Wednesday, January 20, 2016

More progress!

During his twice-daily training sessions, my hearing service dog Trooper now “works his sounds” almost perfectly. When Debby calls my name from anywhere in the condo, he jumps up on me without being encouraged and I follow him to the source of the sound, giving him a treat only when the task is accomplished.

Same with a knock at the door and the ringing of the phone.

But that’s only during the training sessions. Now I have to get him to understand that he’s on duty 24/7, ready to jump up on me wherever I am in the condo, whatever time it is, and take me to pay dirt. That’ll take some more work.

Rather than rely on structured sessions, suggests trainer Laura at Dogs for the Deaf, spring the sounds on him as a surprise at various times of the day. Lay a treat at the source of the sound, as we did early in his training. That’s not a step backward, she says, but a temporary reinforcement of what he already knows.

Onward . . .

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