Dog Works Radio: Service Dogs

March 20, 2011

The Dog Doctor Radio Show

On the latest edition of Dog Works Radio, we discussed the service dog training program offered at Denver Dog Works.

Training a service dog is a long process and at Denver Dog Works we take the time to develop a program that is suited for you. We do not offer “cookie cutter” service dogs where all the dogs are trained and then offer you one. At Denver Dog Works you are involved from the very beginning.

The Dog Works Radio Show is hosted by well respected canine behaviorist, Robert Forto and the lead trainer at Denver Dog Works, Michele Forto. Dog Works Radio is brought to you by Twine Group Media and Dog Works Training Centers. The Dog Works Radio Show demonstrates through guests, call-ins, chats and social media how dog owners can have a balanced relationship with their dogs.

Listen to the latest show here:

Dog Works Radio: Service Dogs

We welcome your comments suggestions and concerns. Please comment below or send them to live@dogworksradio.com

Robert FortoTeam InekaAlaska Dog WorksMushing RadioDog Works RadioDenver Dog WorksDaily Post

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Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskiesand Dog Works Radio Shows

 


Dog Works Training Centers: Service Dog-Grover

February 14, 2011

Service Dog: GROVER

 

Client’s Name: Peter P.

Dogs Name: “Grover”

City: Englewood, CO

Breed: Labradoodle

Likes: playing fetch and getting to hang out with his handler

Pet-Peeves: picking up the remote control (which is my job!)

Favorite Toy: ball

Favorite Treat:

Favorite Walk: around my neighborhood to the park

Best Trick: Camp Counselor “Qyain” says I need to master picking up objects for my handler and then I’ll be the best.

Arrival Story: I began training with Camp Director Michele Forto about a year and a half ago. When I began I was already 2 years old and my handler’s family decided that I was big enough to help my handler – luckily I passed Michele’s tests and was allowed to participate in her service dog program.

Bio: I’m 4.5 years old and I get to go everywhere with my handler and I enjoy helping him meet new people and helping him pick up objects.

Motto: “Hi There”

We proudly feed and recommend

Michele Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works | Daily Post

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Michele Forto is the lead trainer for Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows


Dog Works Radio: Pit Bulls as Service Dogs? Not in Denver

December 13, 2010

Pit Bulls as Service Dogs?

On the latest edition of the Dog Works Radio we spoke to an expert in ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) policy in Denver, Candice Adler about the recent ruling to not allow Pit Bulls as service dogs in Denver.

Pit Bulls as service dogs will be not allowed in the City and County of Denver, CO in a landmark ruling last week. The City Council turned down down an amendment to the decade long breed ban that includes Pit Bulls. A suit was brought forth by a US Solider to be allowed to keep his pit bull as a service dog. The Department of Justice announced this summer that new rules will be in place this coming March. The City of Denver said it doesn’t care and they are not making exceptions. A suit is in the works…

The Dog Works Radio Show is hosted by well respected canine behaviorist, Dr. Robert Forto and is brought to you by Twine Group Media and Dog Works Training Centers. The Dig Doctor Radio Show demonstrates through guests, call-ins, chats and social media how dog owners can have a balanced relationship with their dogs.

Listen to the latest show here:

Dog Works Radio: Pit Bulls as Service Dogs? Not in Denver

We welcome your comments suggestions and concerns. Please comment below or send them to live@dogdoctorradio.com

[ Rewind: Mush You Huskies: Ballad of the Northland ]

[ Rewind: Dog Works Radio: Atticus the Wolfdog of a US Solider ]

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Dr. Robert Forto is a canine behaviorist and the training director for Dog Works Training Centers. Dr. Forto is a musher currently in Alaska training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular programs, Dog Works Radio and Mush! You Huskies.

 


Behind the Breed: Siberian Husky

November 22, 2010

In this series we will profile breeds registered with the American Kennel Club to give dog owners some ideas of what to expect of their dog. At Denver Dog Works we work with a network of breeders and with 20 years experience and training thousands of dogs we can help the new dog owner choose a breed that is right for you, your family and lifestyle.

Behind the Breed: Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Trainers Note: As many of you know the Siberian Husky of Sibe as we call them have been a huge part of my life since getting my first one in 1987. His name was Axl (after the singer in Guns and Roses who was hugely popular at the time). This breed has captured my heart the primary reason I am a trainer today. I have competed in many events with my Sibes over the years including conformation, obedience, weight pulls, Canine Good Citizen, Service and Therapy work, and of course dog sledding. My plans are to run a competitive team of Siberians in the Iditarod in the near future.

