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Service Dog training- Safe place

By May 17, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

Taking you to a safe spot

Today we’re training the next step to Scout taking me to a safe place.

Test Yesterday- dog friendly store

Yesterday, I actually tested the waters with bringing a  dog into a public place but I actually took Freedom.  Without realizing we were going to go anywhere else than Petco to pickup some flea and tick spray I brought Freedom for a ride. And then a decision to go to Lowe’s was made and I walked with her into the store and everything was fine and dandy. Lowe’s seems to be a dog friendly store. So it was a test for me, and to see if a place would be questioning me about being with my dog. It all went well- WHEW!!

Today’s part of the training

Today after getting Scout to the mat, we worked on getting him to lie down. Making sure all four paws were on the mat and asking him to lie down. As soon as he would get to the mat (or chosen spot) I would say “down” . Having worked on down before and having seen him take to this behavior well. This once again is the training for the entire day. Each time we would start from a place away from the mat.

Step One: have Scout off the mat and have my clicker and treats ready.

Step Two: Call Scout to come to the mat- i.e.- go to a safe place- pointing to the location.  Luring him there with a treat if necessary.

Step Three:  As soon as he gets to the mat, and is on it with ALL 4 PAWS! Tell him “DOWN”

Step Four: Praise him, give him a click with the clicker, and give him a treat or two!

Bonus: Focus

* Making sure your dog has focus on you during the whole time is suggested, that is with eye contact. A Service dog should always be focused in on you. (Yes, your dog can do something that you ask him or her and be focused in on something else!)  When I say FOCUS- I mean 100% FOCUS!

Going to his safe spot

Scout goes to the Doga Mat and lies down nicely.


Until tomorrow have a happy and healthy tail waggin’ day. And we’ll see you for some more of this task training!


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Service dog task- Safe place!

By May 16, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

Going to a Safe Spot to prevent anxiety

Yesterday we found that we will most likely not benefit from the grounding task as much as many, so we aren’t dismissing it totally BUT in our research we found a task that would be more suitable for our needs. It is Scout bringing me to a safe place. People make me anxious- I become anxious during certain times and this will take some time to train but thankfully Scout  knows me pretty well by now. Anyway, to bring me to a quiet spot away from things that can make me more anxious will be a GREAT service task.

Scout the Service Dog in training

Service Dog to be “Scout”, in a safe quiet spot to lessen anxieties of Pam.

To begin with we will be training Scout to go to a spot of his own. This is only the first step in the training. A simple go to your bed, blanket activity will be our first step we’ll be working on today. But instead I will begin by calling it go to your “SAFE SPOT”.

Things about today’s lesson

We will be working on the basics of going to a chosen spot. I will choose a quiet spot to do this with and tell Scout to go there. Go to your Safe Spot. The first step other than making sure I have many treats and my clicker  of course. Is to lure Scout to his place- or the chosen place. Luring Scout, as he is food motivated- (you can see this in past training videos as well), will be easy! It is more about me training myself to communicate the message ok- this is your safe spot Scout. ( Don’t worry- he will know that where he goes he will be able to find a safe spot to go to).

Until tomorrow and our next step in our training, have a happy and healthy tail waggin’ day.


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Service Dog Training and more…..

By May 15, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

To Ground or Not to Ground…..


Practicing grounding outside with added distractions


Today we practiced some grounding and we’re debating if it really was a task that was helping me right off……The bottom line was no, it wasn’t- this helped a little here and there but for Scout to be my service dog we will be looking for a task that is more suited for our training and service need. So we will be researching other tasks and looking how we can train that task to help me.


Research on the many tasks of a psychiatric service dog does for their handler/ companion. When in public to have Scout intervene with me to detract me from certain events is an order  I believe. So I will be researching this tonight.

If necessary I will use Grounding in the future but this is more of an at home task for us.


Remember every service dog team is individual and should be treated as such. From the actual person and the actual dog, to their very specific disabilities and/ or issues they need services for. So each should truly be treated as such!!

Until tomorrow have a happy and healthy tail waggin’ day.

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Rest Days and Mothers Day

By May 14, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

Rest Days (can be both rest and training too)

Today, with maybe some unintentional training we will be resting. If Scout does ground into me I will resume a partial training and reward him but only if he does things on his own, actually saying “Good cuddle/ ground” and click and treat. But only if it comes naturally to me!

The rest days bring you and your dog back to any training with vim and vigor.

Rest Day!

Happy rest days!!

