Self Service Training for Dogs? What helps can you give me?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Dee50, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm self training my boxer to be my service dog.

    I know about Top Dog vidoes . Does anyone else have any good refence book or tapes ect...on the training?

    Hopefully someone that has train a service dog before or is now.

    I know one lady here is but....I forgot your name? I hope you see this

    I think I'm going to need to get a golden Ret. My boxer is so high strung....when some one comes over to the house I can't keep her from jumping on them.

    She is learning to pull me up out of the chair. (As long as I don't make any pain sounds then she drops me..boy that is painful)

  2. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Vilke is right, do not give up on your Boxer yet! If the dog is young, they take a little longer to mature than some other breeds. I had Boxers for years, have one now that is 1 1/2 years old, she is already learning to help me up and down the stairs, and giving me a leg up (stiffing her back so I can lean on her) when I am getting out of bed or a chair. But she is still full of play when I have company, they are a bit hyper when young, but in time yours will be fine and a great help to you.

    To discourage her of jumping on you or others, just put your knee up and let her hit it in her chest (does not hurt them, but they don't like it), and say 'NO!' firmly. This should do it with the jumping on you or others. Have everyone she jumps on do this to her. After she gets the idea, she will jump in 'front' of you, not on you.

    Also a spray bottle with water in it is also a great help, it will stop her in her tracks! it does not hurt either, but it insults them to be hit in the face with a spray of water.

    I also have an American Bulldog that is 110lbs, she just turned 2 years old in NOvember, I have her helping me as well, and all I used was the water bottle on her. she out weights me by 10 pounds right now. Big beautiful dog, and her and the boxer are best buddies. I got them both as pups.

    The American Bull 'knows' when I am in pain, she will get in the bed as gentle as a kitten and lay next to my aching back without being told to do so. If I am having a bad dream, she will wake me up by licking my face, if I am having night sweats, she does she same. This dog spends her nights watching me for clues that I am in trouble.

    I had a white boxer before this little one, she died three years ago tomorrow, I am still so sad at losing her, she was a jewel for helping me, and my best buddy (I did not teach this one anything, it was all instinct with her). I named the new white boxer after her, this one is 'Daisy Mae the Second'. The American Bulldog was the closest I could find at the time that resembled a white boxer, which are a bit hard to find in my area. I had to have another white boxer or a dog that resembled one! I love boxers, they are the best of dogs.

    You might want to contact an expert on Service Dogs to help you, but do not give up on your dog yet.

    Shalom, Shirl
  3. cerise

    cerise New Member

    Check out

    Sharon is not only a Dog Trainer -- specifically assistance dogs, but is also a Disability Eductor and published Humorist!

    Sharon herself is disabled and has assistance dogs herself. The last time I communicated with her, she was in the process of training a new dog for herself.

    I think Sharon can be of some assistance to you.

    I've never heard of a boxer as an assistance dog but one never knows!

    I am on my second assistance dog (both Australian Shepherds) and both have been adopted. They come with issues but don't we all!

    Good Luck!

  4. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    Thank you Vilke,Shirl and Cerise,

    Vilke- Yes my girl is very very high string and very smart. She is smarter then me nowdays. I love my boxers if I get healthy I will be involved in boxer rescue again.

    Shirl-thank you so much for the post-I got my spray bottle out. Ruby is so smart and I'm in bad shape nowdays-but I will not give up on her. She will be 2 in July just a baby.

    This is my 2nd boxer. Shilo my first boxer girl was with me 9 years..oh how I miss her. We have many white boxers here in Idaho. Wow a bull dog hope you have a king size I know they are a great breed too.

    Ruby is with me for life and I know in my heart that if I set out looking for a Golden Ret. I'd come home with another boxer!lol A high strung one of course folks keep the mellow ones. Then I'd spent 1/2 my life on the

    And right now Ruby is so bored, no walks ect...

    Shirl I know you have so much going on now days. Hope all the well with you. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. And reminding me that I can be SMARTER than my new boxer girl :)

    Cerise- I will contact Sharon Thanks so much.

    I wish I had more time to write this morning but I don't
    Thanks so much for all the support-I'm still looking for my brain after my operation last month.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/06/2005]
  5. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Der Dee,
    I think I'm the one you mentioned who is training her dog to be a service dog.

    Here are some things I learned:
    The Delta Society has a website that will answer all of your questions. They even have a training handbook available.

    Organiztions that train service dogs will not help you to train your own,because you are taking business away from them. Just remember, that you CAN do it yourself, and that you DO NOT have to be certified, although you can get certified, if you want.

    There are websites on the Internet that sell that patches and the halter to identify your dog, as one in training (again, the Delta Society can help). I searched the Internet for the right kind of leather halter with a handle, for my dog. It will be expensive, so I'm saving my money. The nylon halter that is colored and to which you add the patches, costs under $30.00.

