Service Dog INTRODUCTION TO TASK WORK
Open Range Academy's Level 5 Service Dog
Urban Performance Training
LEVEL 5: ?
Service Dog Task Introduction 501
Learn new puppy and adult dog foundational behavior building blocks. Start your obedience task work and prepare for a steady home environment.
LEVEL 5: INTRODUCTION TO SERVICE DOG TASKS 501
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- LEVEL 5 MINIMUM STANDARDS AND TEST PREPAREDNESS
DEMONSTRATE: BEGINNER TASK COMMANDS
- Choice of any TWO tasks from the lists below, or any handler desired task purposed behavior that supports a disability.
TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
- Activity: Trust Me
- Review: Trust Me
LEVEL 4: OBEDIENCE QUIZ
LEVEL 5: Introduction To Assistance Task Work
Task Work For Assistance Dogs 502
Improve your daily routine behavior progression. Learn new common obedience commands and prepare for your AKC S.T.A.R. Exam.
LEVEL 5: ASSISTANCE DOGS 502
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TASK WORK OPPORTUNITIES
COMMON SERVICE DOG TASKS
- Retrieval Based Tasks
- Bring portable phone to any room in house
- Bring in groceries – up to ten canvas bags
- Unload suitable grocery items from canvas sacks
- Fetch a beverage from a refrigerator or cupboard
- Fetch food bowl(s)
- Pick up dropped items like coins, keys etc., in any location
- Bring clothes, shoes, or slippers laid out to assist with dressing
- Unload towels, other items from dryer
- Retrieve purse from hall, desk, dresser or back of van
- Assist to tidy house or yard – pickup, carry, deposit designated items
- Fetch basket with medication and/or beverage from cupboard
- Seek & find teamwork – direct the dog with hand signals, vocal cues to: retrieve an unfamiliar object out of partner’s reach, locate TV remote control, select one of several VCR tapes atop TV cabinet, other surfaces
- Remove VCR tape from machine after eject button pushed
- Use target stick to retrieve an indicated item off shelves in stores retrieve one pair of shoes from a dozen in closet
- Use laser pointer to target an item to be retrieved
- Drag Cane from its customary location to another room
- Pick up and return cane if falls off back of wheelchair
- Pickup or fetch Canadian crutches from customary location
- Drag walker back to partner
- Fetch wheelchair when out of reach
- Carrying Based Tasks
- Move bucket from one location to another, indoors & outdoors
- Lug a basket of items around the house
- Transport items downstairs or upstairs to a specific location
- Carry item(s) from the partner to a care-giver or family member in another room
- Send the dog to obtain food or other item from a care-giver and return with it.
- Dog carries a prearranged object to care-giver as a signal help is needed
- Carry items following a partner using a walker, other mobility aids
- Pay for purchases at high counters
- Transfer merchandise in bag from a clerk to a wheelchair user’s lap
- Carry mail or newspaper into the house
- Deposit Based Tasks
- Put trash, junk mail into a wastebasket or garbage can
- Deposit empty soda pop can or plastic bottle into recycling bin
- Assist partner to load clothing into top loading washing machine
- Dirty food bowl [dog’s] – put into kitchen sink
- Put silverware, non breakable dishes, plastic glasses in sink
- Deliver items to “closet” [use a floor marker to indicate drop location]
- Deposit dog toys into designated container
- Put prescription bag, mail, other items on counter top
- Tug Based Tasks
- Open cupboard doors with attached strap
- Open drawers via strap
- Open refrigerator door with a strap or suction cup device
- Open interior doors via a strap with device to turn knob
- Answer doorbell and open front door with strap attached to lever handle
- Open or close sliding glass door with a strap or other tug devices
- Shut restroom door that opens outward via a leash tied to doorknob
- Close stall door that opens outward in restroom by delivering end of the leash to partner
- Shut interior home, office doors that open outward
- Shut motel room exterior door that opens inward
- Assist to remove shoes, slippers, sandals
- Tug socks off without biting down on foot
- Remove slacks, sweater, coat
- Drag heavy coat, other items to closet
- Drag laundry basket through house with a strap
- Drag bedding to the washing machine
- Wrestle duffle bag or other objects from the van into the house
- Pull a drapery cord to open or close drapes
- Assist to close motel room drapes by tugging on edge near bottom of drape, backing up
- Operate rope device that lifts blanket and sheet or re-covers disabled person when he or she becomes too hot or cold.
