Friday, July 25, 2008

School's Out for Summer

So my time at National K-9 has come to an end. After 3 days of hands on testing followed by 6 grueling hours of written testing on Friday I finished school. My writing hand was completely sore & cramped by the end of the written testing but I made it through. Now I sit & wait to find out which certifications I will or will not receive. Keep your fingers crossed! I'll let you know when I do.

Although Skyler & I did not pass the Handicap Assistance Training hands on test, I still took the written test in hopes of passing it and someday acquiring the certifications. Our only flaws in the test were that she could not turn on the lights on command or successfully complete going from a heel on the left side, to the right, then back to the left w/out a little help from me. Here is a video that I took at the beginning stages of our mailbox training to see where both our flaws were in order to successfully complete this task. In order to complete the hands on test Skyler needed to be able to get the mail, pick up keys, coins, & a credit card from the ground & hand them back to me, as well as the heel on the right side & light switch. She really like to pull the string. lol

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Police K-9

To complete my last hands on requirement for my certifications in Police K-9 I had to lay on the ground w/ a trained attack dog about 10 ft away on a "hold'em" command. The I had to leap to my feet & take the bite from my "friend" Naton. Pending passing the written potion of the test, I passed the hands on portions of Police K-9 & will be getting my certification in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Puppy Preschool

What could possibly be more fun than spending every Saturday w/ a room full of puppies? Teaching the puppies how to grow up into confident, normal adult dogs! Today, in order to complete my testing to receive my puppy preschool certifications I had to help teach puppy preschool. Ben & I tag teamed teaching puppies how to go up & down the stairs as well as how to have proper manners around objects such as wheelchairs. We demonstrated to the puppy parents how to properly introduce these objects to their puppies & to get the puppies completely comfortable w/ them, all the while keeping their manners & being good little puppies.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pilot Dogs

Our class took a field trip to Pilot Dogs in downtown Columbus this morning. For those of you not familiar w/ Pilot Dogs, they are a non-profit organization that provides seeing eye dogs to the blind. I had the privileged of being completely blinded, then led through downtown Columbus with the assistance of Gibson, a 1 1/2 year old yellow lab that was a former graduate of National K9. He is assisting me down off a curb in the photo above. The purpose of our field trip was to not only show us what service dogs are capable of, but to allow us to know what it's like to put that much trust in to a dog. Could you completely blind yourself then hold onto a harness attached to a dog & trust him to get you across city streets safely? Some people have to ever single day of their lives. That's the value of a good dog trainer. ;-)Master's Course class photo at Pilot Dogs
Standing: (left to right) Pilot Dog's Head Trainer, Kyle, Cathy, Hope, Katie C, Lynsey, David, Tara, Bed, Lisa, & Pilot Dog's Apprentice Traner
Kneeling: Gibson, Shannon, Holly, Katie P.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Attack Suite

Today I had the privileged of robing myself in a full blown attack suite & letting my best bud Boomer come after me once again. Boomer has some sort of a grudge against me from he first time when we did only sleeve work . Today, I had the chance to agitate him, & then run out of the room, thru the dorms, & hide in a storage closet. Boomer was then given a release command, had to track me thru the dormitory, & then tear me out of the closet. That part I have on tape but I prob won't be able to share it on here. The work is amazing & Boomer is an incredible dog. I would say he is one of the top ten dogs in the country , if he's not #1. Chris has done amazing work w/ Boomer & I hope to someday achieve as much success as my mentors here. :-) *muah*

Monday, July 14, 2008

What are the first 3 words that come to mind when you think of a dog?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Canine Good Citizen

An unexpected twist started my day today as Skyler & I were given another chance to retake the AKC Canine Good Citizen test today. She failed the test the first time thru on the last portion of the last test when after performing a sit with a stay & a down w/ a stay the darn girl wouldn't come when called. At least I knew then that she could hold a command well! Well, today she passed w/ flying colors & I am happy to say so b/c this brings us one step closer to my ultimate goal w/ this girl as becoming an animal assisted therapy dog.
Classes are going well. We're up to 20 command, no dad I'm not going to name them all, but we're moving forward & I can't believe how far we've both come. 4 weeks ago this girl couldn't even sit on command or walk up steps comfortably. I'm amazed at how far everyone in the class has come too. We were told to look around carefully on the first day of class & try & remember what each dog was like on the first day to compare to how far they've come. Amazing stuff. I wouldn't trade this life changing experience for anything else in the world... except for maybe a few more hours of sleep. ;-)
Hope all is well w/ everyone. *muah*

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mid Terms, Doggy Style

Two grueling days of testing are finally over. Yesterday were both of our hands on tests, the practical, which graded my skills as a trainer, and the Canine Good Citizen test, which graded Skyler's skills & manners in certain situations. The CGC came first & Sky-girl failed the test on the last portion of the last test. After being put into a down & then a sit position the dog is to come to the handler when called at about 10 ft away. She refused to leave her position, which tells me I'm atleast doing a good job teaching her to hold her commands, but we still need to work on come. About 4 people in the class passed the CGC this time around. The rest of us will be given another chance to pass it in 3 weeks during the finals. The 2nd hands on test, the practical, was a demonstration of every command up until this point that we have learned; heel, sit from the side, down from the side, down in motion, sit in motion, sit from the front, down from the front, come, stand, stay, finish, square off 90, kennel, & release. All of the mentioned commands have a built in stay until the dog it either released or given a new command. We passed! Then today was the written portion of the exam. I scored a 95 on my breed test, which yes, I'm very upset about. I really wanted to ace that test but I missed 2 obvious breeds & am hoping I answered enough extra credit to get a 100%. Then I spent from 9 am till 2:30pm writing out 22 pages worth of answers to the medical & general training test. I'll get my results back hopefully next week but it may be a little longer. Keep your fingers crossed! Our class also said goodbye to 3 of our classmates that we only enrolled in the 3 week program. We were all sad to say goodbye to Rick, Scott, & Nancy today & I'm going to miss you all along w/ Sugar, Logan, & Roxy! Stay in touch ya'll & let us know how the real world of dog training is going!