My Service Dog, Jade

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Training At The Pet Store

Jade and I had training today and our trainer decided we should try it at the pet store since there are plenty of distractions there.  She's right.  There are a lot of smells, dog food, toys, other dogs, even a Vet clinic.  Then there are the other dogs coming in, walking around with their owners, and leaving. There's also a doggie day-care inside the store, with a very large picture window (made of some sort of plexi-glass) so that all the dogs in day-care can see out into the store, a place for cat adoptions, and a grooming salon.   So, yes, a lot of distractions!
My trainer also thought it'd be a good idea to have Jade meet with another dog and do some training together, to see how she's getting along with the defensiveness issue she's had since her pit bull attack.  The trainer had another client with her and her service dog in training...a black Lab....we'll call him, Gabe.

So, we started by walking Gabe and Jade passed each other a few times outside, then the last time, we stopped closest to each other and did a sit/stay.  All of that went very well. Then we let them meet.  They sniffed each other, and sniffed some more, then Jade went on the sniffing other things.  So that went very well and I was VERY pleased....and very proud of her.

Gabe's owner asked me about Jade being attacked back then.  She asked me what kind of dog it was....I answered, "It was a pit bull."  Well, that kicked off a whole new conversation about pit bulls.  Seems Gabe's owner isn't too fond of pit bulls either.  She asked me what the owner of the pit bull said to me after the attack, and I explained that the owner was nowhere to be found...just a loose pit bull, roaming free, with a broken chain around its neck.  She talked about how that "always seems to be the case....and pit bulls maul and kill a lot of dogs and children, for that matter!"  We talked a bit about the pit bull problem here in Tucson and just the sheer numbers of pit bulls here, as this place is overrun with them!  The trainer also chimed in a bit and talked about how the wrong kind of people are drawn to pit bulls and seem to be the most irresponsible and immature people.  Can't argue with that! Gabe's owner said, "I don't blame Jade for having been defensive after that happened to her, I would be too!" Seems Jade is moving past those days now, thankfully!

Anyway....Once we let the two dogs get a good greeting and get to know one another, we all headed inside the store to do some training together.

We did some sit/stays, some down/stays, some "leave its," some down/stay and handler goes out of sight for a few moments, and walking past other dogs.  We had a good time, and Jade did wonderfully! She used to have a hard time with doing down/stay and me going out of sight for a few moments, but she does it now, and just stares at where I went until I get back.  We always laugh because my trainer says, "Wow, I don't think she even blinked until you got back!" Haha! That's my girl!

We also did a down/stay and had a couple of strangers come and step over her, and worked a bit on her check out counter etiquette, which didn't need much work at all.  Everything seems to be going so well, and the trainer said it won't be long now before we're ready to take the certification test.  We've certainly been practicing for it.

Hopefully it won't be long now until Jade gets her pretty green vest, and is an official Certified Service Dog!


  1. I am truly sorry for all the 'stuff' that pit bull owners have said. I understand the reason of existence for these dogs is well not the best. I am not advocating the breed but i am a true believer in giving second chances. I know there are instances where it may not seem possible. But if we begin to make generalizations and assumptions based on personal experiences than our point of view will be just based on that. We need to learn which are the reliable sources and try to piece it all together. I personally had some bad experiences with small breeds and i think they are more evil than pit bulls but this is not true. I believe that everybody should be cautious of any animal because they all have their pros and cons. As far as the pit bull breed goes well unfortunately we can't change everything but i believe that if any dog is willing to change then he/she should get a second change, but if not then well let the professionals take care of it

  2. Anonymous, I understand what you mean about giving dogs second chances. I think that is applicable in certain circumstances; however, if a pit bull brutally mauls another dog to death, or a person, I don't think it needs another chance to do that again. AFter all, these are lives we're talking about.....human lives. Even when a pit bull mauls another dog to death, a family is desperately grieving their pet, their loved one. It seems that a lot of pit bull defenders just don't get that. They continue to argue their rights to own dangerous dogs, but they don't seem to care about the rights of other people to have a pet, or let their children play in the yard.

    It's true that everyone has their own personal experiences and their own opinions. Nevertheless, we have to look at the facts in order to keep the public safe.

    Thank you for apologizing for the things that pit bull owners say, but it's so much more than that. It's not just what they say, it's how they behave. They really blow off other people's feelings about their own dogs, and children. It's terrible. I've seen so many victims, that after having been brutally attacked by a pit bull, then has to be brutally attacked by the pit defenders. It's just wrong.

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.