Dog Training and Service Dogs
We have had out dog now for well over 6 months, and he and our son have bend well. He is tolerant, to a point, and shows the Labrador traits strongly. He also shows his Corgi traits, making it an interesting mix. And now, he is ready for training. When we first found our dog Toby, we wanted a smaller dog to be a good service dog for the boys. We wanted something small so that he wouldn't take up too much room. We also wanted a breed that was a working dog, with an emphasis in herding. When we found Toby's listing, the family that had him said he was a border collie/corgi mix. Instead, he turned out to be a labrador/corgi mix, making him a very big dog. We were dubious about him at first, but when he started herding your youngest away from where he was not supposed to go, I was hooked. We loaded him up in the car, and were ready for the new member of the family. So now, we are ready to start his training as a service dog. According to the ADA, a service dog is any trained dog with good manners in public a public place that also performs working tasks (a list of requirements cand be found here).The training we are putting our dog through is beginning stuff, and we don't expect to hve him ready as a service dog for at least a year. But in that time, we intend to teach him at least seven useful skills to help a child with Autism. First, to sense a coming meltdown and react to short-circuit it. Second, to find our son in various situations. Third, to open doors when necessary. Fourth, to close doors when necessary. Fifth, to fetch various objects for our son, Sixth, to put objects out of harms way (toys, and such). Lastly, to tug our son from dangerous situations or as a way to restrain him. Vests marking him as a service dog are not difficult to find, and I have already targeted a couple that I think would be useful. But until he is ready, our dog Toby is a service tog in training. I'm looking forward to the day when he is ready to keep a good watch out for our son in all social situations.