- Alternatively, take edge of a blanket and move backwards, tugging to remove it or assist someone to pull the blanket up to their chin if cold
- Nose Nudge Based Tasks
- Cupboard door or drawers – nudge shut
- Dryer door – hard nudge
- Stove drawer – push it shut
- Dishwasher door – put muzzle under open door, flip to shut
- Refrigerator & freezer door – close with nudge
- Call 911 on K-9 rescue phone – push the button
- Operate button or push plate on electric commercial doors
- Turn on light switches
- Push floor pedal device to turn on lamp
- Turn on metal based lamps with touch-lamp device installed – nudge base
- Assist wheelchair user to regain sitting position if slumped over
- Help put paralyzed arm back onto the armrest of wheelchair
- Return paralyzed foot to the foot board of a wheelchair if it is dislodged
- Pawing (or Nose Nudge) Based Tasks
- Cupboard door – shut it with one paw
- Dryer door – shut it with one paw
- Refrigerator & freezer door – one forepaw or both
- Call 911 on K-9 rescue phone – hit button with one paw
- Operate light switch on wall – jump up, paw the switch
- Depress floor pedal device to turn on appliance(s) or lamp
- Jump up to paw elevator button [steady dog if he tries it on slippery tile floor]
- Operate push plate on electric commercial doors
- Close heavy front door, other doors – jump up, use both forepaws
- Bracing Based Tasks
- Transfer assistance from wheelchair to bed, toilet, bathtub or van seat – hold Stand Stay position, then brace on command, enabling partner to keep their balance during transfer
- Assist to walk step by step, brace between each step, from wheelchair to nearby seat
- Position self and brace to help partner catch balance after partner rises from a couch or other seats in a home or public setting
- Prevent fall by bracing on command if the partner needs help recovering balance.
- Steady partner getting in or out of the bathtub
- Assist partner to turn over in bed; have appropriate backup plan
- Pull up partner with a strap [tug of war style] from floor to feet on command, then brace till partner catches balance
- Barking Based Tasks
- Bark for help on command
- Medical Assistance Tasks
- Find the care-giver on command, lead back to location of disabled partner
- Put forepaws in lap of wheelchair user, hold that upright position so wheelchair user can access medication or cell phone or other items in the backpack
- Wake up partner if smoke alarm goes off, assist to nearest exit
- Operate push button device to call 911, an ambulance service or another person to help in a crisis; let emergency personnel into home and lead to partner’s location
- Fetch insulin kit, respiratory assist device or medication from customary place during a medical crisis
- Lie down on partner’s chest to produce a cough, enabling patient to breath, when suction machine and/or care-giver unavailable
MOBILITY SUPPORT TASKS
- Assist moving wheelchair on flat [partner holds onto harness pull strap] avoiding obstacles
- Work cooperatively with partner to get the wheelchair up a curb cut or mild incline; handler does as much of the work as possible, never asking the dog to attempt an incline unaided
- Haul open heavy door, holding it ajar using six foot lead attached to back of harness, other end of lead attached to door handle or to a suction cup device on a glass door
- Tow ambulatory partner up inclines [harness with rigid handle or pull strap may be used]
- Brace on command to prevent ambulatory partner from stumbling [rigid handle]
- Help ambulatory partner to climb stairs, pulling then bracing on each step [rigid handle or harness with pull strap may be used to assist partner to mount a step or catch balance]
- Pull partner out of aisle seat on plane, then brace until partner catches balance [harness with a rigid handle and a pull strap, or pull strap only]
- Brace, counter balance work too, assisting ambulatory partner to walk; the partner pushes down on the rigid handle as if it were a cane, after giving warning command, when needed
- Help ambulatory partner to walk short distance, brace between each step [rigid handle]
- Transport textbooks, business supplies or other items up to 50 lbs in a wagon or collapsible cart, weight limit depends on dog’s size, physical fitness, type of cart, kind of terrain
- Backpacking – customary weight limit is 15% of the dog’s total body weight;10% if a dog performing another task, such as wheelchair pulling in addition to backpacking; total weight includes harness (average 3 – 4 lbs.). Load must be evenly distributed to prevent chafing.
