Nox's 4 Month Update

Going through our awkward teenage years of rebellion at home, of chewing up shoes and only wanting to sleep in our bed. The key to training a dog, a German Shepherd, and a service animal is patience, and diligence. Just like if you were trying to achieve a goal, if you want it bad enough you have to do it every single day are there days we want to slack off, oh yes, but if you practice, it makes it perfect. Since Nox is still so young, we're hesitant in bringing him in for long hours at my work, just yet. So we've been bringing him in for 1-2 hours at a time and he's calm, quiet, knows where my desk is, and that he needs to remain quiet. When he's at my job, he's in his vest. He knows that if the vest is on, he's working and he can't be running around. I think it's good to have him know when it's work time, vs play time. He's quickly grasped that when he's at Capital One, or in a place where there's a lot of people to remain quiet, close to me, and to be on his best behavior.

He's been listed as an Emotional Support Animal, and a Service Dog by doctors. Still going through our training, but crossing mountains. Usually service animals start their training as early as 3 weeks, so for Nox, he's a little behind. Yet, this is not impossible. With enough training, compassion, and the will of the trainer to learn as well as the dog this can be accomplished, but both parties have to put in the effort.

For the CGC TEST GOALS we've covered:
  1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger
  2. Socialization
  3. Walking through a crowd
  4. Reaction to Distraction
Both of these tasks 4 out of 11, have been mastered without a hitch.

Service Dog Training Specific:
  • Socialize to tolerate strange sights, sounds, odors etc. in a wide variety of public settings.
  • No soliciting food or petting from other people while on duty.
  • Ignores food on the floor or dropped in the dog’s vicinity while working outside the home.
  • No urinating or defecating in public unless given a specific command or signal to toilet in an appropriate place.
  • Safely cross a parking lot, halt for traffic, and ignore distractions Enter a public place without losing control of the dog
  • Hold a Sit-Stay when a shopping cart passes by or when a person stops to chat and pets the dog

Here are items on the CGC Test that we're doing good at but haven't 100% mastered.

For the CGC TEST GOALS we've covered and are working on:
  1. Sitting Politely for Petting
    Since he's still only 4 months only, he'll sit, but only til he gets antsy, and then he'll either want to wander, or lay down.
  2. Appearance and Grooming
    He's comfortable if "I" trim his nails, but others he tries to play bite.
  3. Out for a Walk on loose lead
    If we are in our neighborhood, he'll walk beside me, wandering every now and then from curiosity of a leave blowing by, but he's pretty good at staying by me. When we're in a building though, he'll stick to me like glue.
  4. Sit, Down, and Staying on Command.
    He's mastered Sit, and Down, it's the Staying that we're working on. I can get about 5 feet if I firmly say "Stay" but if I turn my back, it's all over from there, and he comes right to me.
  5. Coming When Called
    During training he's good at this, but it's a shy oh, I don't know if I want to when he knows he's not training. Like if I'm sitting on the couch, and he's in the kitchen, and I say "Come" he'll look at me, think about it, then decide.

Service Dog Training Specific:
  • Works calmly on leash. No unruly behavior or unnecessary vocalizations in public settings.
    Minus some whining, he's doing pretty good at this.
  • Heel through narrow aisles
    He like to just stay by my side most of the time.
  • Hold a Down Stay when a child approaches and briefly pets the dog
    He likes to return pets, with kisses.

For the CGC TEST GOALS we've covered:

  1. Reaction to Another Dog
    Depending on the dog, it's either an A.) Excited bark oh "Oh! New Dog! Play!" B.) A "Stay away from my mommy, she's MINE!" bark, or C.) I'm shy, I'm hiding behind mom.
  2. Supervised Seperation
    He's ok as long as I'm in site, or if he's with Alex. Still trying to find the best way to practice this.
Service Dog Training Specific:

  • No aggressive behavior toward people or other animals - no biting, snapping, snarling, growling or lunging and barking at them when working off your property.
    People, perfect on. Other dogs, not so much.
  • No sniffing merchandise or people or intruding into another dog’s space while on duty.No sniffing of merchandise, 100% got down, but intruding another dog, if he's on duty, he's still cautions of other dogs.
  • Hold a Sit Stay when someone drops food on the floor; hold a Down Stay when someone sets a plate of food on the floor within 18" of the dog, then removes it a minute later. [the handler may say “Leave It” to help the dog resist the temptation.] 
    If I say "No" or "Leave it" he doesn't bother with it at home, it's doing it in different environments he has difficulty with.
  • Remain calm if someone else holds the leash while the handler moves 20 ft. away
    He like to know where I am 100% of the time.
  • Remain calm while another dog passes within 6 ft. of the team during the test. This can occur in a parking lot or store. Alternatively, you could arrange for a neighbor with a pet dog to stroll past your residence while you load your dog into a vehicle at the beginning of the test.
    He's fine loading/ unloading, it's the curiosity of him around other dogs that's the issue if it's a dog he knows, he's fine, if it's a stranger, he's watching them 24/7.

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