Over the past several months people have asked what is it that makes a service dog and specifically what is it that Payton needs to know and do for my husband in a day to day basis and in general, so it got me thinking a little more then I had already to degrees (I already had my list compiled of tasks he needs to learn). But I’d not put anything to the net in this regards, so here it is to various degrees.
There are many things that we need to teach our service dogs and of course it varies from team to team. In the case of my husband and Payton one of the things that Payton will need to learn is to avoid flashing/strobe lights thus to a degree we need him to associate it with being a negative and to avoid it as possible to do so.
Training this is something I’ve no experience in thus where getting help in this area plus others that I’m unsure of my own skills in training what is necessary (or need that added extra point of view and skill set).
Having my husband be afraid of it might help teach Payton to avoid it but in a emergency situation where the EMTs are called to assist the flashing lights of the ambulance would not be helpful to them as a team since if my husband is in the middle or end of a seizure having Payton trying to avoid the ambulance that’s there to assist my husband would be counter active.
Thus needing to train general disobedience in which the dog learns regardless of your reaction or inaction it has to think for itself about what it’s hearing and/or seeing and respond in a manner that’s right for that situation (generalization).
So teaching Payton that if x happens y or z response or combo there of is the correct reaction will be one of the many things he’ll be learning in addition to the seizure response of going to find help (if at home) or barking if in public to get help (and when help arrives to allow emergency personal to do their job without him getting in the way or taken away).
Points that need addressing…
Possible tasks to be included
There is likely other things that need teaching but ATM the above is the current list that needs to be covered task wise. Some is already in progress others we’ve not started yet and a few we are still figuring ut if they are really necessary of being taught/trained right now or should be dune later on once other tasks are learned more fully. Like a lot of things they will progress as Payton shows the ability to progress onto the next one and so forth and so on.