Tuesday, September 30, 2014

24 Months: Graduation


This will be Emma's final blog.  She is graduating today.  She has moved from Service Dog in Training to Service Dog today.  The last task we were fine tuning has been adjusted to meet the needs of her handler and she now knows to stand on a stool and turn on or off a light on cue.  She's learned to go across a room when cued to do so and she's learned that the task is complete when the light switch is flipped and her feet touch the floor again.  It took us 2 months to build this from a basic understanding of flipping a switch to standing against a wall to overcoming a worry about the stool to finally combining many links in a chain to build the task for her handler.

In all, Emma has learned 52 cues in the time she's trained with Tao Service Dogs.  She's learned to retrieve, turn down a bed, make a bed, help with undressing, cleaning up a room and more.  She's learned to remind her handler to raise his arm when it hangs, to go get help when he needs and how to lay across him and provide comfort when needed.  She's learned a lot since she was 14 weeks old and starting this journey.

Today Emma heads home with her family to begin her career as an In Home Service Dog.  Tao Service Dogs wishes Emma the best in her career with her handler and much joy to the team.

Here is a list of the cues that Emma has learned since she began her training.

The Basics

Cue Meaning
Emma Turn and look at who called my name and give eye contact (focus)
Leave It Turn away and don't touch, pick up or sniff what I am looking at.
Sit Fold up my back legs and put my bottom on the ground
Down Put my elbows, belly and hips on the ground
Off Get off of what I am on
Come Run to my handler when my name is called or they say Come
Settle Settle down and relax
Stand Stand in place without moving my feet/stand up without stepping forward or backward or sideways
Back Step back several steps
Left Turn left
Right Turn right
Around Go around something
Stay Don't move or change position
Wait Puase but I can change position
Let's Go Start walking with my handler
Go to Mat Go to a mat and lay on it until released
Crate Get in my crate
Load Up Jump in Car, on scale or in tub
Heel Move to my handler's left side and face the same way they are
Side Move to my handler's right side and face the same way they are
Front Sit in front of my handler facing them
Rattle Shake off as if to release tension or remove water from my fur
Potty Go to the bathroom when told

Service Dog Cues

Cue Meaning
Take It take what is offered in my mouth
Hold It Hold the item in my mouth
Give It Give the item in my mouth
Get It Pick something up and give it to my handler
Bring It Bring what I have to my handler
Look Look at my feet or on the floor for something to pick up
Leash Pick up my leash and give it to my handler
Pull Pull something with my mouth
Push Push something with my nose
Close It Close something with my nose
Paw Give my paw or put my paw on something
Touch Put my nose on something
Light Turn on or off a light
Find It Find something
Go A moving command like "Go Give to" for delivering notes or giving an item to someone
Go In Go under a table or in my crate or even through tubes for agility
Shoes Go get my handler's shoes
Socks Remove my handler's socks
Basket Put an item into a basket or trashcan
Keep Going Keep looking for an item
That's It Found item, wait for instructions
Step Up/In step onto or into something
Get Help Carry a bringsel to the first person I can find to tell them my handler needs help
Show Me Lead the person back to my handler
Paws Up Put my paws up on something
Make Bed Pull covers to head of bed
Turn Down Pull covers away from head of bed


Cue Meaning
Shake Give my paw to someone so they can shake it
High Five Touch someones palm with my paw
Tada! Take a bow