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Showing posts from May, 2014

9 Months: Training - Days 151 - 155

Monday

Don't ask how, but I woke up feeling pretty good mentally and emotionally and not dead tired.  Redd and I had talked about having coffee together twice and week and had a tentative coffee date this morning.  I got up, showered and dressed, ran the dishes and transferred the laundry to the dryer and started it before I got my first cup of coffee in me.

I had fed Malcolm half his breakfast and both Max and Dieter and started to train Malcolm.  His retrieve, a primary skill, has holes in it.  I have been shoring them up for the past two weeks and his picking up small items, a major weakness two weeks ago, has become a strong and reliable skill now.  His handing things to me, something else he was weak on two weeks ago, has become a default behavior and fluid 95% of the time.

The middle link, holding things, needs to be completed.  I had been working on it for a while, but both he and I were getting frustrated with it.  He was six to seven months old and impulsive and unable to…

Public Access: Of Parks, Ponies and Bridges

Saturday

I  am often asked how long it takes to train a service dog and my standard answer is 2 years.  Max trained in 14 months, but he was an adult when we started and thus I didn't have to ride the roller coaster of hormonal increases, fear stages and wait for his entry into maturity.  He was a young adult dog who had most of his brains installed and just needed the basic training and task training to become my working dog.  As an older dog he could train longer, handle stressful situations better and work at a faster pace than a puppy can.
Malcolm will most likely be working full time by the age of 18 months at the rate he's maturing.  He is an intact male and thus his emotional growth is on par with his physical growth. He is a remarkably stable personality and fairly unflappable based on his age.  He has some of the normal age related reactions to his environment and that is to be expected.  After all, he's only 9 months old.  But at 9 months he's emotionally mor…

8 Months: Training - Days 146 - 150

Monday

I have been having a horrible time sleeping lately.  Last night I worked until 1:00 AM on making the media to plug into Emma and Malcolm's blogs and had gotten the last two videos for Malcolm built and was trying to publish the second to last one when Comcast had an outage with the phone and internet in my area.  It stopped me in my tracks and I threw up my hands and headed to bed.  I had saved the files to disk for later upload, but without the internet I couldn't even update Malcolm's weekend blog.  It's almost midnight  now and I just published the two blogs Malcolm had in the cue and am starting his weekday blog.  I still have Emma's blog to complete.

Thankfully, the past two days my neighbor has been silent.  He's been playing his music late most nights.  Though not blaring loud, he has his bass set so low that he's creating low frequency sounds and no matter of sound buffering nor how low he plays it, it penetrates and vibrates long into the nig…