GUIDE DOG TASKS
- Obstacle Avoidance
- Navigate around stationary obstacles like a lamp post, parking meters, pillars
- Navigate around hazards like an open manhole and deep potholes
- Navigate around low hanging obstacles like awnings or a tree branch to avoid a collision
- Avoid moving objects such as bicycles, people, strollers, shopping carts, wheelchairs
- Leash guiding around obstacles indoors or outdoors for a short distance
- Intelligent Disobedience as in refusing a command to go forward into the road if there is oncoming traffic or intersecting traffic in the team’s path. The dog is also trained to halt, abruptly, rather than collide with a vehicle that intersects the team’s path when it enters the intersection during the team’s crossing
- Signal Changes In Elevation
- Halt or Sit to indicate every curb
- Halt to indicate descending stairs at the top of a flight of stairs
- Halt to indicate steps up into a building or patio area
- Halt to warn of edge of subway or train platform
- Halt to warn of approach to edge of cliff, ditch, other outdoor drop-offs
- Halt when confronted by a barrier such as at construction site
- Intelligent disobedience – refuse a command to go forward if there is a drop-off
- Locate Objects On Command
- Find an exit from a room; indicate door knob
- Find the elevator bank
- Find specific entrances and/or exits
- Find an empty seat, bench, or unoccupied area
- Find a customary seat in a particular classroom
- Follow a designated person such as a waiter to restaurant table, clerk to elevator, etc.
- Locate specified destination such as store in mall, hotel room or home from a distance, once all other decision points such as intersecting streets, hallways, etc. have been passed
- Combination of Any Common Service Dog Tasks
HEARING DOG TASKS
- Alert To Specific Sounds At Home
- Doorbell ringing
- Knock on front door
- Rapping on patio door or window
- Smoke alarm sounding
- Wind up minute timer, oven or microwave timer going off
- Baby crying
- Family member or other calling the name of the dog’s partner
- Child calling “mommy” [or other name, if applicable, such as daddy, grandpa, aunt]
- Phone ringing
- Alarm clock buzzing
- Computer equipment beeps
- Horn honking in garage or driveway
- Arrival of school bus
- Alert To Specific Sounds Away From Home
- Siren of police car, fire truck or ambulance and indicate direction
- Smoke alarm in workplace
- Distinguish phone ringing on partner’s desk at work from all other phones in workplace
- Name of partner if coworker, friend, family member calls out that name
- Cell phone or beeper
- Smoke alarm in hotel or work
- Fire drill at school or work
- Vehicle honking to attract attention
- Many Additional Possible Tasks
- Retrieve unheard dropped objects like keys , coins, or other objects
- To enhance security when the team arrives home after dark, the dog enters the home first to turn on a light, nudging the metal base of a lamp with a touch lamp device
- Carry a note from the partner to another household member, searching the house to find that individual
- Carry messages between spouses, utilizing objects which signify dinner is ready or that the person needs help right away, and so forth.
- Have the dog find and return with the hearing impaired person.