    My dog has been in training,now, for almost 3 months. She is doing very well, and has already gone with me to the Dr, post office, stationery store, and many other places,includng the movies. (Here your dog will probably need ear muffs, because of the loudness) . She is not trained yet for restaurants, and I haven't used her for the supermarket yet, because I use the scooters.

    There is a law that has been written to permit access to service dogs, and I copied it, and keep it in my car. I also made an identifiction card for my dog, and copied a letter authorizing service dogs, writen by a senator, and I keep these in the pocket of her halter.

    You will need to access the laws of your state, or the rehabilitaation dept., for some of these things.
    but, you can start trainng right away. As soon as my dog was ready to go into a store with me, I explained as soon as I entered, what kind of dog she is, and that her patches had not come yet. People were very nice.

    Regular service dogs must be with their owner at all times, because the way they are punished is by being separatd from their owner and ignoerd. I am not doing this. I am training my dog to be left in the car. That way I don't have to unbuckle her for a short stop.(I keep her attached to the back of the car by a short chain, so that, in case of accident, she will not be thrown from the car). It also gives her some measure of independence. Otherwise, she is with me at all times. I take her shopping and to visit friends. If, for some reason, she shoud not go in , I then am free to leave her in the car, which I do, unless it is too hot. If you live where it snows, you have to worry about it's being too cold.

    I've trid to tell you what I can remember. If you need more info. Please ask.

    Good luck. My dog has changed my life. I even find myself singing!!!


    p.s.. A Boxer might not be the best breed. You need a dog that has what is called an "amiable" personality. You can tell by how the tail is wagged, but then, with a boxer, there is a tail problem. I would ask an independent dog trainer. It would be worth it to pay for a lesson one-on-one, so that your Boxer could be evaluated. I tried to train a Bernese Mountain Dog once - a colossoal waste of time. He never made it. Although I love him,and he is a great dog, he is not a service dog. That takes a special type. On the other hand your dog might just mature later than you expect. At any rate, your mind could be put to rest with an evaluation. A good trainer will only charge a one time fee for this. Good luck, and have fun! T.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/06/2005]
  6. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member


    Terry YES it was you I was thinging of. So glad you saw my post.

    I've got to keep it short tonight not feeling to good.

    I'm so glad you two are doing great :)

    I also found very helpful. and maybe

    Thanks again Terry.

  7. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I have been working with my Golden Retriever, Rey, ever since I got him at 8 weeks.

    The first thing I did was to keep him with me as much as possible. I was working and received permission to bring him to work and keep him in a crate under my desk. This time is extremely important for bonding.

    It is also very important to get them into a basic obedience course. They should be able to pass the Canine Good Citizen test. Since I had worked with our trainer when we got our lab 8 years ago I knew a lot of what we would be starting Rey with. Because I knew where to start, I started at day one.

    By the time he was old enough to go through obedience classes at 4 months he already knew nearly everything they teach.

    Rey is now two. Still very young for a Golden Retriever. He picks things up off the floor for me. Everything from pill bottles to keys to socks I drop on the way to the laundry. I make it a point to drop one of my socks everyday while getting dressed, just so he can practice!

    We started the "take it", "bring it", "give it" by finding something he really wanted to have in his mouth (not hard with a Golden) and went from there. Rey's favorite was to grab the leash while we were out walking. I wouldn't let him have it until we were in the house. Then I would fold it up and give it to him. He, of course, would take off with it. I went to him, brought him back to where we started while telling him "bring it" and then told him "give it". When he did we played tug with it for a little bit.

    Next was dropping empty pill bottles. And from there to socks, keys, pop bottles and cans, even food wrappers that might end up on the floor.

    I trained him to brace me as I stand up by starting with gentle pressure and telling him brace and then using more and more pressure.

    In Washington state the dog only has to be able to do two things you cannot do for your self. Rey has been to the tire store, hardware store, dentist office, city hall, a coffee shop, every where that will let him in.

    At the coffee shop we simply walked in, went to a table, I put him in a down stay under the table (basic obedience)went and ordered coffee and sat and read the paper.

    I haven't gotten the harness and jacket for him yet. He has worn a back pack to carry things for me. I want to do a little more training before I have him declared a service dog.

    So you can train your own if you can get information to help you and have the patience to work with the dog constantly. My sister raises seeing eye dog puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The pup is with her constantly. At work, shopping, what ever she does. If possible, you really need to spend 24 hours a day with the dog.

    Rey also alerts on my seizures by laying his head in my lap if I am sitting down or sitting on my foot if I am standing. He was not trained for this, just does it.

    Hope that helps and I am going to look at the Delta site to see if I can get more info on the training I am doing with Rey.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/07/2005]
  8. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I went to the Delta Society website but couldn't find the phamplet someone suggested. Can anyone tell me where to look?

