(VICT) Re: New member and I clicker

  • From: "Julie J." <jlcrane@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 11:02:54 -0500


I am definitely in favor of shelter dogs.  Both of my guides came from 
shelters and most of my pets have as well.  There are a lot of very 
excellent dogs  that need a home.

But with that said... you are really taking a gamble with a shelter dog, 
especially with an adult.  There is no way to know exactly what breed you 
are getting.  I have no problem with mixes.  I think there is something to 
be said for natural selection and the healthiest surviving.  However some 
breeds are more susceptible to certain temperament traits and health issues. 
I think having a complete picture of what you are working with will better 
prepare you for achieving a better outcome.  then with adult dogs you have a 
whole new array of concerns because of socialization issues.

I got Tia from a shelter at five weeks old.  The information I was given was 
that she was a coonhound mix and would probably get to be 50 to 60 pounds. 
She was that size at 6 months old.  She ended up being around 90 pounds.  If 
I had known she was going to be that big I  think things would have turned 
out differently.

So I don't know what the answer is.  I guess maybe I wish there were 
statistics on success rates among shelter dogs vs. specifically bred dogs 
turning out as guides.  I don't know of anything like that though.

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: "DIANNE B. PHELPS AND PRIMROSE" <d.bphelps@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 4:28 PM
Subject: (VICT) Re: New member and I clicker

>    Julie,
> Your thoughts and work on this issue are so interesting to me. I think one
> of the reasons the schools don't do better at this is that perhaps, the
> breed or breed combination does not produce a greater percentage of
> successful guides which makes this all viable on a production basis. What 
> I
> would like to see the schools consider is looking within the animal 
> shelters
> to see if any dogs tere had the correct make-up to become a guide. In that
> way, they could use possible other breeds.
> I have always been rather awe-struck by those who train their own dogs, 
> and
> now, GDB is looking at having blind persons become trainers, an idea I 
> feel
> is also a good one. It is just not the same when a sighted person puts on 
> a
> blind fold because they can take it off when they get stuck. We cannot.
> Continued good luck to you and others who are training their own dogs.
> Dianne and Primrose
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Julie J." <jlcrane@xxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 6:20 AM
> Subject: (VICT) Re: New member and I clicker
>> 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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