- Warn of a vehicle approaching from behind, or making a sudden turn. A task that applies the intelligent disobedience principle to hearing dog work
AUTISM SUPPORT TASKS
- Self Soothing
- Distracting Behavior
- Support Poor Balance or Motor Control
- Auditory Support
- Visual Processing Support
- Deep Pressure Stimulation / Therapy
- Tactical Anchoring
- Combination of Any Common Service Dog Tasks
SEIZURE SUPPORT TASKS
- Displaying alert behaviors before a seizure occurs
- Preventing injury by protecting its owner if he or she wanders/falls — at home or in public
- Remaining close to its owner during a seizure to prevent injuries
- Alerting a caretaker, family member or emergency response system
- Fetching a telephone, alert device or medication
- Opening a door or turning on a light
- Assistance Behaviors
- Provide comfort
- Provide a distraction during uncomfortable medical procedures
- Alerting another person to help during a seizure
- Pushing a life alert button
- Relieve Stress
- Constant Companion
- Retrieve medicine and food post seizure.
- Open Door and Turn on lights
- Tugging and helping the owner up
- Medical Response Behaviors
- Combination of Any Common Service Dog Tasks
LEVEL 5: PUBLIC ACCESS QUIZ
LEVEL 5: Introduction To Assistance Task Work
Task Work For Anxiety, Panic, Depression, PTSD, or Other Mental Disorders 503
Improve your daily routine behavior progression. Learn new common obedience commands and prepare for your AKC S.T.A.R. Exam.
LEVEL 5: PSYCHIATRIC SUPPORT 503
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TASK WORK OPPORTUNITIES
ASSISTANCE IN A MEDICAL CRISIS
Bring Medication to Alleviate Symptoms
Dog is trained to retrieve a small canvas bag with medication from a specific location that he is schooled to go to on command, such as a closet floor, bathroom vanity or shelf.
Dog can be trained to locate a purse with medication in home, office or on a hotel room dresser, desk or chair by following directional commands, then drag-deliver it to partner.
Dog can be trained to go tug open a cupboard door and retrieve a basket or satchel with medication if access to the first location is blocked by the door to the room being shut.
- Bring a Beverage So Human Partner Can Swallow Medication
Dog can be trained to fetch a beverage to enable the human partner to swallow the medication. Must master the skills of:
1) going to the kitchen from another room to pull open a refrigerator door or cupboard door with a strap,
2) picking up the beverage from refrigerator shelf before the door swings shut,
3) carrying cold beverage to the partner in another room,
4) going back, if need be, to shut the refrigerator door or instead:
5) fetch a basket or some other container from a kitchen cupboard with a beverage and other items; may also contain antidote type medication in a vial with a childproof cap.
- Bring The Emergency Phone During a Crisis
- Dog is trained to bring the handler a portable phone. If the room where the emergency phone is permanently located has two entrances, the dog should also be specifically taught to find the second entrance in case the first is blocked. The end goal is to train a service dog to bring the phone to any room in the house when needed on command.
- Answer the Doorbell
Dog is trained to tug strap on a lever handle to open the front door to let in emergency personnel or members of support system on command or in response to the doorbell itself.
Dog is trained to escort the person to the handler’s location.
- Call 911 or Suicide Hotline on K-9 Rescue Phone
- Dog is trained to call 911 / any pre-programmed number by depressing the huge white button on a K-9 Rescue speaker-phone with his paw.
- Bring Help Indoors and Provide Speech Impairment Assistance
Dog taught to bark at a speaker-phone on a hand signal (As pre-planned with the patient’s family, therapist or other members of his or her Support System.
Dog should learn to open interior doors with a lever handle and strap or knob-to-lever conversion device so he could exit bedroom or office to carry out a “get help” task.
Dog taught to carry a note to a spouse or another household member on command.
Dog is trained to go nudge a certain household member on command in a crisis.