Bred in Northeast Asia as a sled dog, the Siberian Husky is known for its amazing endurance and willingness to work. Its agreeable and outgoing temperament makes it a great all-around dog, suitable for anything from sledding to therapy work. Because it originated in cold climates, Siberians have a thicker coat then most other breeds of dog, made up of a dense cashmere-like undercoat and a longer, coarse top coat. All colors from black to pure white are allowed, and a variety of markings on the head is common.

A Look Back
The Siberian Husky is widely believed to have originated from within the Chukchi Tribe, off the eastern Siberian peninsula. These dogs were used in 1908 for the All-Alaskan Sweepstakes, which consisted of a 408 mile long dogsled race, and served in the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit during World War II.

Right Breed for You?
Siberians are relatively easy keepers, but their thick coats require weekly brushing. New owners should be prepared to provide an outlet for exercise daily, whether through walks or an enclosed space in which to run. Predatory instincts are strong, so Siberians should be supervised around small animals in and around the home.

  • Working Group; AKC recognized in 1930.
  • Ranging in size from 20 to 23 ½ inches tall at the shoulder and 35 to 60 pounds.
  • Sled dog.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc. http://www.akc.org

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works

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Dr. Robert Forto the owner of Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works, is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows

 


New Rules for Service Animals and the ADA

September 22, 2010

New Rules for Service Animals and the ADA

The Department of Justice is muddying the waters of the disabled and the use of service animals in the new definitions for what a service animal must be. In the past people have used animals of all types. Everything from a gerbil to a donkey for a wide range of disabilities including mobility, psychiatric, seizure alert, diabetic and hearing dogs.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

New Service Animal definition injures the disabled

Our current definition for service animal under the ADA is, “Service animal means any guide dog, signal dog, *or other animal* individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.”

The new definition is, “Service animal means any *dog* that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”

I, for one, agree with the definition that service animals should just be DOGS. I would love to have your thoughts on the subject as I am sure there are many opinions out there.

I welcome your comments and concerns. Please comment below.

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works

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Dr. Robert Forto the training director for Dog Works Training Centers, is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and The Dog Doctor Radio Show


We Have the Best and Train the Rest

August 14, 2010

We have the Best and Train the Rest

By Robert Forto, PhD

A lot is said about a training philosophy of a dog training school. Many times it is the first question that is asked when someone calls inquiring about bringing their dog to training. Philosophy means different things to different trainers but I assure you that if you don’t have a clear understanding of what yours is, you will lose customers.

Many people searching for dog training fall into four categories and we will discuss those with regards to your training philosophy and see if you and your training school are positioned correctly to meet the needs of your clients and their dog.

Three Types of Clients

The first type of client is the most common. It is the client whose dog has just destroyed the three thousand dollar leather couch and this is the last straw. They have put up with their dog’s “bad behavior” for too long and need help.

The second type is what I call the “big-box-store-rejects”. These are the clients that have attended a training class at a big box corporate training center and they just didn’t get their needs met. Think about it. Would you go to a doctor at a Wal-Mart? No. These training classes are great for socialization and basic manners but they are not equipped to fix behavioral problems.

The third type is “As Seen on TV” clients. These clients watch a dog training show on cable and realize that their dog has the “exact” same problem as the dog on the show. They may try a couple of the techniques (and with little success), and then call a dog training school and enter into training. The only problem with this is you will often hear them say: “It’s going to cost how much? And take how long? I just saw John (T.V. trainer’s name changed to protect the innocent) do it in 15 minutes on T.V.!”

The fourth type is the client that enjoys working with their dog. They have lived through the puppy stage, the adolescence stage, and the problem stage and now they are ready to have fun! These clients are ready to take sports classes like flyball, agility or Rally, working classes like therapy dog training or Canine Good Citizen testing, and the like.

There is nothing wrong with any of these four types of clients. These are the clients that keep you in business. These are the clients that are calling you because they need help. These are the clients that can bring you endless repeat business and referrals. But you have to meet their expectations and their training goals and this is where your training philosophy is so important.

Training Philosophy of Denver Dog Works in Bullet Points:

• Know Yourself, Know Your Dog.