Mother’s Day and more…

Scout does want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there! And to Liberty who took on the role of mother to Freedom a few years ago. Ever since the first second they saw each other Liberty has been like a mother to Freedom ever since. And we just wanted to take this time to publicly tell this about and to Liberty!

Mothers Day

Liberty and Freedom resting today as well!!

With all that being said enjoy your Sunday, give some love to your Mother today and we’ll be back tomorrow, so have a happy and tail waggin’ day with your Mom and we’ll see you soon!


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By May 13, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

A Stand on Grounding

So today we worked on grounding one last time, Scout has already exhibited this behavior over time so now it was just about shaping the behavior and giving it a name and saying hey this is something I like from you. So I tried to recall the situations that had him do the behavior  and tried to simulate it, When I got him into the steps towards the grounding here I clicked, treated and praised him. Let’s just say he got a lot of treats today!

Today, I thought ok- if we’re out and about and I need some DPT (Deep Pressure Therapy) I may not have the opportunity to sit on a chair or couch or even the floor- I mean lets face it I live in NY- Ok, Long Island but still most places you may not want to sit on the floor or it may not be safe to do so. So I thought about taking his tendency to lean into me and make it the grounding we may use when working. I prefer to call it “Cuddle” because if I need it at night, he does ground into me at night on bed, although I admit Liberty shares the task on the other side of me so I feel like the middle of the sandwich!

But back to today, we practiced the Standing Ground or as we call it the “Cuddle” or ahem….”Standing Cuddle”.


Grounding on the Stand

Grounding on the Stand

Grounding on the Stand

As you can tell we did take it step by step but eventually we or I got it. As Scout already knows this and it was about training (and is as we’re still working on it) me!






As we went along, Scout was grounding me, and teaching me the cues he needs to perform the task. Honestly this is something I need to work on and perfect. I feel if when we got out in the scary public/ world. He could sense I need some therapy and lean into me and relieve the stresses on me and let me experience the world with him by my safe side thanks to him.

I’d love to her what you think, so comment below and tell me what you think.

Grounding on the Stand

Grounding on the Stand

Grounding on the Stand

Grounding on the Stand


Grounding on the Stand


Grounding on the stand


Grounding on the Stand

Grounding on the Stand

Scout made the training fun and proved to be a true therapy that made my stress turn into a SMILE!

Until tomorrow’s blog which will be a rest day and more on Service Dog info. Have a happy and healthy tail waggin’ day.

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Grounding on the ground!

By May 12, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

Grounding on the ground

Today, we took it to the floor or i.e. ground! For our first session of the day I sat on the ground, on my Doga mat and yes I called it a D0g a mat, not Yoga!

This is practice grounding in different locations, Scout will stay on my lap for sometime. I also have Scout ground into me while standing. Photos to come soon. When we lie down at night to go to sleep the word we use is cuddle and he grounds into me to keep me safe from harm!


Grounding on the Ground


Grounding on the Ground










For further training we will continue this throughout the day and have the rest of the pack walking around, and family members come in the yard as Scout is grounding so he knows distractions are to be ignored when he is “working” this task (as well as other tasks to be trained!)

As you can see Freedom is trying to distract Scout behind us and Justice is also lying there ready to distract at anytime. Hey let’s be honest just the presence of another dog can be a distraction to your dog.



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Grounding somewhere else

By May 11, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

Grounding in a different location

Today the goal was to have your dog ground in different location- I know we’ve used this location before but for the last few days we’ve been grounding on the bed.

Just as an update but Scout has no problem with coming up on the bed, bench, chair, etc He will position himself to get ready to lie down- but actually lying down means a little luring needs to be done. I feel he knows my hand will be on top of him-  Just naturally occurring for me. And he likes to be in total control. So he is weary of lying down with someone directly over him. But he does lie on my legs and applies pressure wonderfully.  As you can see in the photo below.



Practicing grounding outside with added distractions

Where we are

All in all I believe we are just where we should be in our training. Tomorrow continues more training  on this and then if I am not mistaken we move on from there.

I would also like to mention today in our training we had added distractions from all sides, with work going on in the yard behind us.  Justice running around with her ball wanting someone to throw it.  Liberty and Freedom wanting to get into the act as well. And  lots of surrounding noises and happening about the area!

Until tomorrow have a happy and healthy tail waggin’ day.


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More on grounding…..

By May 10, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

More on Grounding

The steps to grounding are not over- Taking time to train every task once again. Taking this time will assure us that our dog can and will be ready for serving our needs when necessary!