- Summon Help from a Secretary, Co-worker or Supervisor
- There are a variety of ways a dog could summon help in the workplace. It will depend on the situation and/or particular tasks he has been schooled to perform.
- Provide Balance Assistance on Stairs
- Large dog is trained to assist his partner to climb or descend stairs with greater safety, by halting on each step, then bracing himself on command to steady the person when the person takes their next step. Dog must learn to only take one step, not 2 or 3 at a time.
- Assist Person to Rise & Steady that Person
Dog assists someone to get up from the floor or a chair by holding a Stand Stay position and stiffening his muscles on command, bracing himself to offer counter resistance for balance support when the partner places one hand on the dog’s withers and gets up.
Dog is further trained to Brace on command, stiffening body, acts as the Rock of Gibraltar, for at least ten seconds, to steady someone as soon as they rise to their feet instead of darting away or sitting, so as to prevent an accidental loss of balance.
- Balance Support to Ambulatory Partner
A large dog can be schooled to prevent a fall by stiffening his body to provide counter balance help if a person suddenly stumbles or feels dizzy. Ethically, you must give a warning with a command like “Brace” before putting weight on the dog’s withers, so he can stiffen his muscles first.
Large dogs can be trained to assist a person to ambulate to the nearest seat, step by step, bracing after each step to allow the person to steady oneself when taking next step.
Respond to Smoke Alarm if Partner Unresponsive
Dog is trained to persistently nudge partner to alert to smoke alarm whenever needed.
Alternately, the dog is trained to call 911 on K9 Rescue phone if smoke alarm goes off.
Backpacking Medical Related Supplies / Information
- Dog carries Medication in the backpack in case of a panic attack, other symptoms. Also may carry a Beverage, plus a Cell Phone or Beeper, and Instructions For Emergency Personnel, such as Who To Call if a patient is having a PTSD disassociation episode, a flashback, or if serious medication side effects, an injury or other problems should deprive the handler of the ability to provide important information about the team. DISCLAIMER: Please understand Backpacking is NOT a task that will legally “count” as a trained task acceptable in a court of law as proof the dog meets the legal definition of a service animal under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
TREATMENT RELATED ASSISTANCE
Medication Reminder at Certain Time of Day
Dog trained to interrupt the partner at a certain time of day or night. Dog encouraged by training to “nag” a person till he receives the anticipated food or cookie or walk. This increases the probability the partner will get up to take the pill when it is due. Can be a task in the home and perhaps in the workplace or at school if circumstances permit.
- Speech Impairment Task Away from Home
Dog is trained to deliver a laminated card to someone his partner points to.
- Coping With the Medication Side Effect – Dry Mouth woes
- Dog is trained to retrieve a beverage from a Cupboard or Refrigerator by hand signal.
- Alert Sedated Partner to the Cry of Someone in Distress
Similar to a hearing dog responding to an alarm clock; dog jumps on bed, persistently licks face or nudges partner till the partner wakes up, gives the dog a reward.
The dog leads the groggy adult to whomever is calling for the dog’s human partner.
- Wake Sedated Partner, Alerting to Doorbell
- Similar to hearing dog alert. Dog trained to awaken sleeping partner who takes medication with sedative side effects and lead that person to the source of the sound.
- Alert Sedated Partner to Smoke Alarm & Assist to Exit
Dog is trained to alert the human partner and to persist with the method taught such as face licking or nuzzling till the person sits up, rewards dog, indicating awake state.
Dog opens exit door with a pull strap in case the partner is too sedated to think clearly.
Dog is trained to lead his partner to the front door (or some other pre-selected exit).
Harness Work with Ambulatory Partner
- Large, physically sound dogs can be trained to assist a partner who would benefit from such aid to reduce the risk of falls while walking. It is customary to use a harness with a rigid handle designed to ergonomically distribute the weight of the partner, whenever the partner pushes down on the handle, after giving a “Brace” command to signal the dog to go into action and provide counter balance help.
