the table and down/stay. She went under and sat but didn’t lie down. She did the same thing in a restaurant with carpeted floors. If she does eventually lie down, she doesn’t stay. During a lions club meeting, she got up seven times and I couldn’t get her to get back into position.
I always carry a clicker and treat pouch with and c/t every time she immediately lies down on her own or with one command. It’s a high-value meat treat that I don’t give her for any thing else. I also pet/praise along with the treat in hopes that will make her think this is a fun game that she wants to win more often.
I asked her puppy raiser if she had any suggestions, and she said to try a blanket on the floor. Jory likes the blanket, but it doesn’t add to more downs. I asked my trainer and school for suggestions. They looked in her file and it says she had this problem when she was a puppy too. They said try a leash correction or more leash cues. I tried it a couple of times, and it doesn’t help at all. In fact, it makes Jory dig in and refuse even harder.
With each dog, I learn something new. This time, I think it is if one method doesn’t work, try something else till she understands. I don’t expect her to be perfect, but I’ll be happy when she is very good and happily lying on the carpet or tile in and out of harness.


The ninth Assistance Dog Blog Carnival

Here is the ninth edition of the assistance dog blog carnival!!! Thanks to everyone who participated. 🙂 This time, the theme was moments.

Katie from Bipolar Spirit wrote how her psychiatric puppy in training helps calm and ground her in her post Intuitive Service Dog
Patti from Plays with Puppies wrote about watching the birth of leader dog puppies in her post A Moment When Anything is Possible
Karyn from Through a Guide’s Eyes wrote about service dogs who kept her alive in her post Saving a Life or Two
Flo from A Mutt and His Pack wrote about moments with an older service dog and the puppy in training in the post In Transition
L-squared wrote about quiet memorable moments with her guide dogs in her post Moments of Greatness
Sharon from After Gadget wrote about the ways her service dog makes her life easier in her post With a New Service Dog the Moments Are Many, Stark, and Blended
In Freda Writes, there are moments from birth to now 1.5 years later in the post Moments of Epiphany: My First Eighteen Months with a Service Dog
Cyndy from Gentle Wit wrote about moments when her guide dog is working but stationary in her post Quiet Moments
Kathie from Kathie Comments wrote about moments of teamwork in her post Happy   White Cane Safety  Day Celebrated with Yellow Guide Dog
Brooke from Ruled by Paws wrote about saying goodbye to her second dog guide in her post He Said it Was Time

call for submissions for the ninth assistance dog blog carnival

It’s my turn to host the ninth edition of
This is a quarterly event where people write about a theme related to guide, hearing, mobility, or other assistance dogs.
This time the theme is moments. Some ideas to get you started are:
  • The moment when your puppy or dog learned a task
  • The moment you and your dog felt like a team for the first time
  • Last moments working with or being with your dog
  • Favorite moments, funny moments, embarrassing moments, ETC
You don’t have to have an assistance dog to participate. You can be a puppy raiser or have some other relationship to assistance dogs.
To participate, you can leave a comment with the following information:
  1. Name of your blog: E.G. Believe in Who You Are
  2. The title of your post: E.G. My Favorite Moments
If you can’t or don’t want to comment, you can also email me mch26485 at huskies dot bloomu dot edu or tweet @latinanewschic if you want to post. If you could please link to this post when you are writing your entries, that would be helpful.
Deadline for submissions is October 31.

call for submissions for the november disability blog carnival

Still accepting late submissions if anyone wants to write.
I know for me, and probably others as well, the word inspiration or inspirational mostly triggers a negative conotation. No one wants to be classified as “the supercrip” and all the stereotypes and misconceptions that entails. However, being inspired can be a good thing. Some suggestions could be was there a disabled character from a book or movie, fictional or nonfictional, who inspired you when you first became disabled? Is there someone whom you have met in real life or online who has had an impact on how you view your disability or disabled people in general? It doesn’t have to be anything huge; it could be something as simple as before I didn’t know I could dance from my wheelchair or this tip helped me save time on my low energy days.
When you submit, I’d like your name or screen name, the name of your blog, and the link to your post. Links are due by November 27.