Grounding and DPT

Grounding Scout, to get him ready for DPT task performance.


Yesterday we ran tried grounding for a longer period of time. Today we did a review of the last few days. Scout I think is getting it or has he got it? I am feeling confident that Scout can perform this task on command and that I will be provided the proper therapy if and when needed!


Grounding and DPT

Grounding Scout, to get him ready for DPT task performance.


Today was a review day, tomorrow we will continue with the next days training. Until then have a happy and healthy tail waggin’ day!


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Service Dog Training- Grounding steps- Longevity….

By May 9, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

Small steps again to our first Service Dog Task

Today we’re still working on getting to grounding or DPT task training. We’re working on staying longer. 10-20 seconds- or as long as one can stand or tolerate pressure of your dog.

Slow but Steady training wins the game.

Bringing our dog through these small tasks will ensure that the task is well learned and help us be more confident our dog will be ready for the work ahead. I know how impatient we can can get, but this can also teach us patience and all.

Each day we move forward in our training to the bigger picture….what will tomorrow bring?

Just an update of yesterday’s visit for Scout’s rabies vaccination. The shelter where I got Scout from was having a free rabies clinic so we went back to save the 25- 50 dollars for the vaccination. We ended up waiting on line outside for an hour. (It wasn’t the vet staff/ or vet techs either but the people in front of us I think, as the staff has a certain way of doing things. And last time Liberty, Freedom and I went in and out within a few minutes. Yes two dogs took less time than just one. But Scout’s buddy Ricky came out and made the line move faster- THANK YOU RICKY for your take charge and awesomely friendly and water providing ways! Scout howled and barked the whole time, and he wanted to play with one of the cats on line- was he telling me he wanted a kitten of his own?!?!? The excitement was all for Scout, lots of dogs and cats that he wanted to run and play with! I had to be his service dog and provide Scout with a little DPT to keep him quiet. Talk about reverse roles!

And today, I had an appt with home depot to call about an appt in the morning to tell me when they would be here, then they were to be here  but nothing. I really hate it when people don’t keep to their appts and screw with other people’s schedules. It really messed with my day and I think they just lost a customer.

Until tomorrow have a happy and healthy tail waggin day.


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Rest Day from training

By May 7, 2017 The Dog Runner's Blog

Rest Days, rest days…..

Is it ever really a rest day from training though? We all need a rest every so often from anything we do and training is no different. Rest days or days off- help us regroup and replenish our energies to move on with further work, training, or even play i.e. games for the next day or days on their way.

Now rest days don’t mean to ignore things your dog does, if Scout automatically comes up on the bed and lies across my legs- he’ll get a reward, and hey I’ll get some therapy!

We may have had time off from Service dog training today, BUT Scout and his pack participated in a group Doga session with Liberty, Freedom, and Pam. Downward Dog anybody? Okay their favorite poses are Cobra and Scout loves the Butterfly pose. So training is lessened today but most of their training still exists. It’s just stuff they do on their own and that they have fun with!

Downward Dog Coach

Downward Dog anyone? Liberty coaches Pam through the pose!


Doga mat

Scout comes to the Doga mat on his own these days!


Belly Rub

Belly Up or Belly Rub pose


Cobra Pose

Justice in Cobra pose

More about Service dogs today now.  Today we will talk about Public Behavior.

It is okay to occasionally let your dog say hello and meet and greet others when out and about. However you have to be sure you tell him or her who and when to do so.

To do this socialize your dog to as many sights and sounds and all as possible, as access rights allow.

On to access of Service dogs. And this can be a bit of a “CATCH 22”. You see federal law limits public access to dogs already trained as such. In the beginning, how is your dog going to learn to act in public, if he cannot go into public? Service Dogs in training don’t have federal laws giving them access to public places but some ordinances do allow it. It is important to check local laws and to speak to owners and managers before entering.

Make sure your dog is “house trained” before taking your dog into public places, and please don’t have your dog hold it while in the establishment. Take them for a short walk before entering any place to ensure they can relieve themselves prior. And Please if they poop- be prepared to and actually pick it up.

When training your service dog stick to bringing your dog into places that are 100% okay with you being there  until you are 100% sure they can handle things and so can you. I’ve already had someone question me being in somewhere with my dog and it did not help my disability at all- in fact made it worse.

Ok, so that’s our chat for the day. Until tomorrow when we continue with our training. Have a happy and healthy tail waggin’ day.

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