COPING WITH EMOTIONAL OVERLOAD
Provide Tactile Stimulation to Disrupt the Overload
Dog is trained to vigorously lick someone’s face on command to bring his partner to full awareness, just as seizure response dogs can be trained to do when their partner is extremely groggy after a grand mal, which shortens the recovery time. This unpleasant tactile stimulation also can divert the partner’s attention from something that triggers tears or other inappropriate emotional reactions in school or a workplace.
A caregiver can adapt this nudging task into a “Go See (David)” command so the service dog will go over and perform this nudging to interrupt inappropriate repetitive behavior that a child on the autism spectrum may engage in. If a dog is large and persistent, unfazed by emotional outbursts, this nudging could also disrupt a child’s tantrum or assist someone crying or having a flashback to recover faster.
Dog is asked to get up on the bed and to tolerate a hug or to snuggle next to the person to permit the person to pet the dog till the person feels better. DISCLAIMER: Please understand this last activity is NOT going to legally “count” as a trained task acceptable in a court of law as proof the dog meets the legal definition of a service animal.
Dogs can be trained to get up from under a desk or behind chair on command or a cue like patting one’s knee to use nose to nudge the partner which disrupts sudden overload. To assist the person to regain composure, the dog must learn to be obnoxiously persistent with the nudging till the partner recovers enough to respond with the desired reward.
- Break the Spell and/or Combat Sedative Side Effects
Dog is trained to turn on bedroom or hall light or other lights, if needed.
Dog is trained to bring the TV Remote on command, which enables the partner to switch on the set, utilizing the startle effect of this sudden audio and visual stimuli plus this additional teamwork to vanquish extremely distressing thoughts, feelings and images. It can prevent a relapse of sleep disturbances.
Dog is trained to fetch a Beverage and/or Medication, becoming the focal point of his partner’s attention as he carries out the command(s). The concentration required for a successful delivery and the heartwarming cooperation of one’s service dog can disrupt the deeply disturbing thoughts that have taken hold of the partner’s mind. It strengthens the partner’s ability to remain in the “here & now.”
Dog or partner initiates a game of fetch or tug with a toy, which assists the person to resist sedative side effects and may break the grip of obsessive thoughts or memories. DISCLAIMER: this kind of play will not count as a “trained task” in a court of law and it does NOT legally transform a pet into a service animal, as untrained dogs can do it.
- Wake up Human Partner for Work or School
Dog responds to alarm clock like a hearing dog. Wakes up his partner by getting up on the bed, then nuzzling the partner with a cold nose or by licking the partner’s face.
Dog can be trained to wake a person up according to “internal alarm clock,” at same time every day.
Prevent or Combat Emotional Overload in Workplace
Use licking or nose nudging task as described in earlier Tactile Stimulation section.
During a business meeting, a dog can assist his partner by unobtrusively maintaining a Sit Stay without sliding into the Down position, out of reach. A toy breed could be told to perform a Down Stay in the partner’s lap. The human partner utilizes a relaxation technique such as giving the dog a massage or simply strokes the dog’s fur to calm self, so he or she can to continue to take part in the meeting. DISCLAIMER: Please understand that obedience to a Stay command to allow petting or the voluntary presence of a dog for petting is NOT a service dog task that will legally count as a trained task in a court of law.
- Providing an Excuse to Leave Upsetting Situation
Dog trained to “bother” his partner with pawing or a nose nudge, or by jumping up or crawling up into lap on cue, providing a plausible excuse to leave.
Dog may be trained to vocalize as if urgently needing to go outside, on cue.
Assist to Leave the Area by Finding Exit
Dog is schooled to find a specific exit to a classroom, an office, a store, a hotel lobby etc. on command or cue to assist someone to leave a high stress situation.
- Provide Deep Pressure for Calming Effect
- Dog is trained to provide deep pressure therapy during a panic attack. Precise behavior at such a time may be dictated by dog’s size, preference and partner’s location. Dog must be trained to promptly get Off the person on command.