• A balanced dog is in a state of harmony with Mother Nature—as a calm submissive pack follower who is fulfilled physically with exercise, psychologically with rules and boundaries and limitations and emotionally with affection from his owner.

• Teach my clients the highest level of connection between two species.

• In terms of philosophy, teach my clients to choose a dog that is appropriate for them and their family.

• Teach my clients to acknowledge some deeper reasons for getting a dog: are you imposing your own emotional needs on the dog—and missing what your dog actually needs as a result?

• Teach my client the difference between discipline and punishment and how to set rules and boundaries and limitations on their dog.

• Teach my client what goes on in the canine mind and develop a stronger, more fulfilling relationship with their best friend and give back to their dog just a fraction of the many gifts he has given to you.

We Have the Best and Train the Rest

Our training philosophy at Denver Dog Works is not only a procedure but a lifestyle.

I have learned in the nineteen years of literally living with a pack of dogs and on the sled dog trail that it has offered me a unique perspective. There I was forced to examine my attitude about everything including my dogs. I was constantly challenged to become more open to the language dogs use to communicate with us. This experience confirms our deepest intuitions about the relationship of human beings not only with their dog but every aspect of their lives.

I hope to foster my clients with a diverse and varied understanding of the environment for which they live. I hope to foster a more realistic understanding of their dogs and an increased awareness of the benefits of their companionship.

Drawing on my experience as a kennel owner of 50 Siberian Huskies I will teach my clients how dog training goes far beyond the elementary instruction of basic obedience; as it must encompass a whole new attitude and lifestyle with their dog. It must touch on the levels of a dog’s own life that are often ignored.

In conclusion, I will bring my client into the world of a dog musher, canine behaviorist, and father of three by using my experience as a lens through which they may broaden their understanding of their dog. The stage will then be set for a balanced, lasting relationship between them and their best friend.

If you have any questions or if you would like to have your dog be one of the best trained dogs in the world please give us a call at 303-578-9881 or contact us through our website at http://www.denverdogworks.com

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Dr. Robert Forto is the training director of Denver Dog Works and The Ineka Project in Colorado. Dr. Forto hosts a weekly radio program, The Dog Doctor Radio Show, every Saturday. Dr. Forto can be reached through his website at http://www.denverdogworks.com


Traveling with Service Dogs

July 20, 2010

Travel Tips with Service Dogs

Training service dogs is intensive, time consuming and fulfilling.  Many factors come into effect.  The things we take for granted must be taken under consideration when going public places with your service dog. No matter the reason for your need of having a service dog – considerations when flying are of the utmost concern.

Getting to the airport, maneuvering through the parking lot and ticket lines, security, and finally making it to your gate means you and your service dog will encounter several people, carts, luggage, benches, and other large unfamiliar objects, sights, sounds, and smells.  The environment can be overwhelming and send your dog into a stimulus overload.

If you travel often – consider taking your service puppy in training to public service transportation hubs often.  Bus stations, subways, light rail, and airports.  Just going and exposing a puppy to the sights, sounds, and smells, people, luggage etc. can turn an overwhelming experience into one of complacence.

When you travel by air, be sure to expose your puppy to people in uniform, security personnel may pat your dog down – be sure to kindly ask them not to play with your puppy or dog as to not energize them and to keep them calm.  It’s a good idea when making your travel plans to notify the airline and hotels that you are traveling with a service dog so that proper accommodations can be made for you in advance.

It is a good idea to travel with your service dog with his recent health certificate at all times.  A health certificate is usually good for 2 weeks and can be required in many states prior to your dog being allowed to leave the airport.  The State of Hawaii has a special requirement for all pets.  Be sure to familiarize with all state rules and travel restrictions. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/ai/aqs/info or visit http://www.petstohawaii.com/

Be sure to take your dog on a potty break before you enter the airport and if you are going to be there more than the standard 2 hours it takes, make arrangements with the Red Carpet Club to get an agent to take your dog out to the tarmac to go to the restroom.  Always keep in mind that things might not go as planned.

Frequent visits to train will make the experience better for you and your dog and it will give some of the staff at the airport to become familiarized with you which makes the experience much more relaxing.

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Michele Forto is the Denver Dog Training Examiner, a certified canine trainer at Denver Dog Works and the co-host of the Dog Doctor Radio Show


Every Dog Has Its Day-Part 4

July 9, 2010

Every Dog Has Its Day- Part 4

“Every dog has its day dog, when the big dog throws him a bone. One moment in the sunshine, when your ducks line up in a row.” – Toby Keith

Toby has been very busy.  He has been training with several other dogs in group classes and has gone on several field trips with his friend Alaric.

