Monday, September 10, 2007

A service dog problem and 1 week in.

This handsome boy is Hunter, just one of the dogs I saw this week. Hunter is a service dog that needed a refresher in a few things. He is as smart as he is beautiful. Training is a use it or lose it endeavor for ALL dogs so practice is essential to keep them fresh.

Just a few of his talents include opening doors, retrieving items for his person, barking to alert of a problem, pushing elevator buttons and turning lights on and off.

PLEASE when you see a service dog, feel free to admire them but do NOT pet them. * They are working and petting and handling them can interfere with their job. It causes them to be distracted by people making it harder for their handler to direct them. That is one of the problems Hunters person is having with well meaning neighbors. They come in and make of him causing him to get overstimulated. The touching is inadvertently rewarding the excited behavior by Hunter. Now he is getting over stimulated by all company and people he meets. This causes problems for his handler because he is to distracted by the other people to pay attention as well as he needs to for her.

EVERY interaction counts with dogs. So please don't be part of that problem for working dogs and their people. These dogs are not pets, but actual working dogs. Without the work that they do, many of the people they serve would not have the quality of life they have by living independently with these dogs. So remember, admiration is fine, interference is not.

Jenny has settled in nicely. I still supervise everyone well but have been able to relax more. The girls seem to be doing just fine together and have even had a few nice play sessions with one another. We have only had one quick tiff over food. Normal behavior and now managed to prevent future episodes. She has even begun playing with Jack as well. Here she is showing off her new collar tag.

(Only $7 available custom ordered made while you wait at our local shelter ) They will even engrave both sides for you!)

Here she is dragging her kong into her nighttime crate for some chew time all on her own. (note the stuffed pug collection of my son on the shelf at left.)

Here she is in her daytime crate doing the same. The daytime crate is only used by her when she wants her own space. This way Missy still has her crate all to herself as well. To avoid stare downs between the girls they are crated in separate rooms when I am gone. Not all dogs need to be crated separately. Since I brought a new bitch into the territory of another it is recommended to avoid any issues between them when unsupervised. Eye contact between dogs can be a threat or challenge and can start fights between dogs quickly.

I just loved the face she was making in this one.
As you can see she is taller than Missy.

Happy to hang out with everyone in the family.

Caught snuggling with her boy. (the stuffed animal to the right is another pug)

Now how cute is that?

(* Note: You should ALWAYS ask the owner of ANY dog you meet if you can touch them BEFORE doing so. Not all dogs are friendly to strangers and not all people know the proper way to greet a dog. Or they may simply be busy practicing a training session like ignoring people while on walks. And please, do not be offended of an owner says no. They have their reasons.)

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