- Crowd Control, Panic Prevention In Public
Dog is first trained on how to brace himself on a Stand Stay so that he cannot be jostled out of position. Technique was developed by service dog trainers to protect patients with Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy from accidental bumps that can trigger an excruciatingly painful RSD flare-up. Same task can prevent or reduce panic by creating enough distance for a situation to become tolerable. A large sturdy dog is schooled to move into Position (front, behind, left or right side) and to brace for possible impact with an innocuous command, such as “Stay Close.” Dog holds his ground, preventing people from making body contact with his partner while in line or on a bus, elevator or in the same room etc. Enhance the effectiveness of this strategy by asking a person to step back, using dog’s alleged fear of having his paws stepped on as a plausible reason for making such a request.
Dog is trained to repeatedly circle the partner to keep people at a comfortable distance. Short term strategy for backing people off.
Dog of any size can be schooled to move fast into requested Position, usually in front of or behind the partner and perform a quick Down Stay. Must learn to drop with his back to the person approaching or persons in line. Should lie flat on his side or at least on one hip, to maximize the distance between the partner and nearest person. If worried a small dog might be stepped, have him do a Stand-Stay instead, with the tail end nearest to the person to be kept at bay so as to maximize the distance this achieves.
- Arouse From Fear Paralysis or Disassociation Spell
Dog is trained to nudge handler during freezing behavior to rouse handler from a disassociative state or fear paralysis.
Dog is trained to respond with nudging and/or pawing whenever he hears the beeping from a wristwatch with an alarm clock function, which his partner can set to go off as frequently as desired, so the dog can arouse the seated or ambulating partner from a disassociative episode at home or in public. If fully alert, the partner can just reset the alarm before the alarm due to go off, unless he chooses to give the dog a practice session. Could be useful for someone with appointments or classes to get to or other responsibilities, if he or she is responsive to a service dog nudging or pawing when disassociating.
SECURITY ENHANCEMENT TASKS
Provide a Reality Check – Who’s There?
Ask the service dog, “Who’s There?” in excited tone of voice. The tone of voice and body language will encourage the dog to listen and to alert if need be. If nothing is there, the dog’s initial interest will wane. He will relax and wander off to do something else.
To reduce fear an intruder may have entered the premises while the partner was out of the house, this “Who’s There?” teamwork can also be utilized when returning home, upon entering the house. It can be immensely reassuring if the dog’s body language indicates there are no unexpected visitors.
- Strategies With a Portable Phone
Dog trained to retrieve a portable phone and deliver it to any room in the house so partner can investigate a suspicious noise, with friend on the line or 911 available.
Dog can be trained to enter the home through a doggy door or another entrance, to fetch the phone and deliver it to the partner who is waiting outside or in car to use it.
- Call for Help in Advance
Dog trained to go to the location of the K-9 Rescue phone and push the large button to dial 911 or another pre-set number BEFORE partner enters the home. If anything dreadful occurs when the partner goes inside, it will be heard by the 911 operator or a friend over the speaker-phone, so help can be sent fast.
Same task, but performed from a different location, requiring the dog to be trained to habitually follow a specific route from the bedroom or other designated rooms to the place where the K-9 Rescue Phone is waiting for the dog to operate it.
- Lighting up Dark Rooms
Dog must learn to operate light switches and/or other devices like a floor pedal device or touch lamps. Then the dog is schooled to precede handler into each room turning on lights one by one to reduce partner’s fear of a lurking intruder.
Dog is trained to enter a dark home or apartment by himself to switch on lamp(s) to reduce the partner’s fear of entering the premises.
- Assist with Escape Strategies – Open Front Door
The dog is trained to open the front door by tugging on a strap attached to a lever handle installed on the interior side of the Front Door. Secondly, the dog must learn to go from the bedroom and /or other rooms all the way to the front door to perform the task on command, at any time of day or night.
