Posted by: Jessica | May 13, 2010

First Week as an SDIT

This week we’re in California, visiting Kyle’s family. One of the things I was really excited about is that the laws out here are much more friendly to service dogs in training – an SDIT has the same access rights as an SD. So it gave me some great chances to train Reed.

Monday went great. We got coffee in the morning, (at a shop owed by Kyle’s uncle) and Reed laid under my chair most of the time. His tail was thumping the wall every time someone came by but he stayed really calm.

After that we hit the Huntington dog beach (pics and videos in a post to come). After exercise time I cleaned him up and we grabbed lunch at the Sugar Shack. Two employees told me they couldn’t have dogs, but as soon as I said he’s a service dog they said oh, ok, and then asked some questions about him (breed, age, name, etc) which I was happy to answer. He did amazing there. He laid by my chair the whole time, occasionally licking the floor. A table with a baby sat right next to us, and he watched them but didn’t get up even though he desperately wanted to go kiss the baby.

After that he went home for a nap, I figured that was more than enough for one day. Kyle and I went shopping and grabbed dinner.

Tuesday we had a crazy busy day. We went to the mall in the morning and left Reed at home. After lunch, we grabbed him and headed to the Angels game. First, we stopped for coffee again.

After an idiot tried to tell me he knew more about my dog than me (he insisted they weren’t in AKC FSS, that they weren’t made from the breeds I said, all sorts of ridiculous stuff), we went inside and I grabbed a table while Kyle made coffee. A few minutes later, the owner showed up and kicked us out. Despite Kyle and I telling him Reed is a SDIT, he said “no he’s not” and made me take him outside. He told Kyle he doesn’t allow any service dogs in, even if they have paperwork. I’m still really pissed about this.

After Kyle and I got into a fight about that, we made up and headed to the ball game.

Where we had absolutely no trouble going in.

Reed did perfectly 99% of the time while we walked the concourse. We went shopping in the team store and he sat or laid when I stopped for a minute to look at stuff. He wanted a stuffed toy but when I said leave it, he left it. We grabbed some pizza and he laid at my feet.

When we got to out seats Reed was really excited about everyone and everything. For the first inning he wanted to go see everything. After that he calmed down a bit and laid at my feet. (pics to come). There were peanut shells all over the floor and it was no use trying to keep him from eating them, so Reed got lots of peanut shells!

Every now and then he decided he wanted to be in my lap, and he snuggled with me.

We moved seats later to see some people from Twitter, and it got harder for Reed because of all the food on the ground over there, and the two kids sitting in front of us. But he still did great for a 7 month old puppy!

After the game we headed for a bar to grab a drink with one of Kyle’s friends. I left Reed in the car because I figured he’d just sleep. As soon as we came in the bartender saw the car and begged us to bring Reed in too! So he got lots of lovin and a bowl of water. He gave kisses to everyone, then curled up in a corner and slept for a while.

Overall a good few days.

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Responses

  1. What sort of tasks is Reed training to do? I know of a couple SDiT’s and it’s always neat to learn about their tasks! You should check out http://blog.spectrumassistancedogs.com/ and see what kind of things Logan and Reed might have in common 🙂

    • Hey Valkyrie! Thanks for the reply! I’m training Reed to pick stuff up when I drop it (actually he’s got that one down great now), to help around the house with carrying stuff and possibly some bracing and counter balancing. He’s already pretty good about helping me balance when I’m walking and I tend to stumble a lot because I just lose my balance, and he’s good about stopping when I’m about to and it makes me stop walking so I don’t fall.

  2. Sounds like you had a nice trip! I would be concerned about letting him eat peanut shells though. I am trying to remember some warning I read once about dogs ingesting peanut shells. Either way it wasn’t a good study.

    What have you been doing to teach an automatic “leave it”? I do all sorts of “leave it” games with young pups, especially those slated for service work. Having a leave it so well ingrained is so critical with these guys.

    In the end I “torture” them by chucking raw meat at their head and they aren’t allowed to break eye contact or flinch. Of course they get highly rewarded and have been built up progressively for that so they can succeed.

    • Good to know for the future – he seems fine after a month tho so I think it didn’t do any damage!

      We are working a lot on leave it, he’s pretty good as long as we’re moving, but when we stop if I’m not doing something with him he doesn’t have the attention span yet.


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