    Also went to Sharon Wachsler's site and was very impressed. Especially with the list of reasons why she wouldn't take on some of the people who come to her. I do wish she would have posted some prices. I wasn't clear on whether she does this by phone or if you have to go to her.

    Fibro fog has set in and I keep forgetting what I was going to type! I hate when that happens!

  9. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    Question about service dogs.

    Try tons of infromation there.

    My girlfriend that I got Ruby from found a Canine Educational Consultant for me and he is coming over to my home on Monday.

    We are going to set up a plan for training Ruby to be my service dog.

    Ruby is very smart and I'm having a hard time being smarter than her with all the brain fog and low blood pressuse ect...I need his help and I'm soooo glad my friend found him.

    Sorry I can't talk longer not doing good tonight. Hands and forearms hurts

    You and your golden Ret. are doing great.

    My Ruby has a heart as big as texas and is helping me when she understands what I want. She is with me 24/7 7 days and nights a week.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/10/2005]
  10. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    hi dee
    dont give up on your boxer, build on what hes learnt, i work with dalmatians and my big girl is coming on great.

    are you in the uk? we have 'dog aid' who will come to your home and teach you to train your dog in ways to help you around your home and he will be able to wear a bib so he can come to shops with you.

    bringing in another dog now would not be a good idea, while your training your ret. your boxer will still need mental stimulation. can you cope with all that in a day??

    my friend is teaching her great dane to put rubbish in the bin. breed is irrelevent its just that goldie x labs have the better disposition.

    if you are in the uk there are ways of adopting failed police dogs and assitstance dogs which are rehomed because they are still too bouncy and boistrous to risk putting with a seriously disabled person or blind person but i would look to work with your boxer some more.
  11. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    Hi Smiffy79,

    You are right I can not handle a new dog now days and love my boxer very much.

    I think the UK and "dog aids" is wonderful. I'm not sure we have that in Idaho yet.

    But I've got a man coming in to help me with Ruby.

    The hardest thing for me nowdays is handing all the switching up of symptoms my body is throwing at me.

    Each day is different, it's going to take some getting used to. I may be dealing with MS. (I'm looking into it)

    I've never had all these problems happen before at the same time. (with my body not working right)lol :)

    We are going to teach Ruby to:

    retieve dropped items

    bring the phone to me in a emergency

    provide bracing support for walking or standing

    transport medication, water, wallet, and other supplies in a backpack

    open and shut doors

    carry grocery bags from the car to the house

    help with laundry

    let herself in and out (i think)

    Just took some time to get the right people in my life to help with this training.

    Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

    Happy Holidays in the UK

  12. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    im glad your getting someone in, it will make a huge difference in your life plus in my dogs i have a sence of calm because my biggest fear was passing out and not having help.
    i have taught two of my three dogs 'wake me up' my shih tzu works on my face (licking and padding) while i taught my deaf dalmatian in the same way she goes for my hands :) she opens my palms licking my hands and pulling on my fingers and when i wake she can help me up if i need her.

    i taught my dogs muself and they are not registered so i dont have a bib for them but they pretty much come with me where ever i go. just ask your shop keeper and some really welcome dogs in :) i know one lady, she sells a bit of everything ~ food to hardware~ but she keeps dog biscuits in for her 'dog regulars' :)

    all the best to you and ruby.
  13. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    This man helping me has trained service dogs for a long time. He meet Ruby last night and is going to test her social skills in a couple of days by takeing her out in public.

    Hope he sees that Ruby can be my service dog and that she has the social skills to do it. I don't think this man has worked with boxers. If he can help us great if not I will train her by myself and look for another trainer. I will not replace my Ruby.

    I can see you get great comfort from all of your dogs and thanks for sharing with me.

    I have a Doctor that will give me a note for Ruby as a service dog and in the state I live in that's a good piece of paper to have in my corner.

    The rest is going to be practise out with the public. At home Ruby is very calm and mellow when it's just her and I.

    Thanks for sharing and take care,
    [This Message was Edited on 12/13/2005]
  14. vickiw

    vickiw Member

    if you get the National Geographic channel where you are, look for a show called "The Dog Whisperer." This dog trainer, Cesar Millan, is absolutely amazing. He can "rehabilitate" dogs that other dog trainers give up on. It's a fun show to watch and full of great ideas. He is always gentle, calm and in total control, and yet he gets even the most difficult behavior problems under control -usually in a matter of a few minutes. He's amazing!

    I have used some of his methods on our extremely stubborn malamute with great success.
  15. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    Thanks Vickiw,

    I will look for him "The Dog Whisperer" on the National Geographic channel. Think I get that channel? I get so many channels I don't

    I have a very handsome malamute and kitty.

    Take care,

    [This Message was Edited on 12/14/2005]

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