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"On the whole, once I started listening to Asta and shaping behaviors went a lot quicker than I imagined. "

For sure! Listening to them always works better than acting like a drill Sergent. I too have an OT Service Dog, but somehow just found this thread:) He loves nothing better than training, and doing his favorite work and tasks.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
You never know when you will need rock solid commands. The other day, I slipped on the 1/2 step into the kitchen and fell literally face down, bloody nose (took forever to stop) Bruising all over you can imagine it better than I can tell it. Well, Asta did his job - nosed me a couple of times - I looked up there was Asta - told him to "Help Me" and he dutifully went and got my DH. This was the very first command I taught Asta and we train on it 3-4 times a week Cause you never really know when you will need it. Good boy, Asta - have some turkey :p
 

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You never know when you will need rock solid commands. The other day, I slipped on the 1/2 step into the kitchen and fell literally face down, bloody nose (took forever to stop) Bruising all over you can imagine it better than I can tell it. Well, Asta did his job - nosed me a couple of times - I looked up there was Asta - told him to "Help Me" and he dutifully went and got my DH. This was the very first command I taught Asta and we train on it 3-4 times a week Cause you never really know when you will need it. Good boy, Asta - have some turkey :p
I'm sorry to hear that you slipped. GOOD BOY, ASTA, enjoy your turkey.
 

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I am sorry you had such a painful test of Asta's training, but so thrilled to hear he did his job so very well. I hope you are healing up well.
 
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Discussion Starter #71
Well we have decided on the next bit of training - "Brace" - hold still, allow me to put my hands on Asta - apply pressure until I can pull myself up, using Asta to brace. I think that this will be a very useful command in my bag of tricks.
For training I will teach it in smallbits and then run them together when it seems like the right time. Really once again, for the most part, I will be shaping behavior.
Can hardly fathom how much Asta and I have worked on various commands. He can get very bored -new commands are fun. Useful too - this will give us another chance to train during the covid..
Thanks to all my mentors - I couldn't have done this on my own.
 

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Well we have decided on the next bit of training - "Brace" - hold still, allow me to put my hands on Asta - apply pressure until I can pull myself up, using Asta to brace. I think that this will be a very useful command in my bag of tricks.
I have forgotten how old Asta is? They need to be at least 2 years old for their bones, etc to have formed enough to do this. And please research where you apply the pressure for bracing so that you do not damage your dearly beloved dog! I was taught it should only be on the shoulders, if they are strong enough and you do not weigh too much.

Please be really specific so that someone else doesn't try something you are suggesting without proper form.

Cheers! And good for you for SD training :)
 

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I’m just getting caught up too ......OMG I was shocked when I read you fell. I hope everything has healed and you’re okay. What an amazingly good boy Asta is to follow his command to get help in a real emergency.

I had read up several years ago about using a dog as a brace like this. I definitely encourage you to research it carefully first to be certain all the requirements are in place.
 
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Discussion Starter #75
So now I have fallen twice and Asta was there for me.
On the Brace command I am looking for a little help with ups and downs by pressing him on the shoulders (not hard) to remain still and allow me to apply a little pressure enough to help me with my balance issues.
I will do some reading and take it from the pros. Haven't started training this so no big deal if the research shows me that this may not be a good idea.
This is separating the wheat from the chaff - this is where my mentors can set me on the right track - what may work - may won't.
 

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Discussion Starter #76
After reseaching Brace I discovered that Asta was really not cut out for this dubious command.So now we are back to what Asta can do for me. Looking back is a good way to see all our success and what didn't work for some reason. I am always amazed by how quickly Asta learns a shaped behavior. It is hard with the covid to get out and about. I am kinda thinking this will have to be learned again when we are safe again. Very frustrated to get partial success and then not being able to train is a let down. Still am looking for the positive and that right now is working on his basic commands.
 

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I suspect that for many of us the weight ratio between us and a spoo is not so safe for them if we need them to bear our full weight. I do use a light hand on Javelin's withers for balance when standing from an awkward position but I just lightly rest my fingertips on his shoulders. Think about whether that would be something Asta could do for you. I taught it because I was teaching a stand stay for novice and utility exercises anyway and you can touch the dog in novice to set them up. He took to it very easily.
 

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Asta's Mom, I am so glad that you looked into that ability with the weight on your dear spoo. . Sorry that the result is a no-go, but better safe than sorry. You two are an awesome team, and learning what works is the best!
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Well now I have fallen four times Doctor is trying to figure this out. Had a CT, no results (thank God) It is funny as I wobble and about 10 sec later I fall. The wobble/then fall comes too quick for me to do anything to stop the fall - I think it is a Balance problem. I will add the touch on wiithers as that could really be helpful - wobble then help balance and maybe I won't fall as much- thanks Catherine.
So should stay on topic my Asta was there for me every time. Good boy Asta - have some chicken.
 

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Well now I have fallen four times Doctor is trying to figure this out. Had a CT, no results (thank God) It is funny as I wobble and about 10 sec later I fall. The wobble/then fall comes too quick for me to do anything to stop the fall - I think it is a Balance problem. I will add the touch on wiithers as that could really be helpful - wobble then help balance and maybe I won't fall as much- thanks Catherine.
So should stay on topic my Asta was there for me every time. Good boy Asta - have some chicken.
Hope everything turns out all right. Good boy, Asta.
 
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