Emma is a Labradoodle service dog for a young man with Cerebral Palsy. Her job is to assist him with putting his arms back on his arm rests, picking up his room, cleaning up her toys, helping him undress, making/turning down his bed, deep pressure and getting help when he needs it. She will have other in home tasks that will make his daily life more independent.
Emma enjoys playtime more than training right now.
Monday - Friday
Emma arrived ready for another week of play and relaxation in my home. Unlike last week where she had lost her mind the moment I touched the lead, she now quickly sits and waits for me to clip the lead on her so we can get out. The only times this doesn't happen is right after she's been crated and her joy of freedom overrides her ability of to self calm.
She is still walking too far ahead when on lead, but we are gently working on setting the "zone" for walking on a loose lead. She is also still sniffing heavily when walking in the grass, but that too is easing up. On Monday she was sniffing so heavily that she was dragging behind me. On Tuesday she was keeping her head up more than down and was staying in the zone more than out. She's starting to walk in "work" mode beside me, which is a huge difference than the previous times we went out.
In the house her confidence has greatly improved. If I tell Max or Maura no she doesn't wilt anymore. She had, before this, wilted whenever I corrected another dog or sent them away. Now she's separating herself from them and seeing that I am not addressing her, which has greatly improved her confidence. No longer is she rushing to hide, but watching to see how I'll address her when I am done talking to the other dog. 99.9% of the time I tell her she's being good and give her a loving pat on the head.
She is cuddling a lot more this week and sleeping in my lap. She still has some tension if I go to move her so I can see around her head or breath (fur in nose is not conducive to airflow).
She eats from the metal bowl with confidence now. I no longer see her hunched, leaning back on her hind feet or jerking every time her tags clink against the side or it moves. She now can lick the metal bowl as it moves across the floor and not flinch.
She's checking in when I drop things instead of running for the hills. Her confidence in her world is improving.
With the rain this week we've been in the house more than out, but during the nice periods of the day we settle outside and enjoy a nice watch of the neighborhood and a good chew of a toy.
Maura is leaving at the end of the week and I want to give Emma one more week of relaxing and taking a break following that before picking back up on the serious training. Hopefully, with Maura out of the house next week, Emma and Max and I can go and visit some new locations and build up more confidence in some fun ways such as nose work or sniffing and exploring in dog safe zones.