Toby and his handler are continuing to work together weekly and our progressing through their training very well.  They are fast becoming a great team.  Tomorrow Toby and his handler will be featured in the Denver Post YourHub.com and featured as a story about persevering, strength, and courage.

You can read the story here: Coping with a Little Canine Help

As you might recall when I met Toby his handler had rescued him from the Denver Dumb Friends League and do to her illness returned him just a month later on the same day I was too meet them.  I was able to get her to go back and get Toby and upon my evaluation I discovered that temperamentally he was one of the soundest puppies I’d ever tested, so his training began immediately.  Toby has been in training now for 5 weeks and has at least 7 weeks of intensive training to do with me at Denver Dog Works before he is sent to be with his handler permanently.  When this occurs Toby and Shauna will begin their Canine Good Citizen Training and public training.

In the upcoming weeks Toby will be visiting several new places; the mall, grocery store, hardware store, park and vet office.  Toby is also in Canine Good Citizen classes and is doing quite well being that he is the youngest in the class.

As a psychiatric service dog Toby will be expected to comfort, provide a safe environment, retrieve medications, and provide his handler with unconditional love and support in times of need.  Toby is already performing his duties as a service dog and will continue to perfect his job over the next several months.

If you would like to help Shauna with the costs of training please contact us at Denver Dog Works

Tags: Canine Training Denver | Dog Training Denver | Michele Forto | Psychiatric Service Dogs

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Michele Forto is the Denver Dog Training Examiner, a certified canine trainer at Denver Dog Works and the co-host of the Dog Doctor Radio Show


The Adventures of Alaric Part 6

June 30, 2010

The Adventures of Adventures of Alaric Part 6

Alaric, worked out in the green space in front of his handler’s home.  He worked around other dogs, children and other distractions.  Alaric’s handler is getting better and better at giving him directions and him following them.

Alaric is learning to respect other dogs no matter what they are doing around him.  He likes to play with them, but has barked loudly in a way that makes his handler nervous. Alaric is adjusting to his new jobs and lifestyle and doing quite well.

Next week he will be spending the a few days going downtown, to malls, grocery stores, and visiting schools.

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Michele Forto is Denvers Dog Training Examiner, a certified canine trainer at Denver Dog Works and the co-host of the Dog Doctor Radio Show


Every Dog Has Its Day Part 3

June 24, 2010

Every Dog Has Its Day Part 3

“Every dog has its day dog, when the big dog throws him a bone. One moment in the sunshine, when your ducks line up in a row.” – Toby Keith

This past week, Toby mastered the “stand” command while getting his first bath.  He also remained in the stand position while getting his nails clipped.  I know this doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment but getting your nails clipped and being bathed can be a scary experience for the first time.

Puppies between the ages of 12 and 14 weeks should be exposed to water whether bathing or learning to swim.  If you’re here in Denver and you are interested in teaching your puppy to swim check out the Canine Fun and Fitness Center which is just up the street from Denver Dog Works.

Toby and his handler worked well this week together.  Toby performed all of his commands; sit, down, stand, walking on a loose leash for 20 paces now, wait at the door, cuddles, kisses, hugs, and visit.  We worked with Toby on several different surfaces including rubber floor, pavement, carpet, grass, dirt, and woodchips.

Puppies between the ages of 12 and 14 weeks should be exposed to many different social settings with and without people and with and without other dogs and animals.  Getting them used to different surfaces and performing their commands on different surfaces ensures that your puppy is confident in any environment.

Toby participated in Canine Good Citizen class as well this past Saturday and he is doing well.  Working his way up the ranks towards performing supervised separation which is just a bit too difficult for the little guy, remember he’s only 14 weeks old and still a puppy.

Any dog can participate in Canine Good Citizen classes and I highly recommend them.  The American Kennel Club now offers a puppy program called S.T.A.R., ask your local CGC trainer if they offer Puppy S.T.A.R. classes as well.  Both classes are beneficial to you and your dog and obtaining those social goals.

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Michele Forto is Denvers Dog Training Examiner, a certified canine trainer at Denver Dog Works and the co-host of the Dog Doctor Radio Show program.


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