Four Strategies for Service Dog Handlers When Encountering a Reactive Dog
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
2w ago
With more locations becoming pet-friendly, service dog handlers are having more encounters with reactive dogs. Moreover, some service dogs themselves are selected inappropriately, and display reactive or aggressive behavior, posing a risk to other service dogs. These encounters are stressful for the dog and the handler, and they may even lead to behavior issues in the service dog. While completely avoiding encounters with reactive dogs is impossible, trainers can help handlers by teaching strategies that can maximize the safety of a service dog team. Reward checking-in behavior. From an earl ..read more
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Behavior Problems in Service Dog Candidates
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
1M ago
One of the most difficult aspects of service dog work is trying to determine whether a behavior problem is something that can be addressed successfully or whether to career-change the service dog candidate. Few dogs are “perfect” for this strenuous and complicated role. Most dogs present at least some training and behavior challenges as they mature. However, determining which types of behavior problems can be worked through and which cannot is a complex and nuanced process. There are some situations where the dog obviously cannot work in public access. For example, dogs who exhibit aggressive ..read more
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Service Dogs and Smart Technology: A Dynamic Duo
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
3M ago
In a rapidly advancing world, smart technology can offer solutions for various challenges faced by people with disabilities. This raises some interesting questions: Could technology replace some tasks traditionally done by service dogs? How could service dogs and modern technology work together to offer better assistance? Making Daily Tasks Easier: One of the biggest advantages of smart technology is its ability to simplify daily activities. Take light control, for instance: Turning lights on and off can be physically demanding for service dogs. Using a device like Alexa to manage lighting is ..read more
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Retiring a Service Dog: How Trainers Can Help
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
4M ago
Retiring a service dog is an emotional topic for service dog handlers. Trainers can make a big difference in preparing and supporting handlers and their partners through this transition. Assessing the Right Time to Retire Most service dogs work alongside their handlers until they’re between 8 and 10 years old. However, every dog is unique. Some dogs, due to their good health, may continue working for much longer, while others might face unexpected health challenges that call for an early retirement. The signs may be clear: changes in behavior, a dip in performance or the emergence of health is ..read more
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Group Classes for Owner-Trainers
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
5M ago
As the demand for service dogs continues to increase, some trainers are finding that they have enough interested service dog owner-trainers to offer group training classes. Group classes offer several advantages for both trainers and clients, but there are some unique aspects of service dog training that require planning and consideration. Advantages of Group Classes • Camaraderie and support: Clients can support each other during the rewarding but challenging process of owner-training a service dog. The “positive peer pressure” of the group environment can motivate clients to practice their t ..read more
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Preparing Service Dogs for Travel
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
7M ago
Traveling is challenging for service dogs and their partners. The combination of crowds, noise and unfamiliar locations can be stressful, even for experienced service dogs. There are a number of different strategies that trainers can use to help teams prepare for these situations. Introducing service dogs in training to public transportation settings gradually and slowly is an important way to help dogs feel more confident in these environments. A great way to begin is by working outside of train stations and airports, starting during quieter times and gradually working toward busier periods ..read more
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Going Up? Elevator Safety and Service Dogs
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
8M ago
Navigating public spaces with a service dog can be challenging, especially when it comes to using elevators. Elevators pose potential risks should the service dog’s leash get caught in the door or the team get accidentally separated. This makes elevator safety a critical concern for both members of the dog-handler team. Elevators are small and confined spaces, which can be stressful for the service dog and the handler. Additionally, adaptive equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers, can be challenging to maneuver in an elevator. Ensuring safety during the training process is important. Have ..read more
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How to handle difficult service dog training requests
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
9M ago
I want to bring my dog on the plane on my next vacation. Can you certify him as a service dog? Can you help me train my dog-reactive dog to do service work? I am moving in a month. Can you train my dog as a service dog before I move? Responding to these requests can feel tricky. There are strategies that can help trainers respond effectively and provided needed support to potential clients and their dogs. Air Travel Requests Sometimes it really appears that a person wants to misrepresent their dog as a service dog for the sole purpose of having the dog fly in the cabin of a plane. Trainers oft ..read more
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Service Dogs for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
10M ago
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, is a condition that affects the way the body regulates blood flow. It can cause a variety of symptoms including lightheadedness and fainting. POTS has been increasing, and according to Dysautonomia International it now affects about 6 million Americans. The demand for service dogs to help people with POTS has increased significantly in recent years. Mobility tasks and tasks to mitigate fatigue can be helpful for people with POTS. These include providing support or balance assistance while walking, retrieving dropped objects, turning lights on ..read more
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Training Precise Pickups
Cooperative Paws
by Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC CPDT-KA
11M ago
Sometimes a service dog needs to pick up an item very precisely. For example, they may need to pick up a medication bag by the handle in order to prevent damage to the medication inside, or the dog may need to turn their head to pick up a medication bottle from a shelf without knocking it over. There are several strategies that can help with training a service dog to pick up an item precisely. Create a handle so the item is easier for the dog to grab With items like remote controls and cell phones, it may be impossible for the dog to pick up the item without accidentally hitting a button. Crea ..read more
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