(VICT) Re: New member and I clicker

  • From: Jill Gross <jgross@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 01:09:50 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Julie,
LOL, sounds like your girl has greyhound traits. Greys are typically very 
reserved with strangers and they rarely take food from people they don't 
know. She sounds wonderful!

My whole point here is that there are so many breeds to pick from and not 
all people who want service dogs are going to be happy with labs, goldens 
or shepherds. Personality, size, coat type, and other factors go into 
making a choice of a life-long companion and a service animal. Belle 
sounds like she has many traits that I like. What factors went into your 
decision to train that particular dog for yourself? Is she your first 
self-trained guide dog? I like your description of cutting out the middle 
man. That is exactly it.


I do the same thing with up-curbs. I teach my dogs to slow ever so 
slightly just before we step up.

On Tue, 17 Apr 2007, Julie J. wrote:

> Jill,
> I have owner trained a lab mix.  My best guess is that she is mixed with
> greyhound.  This is just a guess based on her physical features and
> personality. In harness she doesn't like to be bothered much by people.
> Most often she will turn her head away when someone reaches to pet her.
> I have had to encourage her to be food motivated.  When I first got her she
> really didn't care much for treats.  She enjoys them now, but still is not
> overly food driven.  We recently went to an Easter egg/candy hunt.  The kids
> all immediately informed me that Belle was going to eat the candy off the
> ground and it was going to make her sick and on and on and on.  Gotta love
> the kid drama!  LOL  I knew better.  She didn't even sniff at the candy.
> I also do not have her stop at the up curb.  I started training that way and
> realized very quickly that it was annoying.  Now she will just hesitate a
> bit directly before the step up. Much smoother for us both.
> I love that everything she has been trained to do is a direct result of what
> works best for us.  The middle man has been cut out, so to speak.  For me
> owner training was what I needed to do.
> Do you have a particular breed in mind?
> Julie
> http://www.livingblind.com/eml
> Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and
> those who matter don't mind.
> Dr. Seuss
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jill Gross" <jgross@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:27 AM
> Subject: (VICT) Re: New member and I clicker
>> Jo, I would guess that you probably like the idea of selecting your own
>> dog for training. I think that is the greatest factor for me. I would like
>> to pick my breed based on my research and I would like find a dog witht he
>> personality traits that I like in a service dog. I have always been very
>> disappointed in the very limited number of breeds utilized by most of the
>> guide dog schools. I know many people who have labs as guides and they are
>> thrilled with them. I don't particularly care for them and feel that they
>> have some important traits that decrease there desirability as guides, ie.
>> they are very social and they are extremely food oriented. There are so
>> many fabulous breeds out there and I have have never understood why some
>> of them have never been used by the schools. I know there is a small
>> school that uses vislas and Leader will use the occasional bouvier or
>> boxer.
>> I "untrain" my guides to stop at the up-curb on street crossings. I do
>> most of my travelling in the city where people often drive wrecklessly. I
>> want my butt and my dog's butt in the street as little as possible. I have
>> always been good able knowing where the up-curbs are, so I find it safer
>> for us to get out of the street quickly. I have always trained my dogs to
>> do other things, some that are practical and some that are fun. I have
>> also found that the dogs that are trained by the schools tend to be unruly
>> in the house. I have had to do significant in-home training with all but
>> one of my dogs. I have often wondered how the nondog person who gets a
>> guide handles a guide who wrecks their house.
>> Jill
>> On Sun, 15 Apr 2007, Jo Clayson wrote:
>>> What would you like to do with your dog that the dogs in schools are not
>>> trained for?
>>> Interesting question.  I've never had a dog from a school, and though I
>>> know
>>> a few people personally that have, I'm not really familiar with
>>> specifically
>>> what behaviors are taught,  or not taught.
>>> Things I teach my dogs:
>>> Tricks: shake hands, roll over, choosing the correct hand in response to
>>> a
>>> question, speak, etc.   Both my dogs and I have fun with these.  Teaching
>>> a
>>> trick is a good way for me to try out a different training method....if I
>>> really goof up and my dog doesn't do a perfect "play dead" it's not
>>> potentially life threatening for me or my dog.  Also, if my dog has been
>>> distracted and needs to focus back on me, tricks are often a good way to
>>> get
>>> that focus back.  Simply because they are tricks and fun, there isn't the
>>> tension in my voice that so easily communicates to my dog, like when I
>>> might
>>> tell her to "leave it" , "quiet" or "sit".  A dog that does a few tricks
>>> can
>>> also delight other people, and help those who are hesitant or a bit
>>> fearful
>>> around dogs.
>>> Search & rescue: though we are not part of a search team, I want my dogs
>>> and
>>> I to be able to work together in this way. I live on 29 acres of land in
>>> a
>>> rather remote area with thousands of acres of undeveloped land adjacent.
>>> Should a guest here, or a hunter get lost, or should I be injured and
>>> folks
>>> are looking for me, I want my dogs to be able to assist in the initial
>>> search.
>>> Agility - we don't compete, but do this at home for fun, physical
>>> conditioning, and for building teamwork, self-control, and physical
>>> skills.
>>> "go to the bathroom" - take me to a public restroom  . For a dog with a
>>> keen
>>> sense of smell, this seems to be a fairly easy task.
>>> Find my stuff:   When we are away from home I may have a duffle bag, back
>>> pack,  jacket , bucket of tools, etc that I set down. Usually I know
>>> where
>>> they are, but sometimes I forget, or am "bleary brained" with chemical
>>> exposure and it's handy to have my dog take me to my stuff.
>>> Go to the car:   as I don't drive, and ride with many different people,
>>> and
>>> some of the families have more than one vehicle, I sometimes can't
>>> remember
>>> what vehicle I'm looking for or where it is parked.  Kita does fairly
>>> well
>>> already in small parking lots.  Zoomer could even find the vehicle in a
>>> very
>>> large lot.  It's also been handy for the driver a few times who forgot
>>> where
>>> they parked!
>>> There are probably others.   Often my dogs have figured out something on
>>> their own that is helpful to me, so I reward and encourage it.
>>> Jo

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