Alzheimer’s Dog Training at Home
Good News! For those of you that need an Alzheimer's Assistance Dog, you can order my book and find out how to train your own dog in your own home. You do not have to wait years for an organization to get you through the application process, to accept you, then wait for your name to come up to receive a dog, and wait again for the dog to be trained and placed with you. Further, hovering over your head the entire time is the fact that you will be expected to pay thousands of dollars for, or generate thousands of dollars, to cover the cost of training and placing your dog. There is nothing magical about creating an Alzheimer's dog. You will need to know how to do it and I have designed my book (Caregiver Follow Me) to give you all the tools and data you will need to reach that goal. You will be able to create a canine partner that can assist you in giving the best possible care to your Alzheimer's patient who lives at home with you. Your dog will be your ally helping to control wandering while simultaneously giving a myriad of therapeutic benefits to yourself, your family, and your patient. To obtain either the hard cover, soft cover or E-Book go to www.Amazon.com, www.AuthorHouse.com, or book vendors such as Barns and Noble. I am delighted that it is available for you before Christmas. Should you know of any person who would benefit from an Alzheimer's Assistance Dog please have them contact the above, or myself at www.patti@Alzheimersdogtraining.com. To help explain to them what an Alzheimer's dog is, and other pertinent information, send them to my blog at www.alzheimersdogtraining.com. The important thing is that through "word of mouth" you can make a difference in people's lives. That's quite a gift for you to give.
Do you have authority over your dog or is she making decisions on her own? If your dog is beginning to make small decisions by herself, disregarding what you've taught her, she'll soon test you to find out what else she can be in charge of. You must make sure you're the leader at all times. If your dog is testing you on a regular basis, you need to refresh her obedience training. Keep her obedience skills sharp. Make sure she remembers that when you are present she isn't going to call the shots and make her own choices. Always demand respect and obedience from your dog. When you do you will find that your dog's sound awareness skills will be much more focused and she'll be more efficient at her job: patient wandering control. She'll realize that she's pleasing you in both arenas---her obedience and her work task. By reminding her that you expect her obedience to be sharp she will also keep her job skills in excellent condition. Together, you will keep your partnership solid. You'll both be happier, more content.
I'm delighted to announce that my book, CAREGIVER FOLLOW ME, How You Can Train Your Own Alzheimer's Dog In Your Own Home, is finished and available for purchase. You may go on line to www.Authorhouse.com., www.Amazon.com., to Barns and Noble book stores or other book vendors to purchase it. The book is available in soft cover, hard cover, and hopefully (by now) as an e-book. It has been a grueling, challenging, provocative, frustrating and exhilarating six years. Yahoo! It is wonderful to be able to tell caregivers that they now have access to my book and thus the means to train their own dogs in their own homes. I have shared (in lay woman's and man's language) all of the necessary tools and training techniques to accomplish this task. Those people wanting/needing a canine partner to work with them to combat "patient wandering" will be delighted that they purchased the book. It's now possible for caregivers to craft a working partnership with their dogs that will give them peace of mind and offer a myriad of therapeutic benefits for themselves, their patients and entire families. I invite all interested persons to accompany me on this fantastic journey. Learn how to teach your dog to hear for you.
TO PURCHASE CAREGIVER FOLLOW ME:
Barns and Noble Stores
As you become involved in the actual training of your dog there are going to be days that you will seriously question your sanity. Why on earth did you ever start this? What did you think you were doing? Don't go there; don't second guess yourself. If you did not have these days you would not be normal. I say that from my own experiences of years of training under my belt, and plenty of "doubting Thomas days." As in any endeavor, you are going to have down days. Expect them to appear and go on with your business. Bad days are normal with everything. Don't let them overcome you. Don't get stuck in doubt. Keep locked in your mind, the crystal clear image of yourself partnering with your dog, pulling in sync as a working team of horses, getting your job done together. Hang onto that because that is what is real, not the bad day. You are forging a real-time partnership with your dog for the benefit of your patient, family, self, and dog. By keeping your goal solid in your mind you will accomplish it.
I have had what I thought was a tooth ache for days now. Dentist could not fix it. Am taking Advil like candy. Never had this before. It's debilitating and the one thing on my mind is -- stop the pain. I now realize that the statement I've been making for over 25 years to persons I've trained assistance dogs for is the absolute truth-- "If your dog is not in good health, if it is experiencing any type of pain, it can not do it's job properly--do not expect it too". Therefore, keep your dog in good health at all times. I am living proof of this. When I'm feeling up to snuff I get my weekly post done on time. This week, with the aggravation of not only my tooth but now both my upstairs and downstairs teeth "barking " at me, I completely forgot to do my blog. And since the only thing I can concentrate upon is getting rid of the pain it just made sense to hit hard, the fundamental fact: working dogs must be kept in good health in order to do their best work. Take all necessary preventative steps to insure that your dog is feeling good and if something is off--- get to the vet.
Alzheimer's dogs can come in any size, shape, color. So, for those of you that already have a dog that you feel would be able to learn the Alzheimer's dog's work task---you do not have to be concerned about your dog's size.
For those people who do not yet have a dog I would strongly advise that you get my book CAREGIVER FOLLOW ME because I have addressed, in detail, exactly what ingredients (traits) you want to have in your dog so that you have set the dog up to be able to learn what it has to know. Why not make it as easy for yourself as trainer and your dog as student?
Now is the time for you to stack the deck. I have also given you the actual test that you will be using in order to test various dogs to be able to determine that you have the best canine trainee possible.
As I've stated in the book, it is not a full proof test but it is the best that the world has to offer. After you've tested a few dogs you will understand what I mean when I say that you can actually see the differences in the dogs you've tested.
I am a firm believer that it is wrong to ask a dog to do something that it can not do. There is such a big difference between not being able to do something as opposed to won't do something.
You want the dog's attention to be on you. To help facilitate this, you will use some form of correction collar on the dog. These collars are designed to gain the dog's attention quickly, and if used correctly, in a humane manner. You will not manhandle your dog. Rather, you will let the dog know that together, you are in a schooling situation; you as teacher, the dog as student. When you have the right size collar placed on the dog correctly, the collar is attached to the lead properly, you are holding the lead appropriately, and using both collar and lead as directed, you will be amazed at how quickly your dog responds to you as a dog handler. I repeat:
1. Have the right size collar for your dog.
2. Have the collar on the dog correctly.
3. Have the collar attached properly to the lead.
4. Hold the lead appropriately.
5. Apply a suitable "Pop-and-Release" attention-getting correction.
(The above photo shows a dog trying to forge ahead. The collar is probably on wrong and definately the handler has no slack in the lead. This is a good example of using the correction collar and lead incorrectly. The handler is sabotaging everything. The dog is choking as it strains against the collar/lead and the handler has absolutely no slack left in the lead to make any correction that is needed to help the dog understand what is expected of it. The dog's not learning anything positive.)
If you fail to comprehend and perform any of these things you will jeopardize your success, like the two poor dogs on this page, they are uncomfortable and unhappy. Rather, set yourself and your dog up for success, not frustration and failure.
Even though she had been having hip problems for the past year, she had only slowed down alittle. Just yesterday she was cruising around the back yard, digging in the dirt, having a great time. We went to bed last night, everyone of the critters tucked into their beds scatter around my bedroom. We slept great. Got up and MJ's back legs would not hold her up. Looking into her eyes I knew. She's now in my "critter resting place" behind my barn in my woods with all of her friends. I know for certain they were all there to greet her as she passed over the rainbow bridge.
I found Micki-Jean languishing in an animal shelter. She was a stray. No one knew anything about her history, only that she did not have much longer before they were going to to put her to sleep. She passed the assistance dog test with flying colors so I scooped her up and brought her home. She delighted me. I guessed that she was part corgi, part spaniel. Her front legs were shorter than her hind legs so she always sat crooked, and she usually had one ear up and alert, the other at half-mast. To me she was beautiful, with a comedian's personality. She was known best for her "Betty-Boop gait. Micki knew all of her sounds for hearing dog and Alzheimer's dog. She was a tremendous canine advocate for assistance dogs, performing demonstrations whenever I needed her. She has gone from my hands but never my heart.
All of us have heard about, perhaps even know about, those Lassie type dogs that bound into reality in the nick of time to save a family member. I am also very aware that stories like these can be true. One of the hearing dogs I had trained did save her hearing impaired master. She was honored by receipt of hearing dog of the year, an International award. She sat calmly beside her master when they received their award. I watched while tears ran down my cheeks, I was so proud. Another dog, an Alzheimer's dog that I had trained self-started one night, alerting her mistress to the fact that the Alzheimer's patient was wandering and had turned on the gas stove leaving it unattended. If the dog had not alerted her mistress the home would have burned, perhaps the people and dog too. So, keep the fact in your mind when your dog is testing your patience, that you are training a very special canine, one that once trained will be capable of offering you loving surveillance, not to mention the myriad of therapeutic benefits. How does one put a price tag on that?