Wowza! It’s been quite a while since I’ve written in my service dog diary. We have been working very hard. I have just been trying to catch up a lot of things in my personal life, so I have had to put my health and Finn’s training before my blog. However, I would really like to get back to writing these posts because I want to have the documentation of our training.
Finn is doing really well with his task and public work training. He now goes with me most places and is significantly more focused when we go out. I was just talking with a fellow handler about how encouraging it is to look back at where we have come from. I remember getting so frustrated training “focus” that I would almost be in tears (and that was just in our house!). Now we can be out in public and he is so good with his “focus” command. He can “focus” through most distractions, but he still needs work around other dogs. This has always been a trouble spot for him.
Now we are getting down to the nitty-gritty with his “focus” work. We have started attending these sessions for dog-walkers at local dog shelter. Volunteer dog walkers come in once a week to work with the dogs on leash etiquette in a controlled environment. So we have started to join them so that Finn can get work focusing with other dogs around.
I find this completely exhausting and frustrating. Luckily, all I could think was how terrible Finn used to be at “focus” in our own home. After 9 months of hard work, he now hears “focus” and snaps his head to make eye contact. This is what gives me hope. Slow and steady wins the race.
That’s all for now. I don’t want to make this entry too long. Instead, I would like to just keep writing more often. Please comment if you have any questions or want to know something! A lot of work goes into service dog training, and I’m sure I’ve missed including a lot in these diary entries.