The dog could be trained to open a locked door from the inside on command by tugging on a strap attached to a lever handle. This could enable his partner who exited by a window or another route, to get back inside without needing to wake up a sleeping family member or call a locksmith.
FEAR MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC
- Reducing Hyper-vigilance Through Teamwork
- Like guide dog and hearing dog handlers who rely on their dogs’ body language to enhance their ability to safely navigate their environment, individuals with PTSD report impressive gains in their ability to function outside the home, relying on their dog’s training and body language to compensate for the mental impairment they must contend with. Dog may also be taught to do a “Who’s There?” reality check on command before entering a parking lot or other feared locations.
- Keep Suspicious Strangers Away
Dog is trained to obey the bluff command “Cover Me.” Dog learns to jump up and turn around, standing next to his partner, facing backwards. (It is a Stand-stay obedience exercise with a dog facing in a different direction than usual. A mugger may receive the impression the dog is watching for trouble.
May also train a dog to turn his head from side to side, while facing people behind you. Taught by using click & treat or verbal “Yes” & treat, rewarding him whenever he turns head to the left. Use the bluff command: “Watch My Back”. Psychologically, with a large dog, it’s a crime deterrent, while partner operates an ATM machine or while quickly unlocking a car or an office door. Dog does not actually do anything more than hold a Stand-stay position, while giving the impression that he is visually scanning the area for possible trouble. After the dog turns his head from side to side, four to six times in a row, reward him, then ask him to repeat it.
Dog rises from a Down-stay position to assume a Stand-stay position next to or in front of his disabled partner. What changes this from a routine obedience exercise to an effective illusion is teaching the dog to spring up quickly when the handler uses a bluff command such as, “On Guard!” To heighten the illusion, the handler should grip the dog’s collar as if the dog needs to be restrained from charging forward.
Dog is taught to “Bark for Help,” on command, or when you snap your fingers, to earn a treat. This vocalizing attracts attention to the team, scaring off a mugger or some other predator, for the last thing a criminal wants is the public’s attention focused on his activities. Teaching the dog to bark enthusiastically, instead of falling silent in eager anticipation of his treat after only two or three barks requires several months of schooling in the home, vehicle and a variety of other locations, before it will be a dependable task.
- Increase Safety in Public, at ATM with Equipment & Teamwork
- Dog trained to work cooperatively with the handler at an ATM machine, by obediently doing a “Paws up” and “Stay,” to allow the card and checks to be removed from backpack or to permit the cash dispensed by an ATM to be discretely returned to the backpack. It enables a handler to remain in an upright position, blocking ATM’s screen from view, rather than making self much more vulnerable to a mugging by bending down to fumble with the backpack zipper or velcro tabs. DISCLAIMER: Please understand this is NOT a task that will legally “count” as a trained task acceptable in a court of law as proof the dog meets the legal definition of a service animal.
LEVEL 5: PUBLIC ACCESS QUIZ
Level 4: ORA Service Dog Certificate
Service Dog Handler Readiness Certificate
OBEDIENCE ASSESSMENT TEST
PREPARING FOR ORA LEVEL 4 SERVICE DOG EXAM
PASSING ORA LEVEL 4 SERVICE DOG EXAM
- Tuck: acceptable handler comprehension and demonstration with lure
- Precision Heal: handler comprehension and demonstration with lure
- Precision Heel
- Eyes Up
- Load Up
PUBLIC ACCESS ASSESSMENT TEST
- Stairs, steps or elevators
- Leave It
- Sitting Politely In Public – Urban Setting
- Appearance For Grooming
- Walking On Loose Leash
- Walking Through A Crowd – Urban Setting
- Reaction to Distraction – Urban Setting
TEAM BUILDING ASSESSMENT TEST
- Trust Me: demonstrates basic knowledge of team building exercise