Behind the Breed: A Service Dog

The Adventures of Alaric Part 3

By Michele Forto

If you’ve been following The Adventures of Alaric then you know that Alaric is working to become a psychiatric service dog.  He is completing a 12 week board and train at Denver Dog Works called Camp Works 3; where he is being trained in advanced obedience, Canine Good Citizen, and beginning public access training.  Alaric visits his handler weekly to build trust and bond with his handler as well as to give her the support she needs.

This week Alaric was due for his visit that ended up shorter than we’d like.  His handler wasn’t feeling well.  Alaric and I showed up and she was nowhere to be seen.  I came in and unleashed Alaric who immediately went to the kitchen to grab a quick sip of water, then returned to me with a bit of a whine.  He seemed upset as I spoke with the handler’s roommate.  I asked Alaric to find her by saying her name.  I simply said “find _____” (he has not been trained to do this and they’ve only been meeting each other for 3 weeks) He went directly to her bedroom door and gave a light scratch on the door and a little whine.  Once she appeared he became elated with excitement.  It was a happy reunion.

We then worked a bit with Alaric on stays while she went out of his sight and repeated this behavior of hide and seek.  Alaric is looking less and less at me for reassurance and guidance and keeping his watchful eye on his handler.  The bond is being built and getting stronger and stronger.  His handler is commanding Alaric who without hesitation performs his commands.

Also this week Alaric was taken to the grocery store, where he pulled too much.  He was taken to lunch with me yesterday before his visit with his handler where he performed well and remained under the table.

__________________

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.


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: