Detection Dog Workshops

A workshop is a long interactive meeting or educational session designed to create a specialized result. Workshops emphasize hands-on interaction.

Workshops are $1000 plus transportation for me to your site, accommodations and meals.

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Basics of Medical 
Alert Training

Dogs and other animals that rely heavily on the sense of smell can identify odors concentrated in an object or piece of ground as small as a dime.

Dogs play an essential role in our lives: they are our friends and daily companions. But for those with medical conditions, dogs can do much more.

Service dogs bring freedom to their partners 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. A person partnered with a service dog has full public access rights as granted by federal law (The Americans With Disabilities Act), which allows them to take their dog into all public facilities. Service dogs are never separated from their human partners! A competent service dog program spends two years preparing each dog for its working life. Service dogs must be physically sound, temperamentally stable, happy working partners. 

Medical Detection and Alert Dogs use their incredible noses to sense bio-chemical changes in your body. Every change has an attached smell. If we can isolate that smell, we can train your dog to detect it, alert you to its presence and help you reduce the effects of whatever condition is causing it.

A trained service animal can save your life. Whether it’s by catching a whiff of nuts that could kill a person with a severe airborne allergy, detecting low blood sugar, or even recognizing heart abnormalities that could signal a heart attack, the incredibly sensitive canine sense of smell can work wonders.
Medical alert dogs can warn their owners about impending crisis situations in a variety of illnesses. These include diabetes, heart disease, airborne allergies, asthma, illnesses that cause dizziness or potential loss of consciousness when standing, and many others. And whether or not the animal detects the emergency in advance, they can provide a quick, targeted medical response unique to the individual’s needs 

Training an alert or response to a condition like diabetes, with body changes that are known and can be isolated and preserved for training, is a contentious subject with most service dog trainers. Being able to isolate a smell, a movement or a set of movements that a human does during the earliest stages of an event can be done regardless of whether there is research to back it up. There is enough research in how a dog's nose works and how dog's instinctively sense changes in a human body, that being able to isolate a scent or behavior enough to train the dog to alert to it is not uncommon.

Being able to even partially isolate the smells associate with a disease or condition and training responses or alerts to those smells is that you can use the process for pretty much any change in your body. Even psychiatric disorders can be alerted to 5 to 10 minutes before another human would be able to see the mental changes.

In both medical alerts and medical responses, the dog recognizes and responds to a change in your body, like a change in your posture or a certain smell on your breath. The key difference between a response and an alert isn't in what the dog does, it's about whether or not you are aware that changes are occurring prior to a medical or psychiatric event. 

If you're already generally aware you're having an issue when your dog starts the work, it's a response rather than an alert. A simple alert on its own is just the dog bringing the incident to your attention when you didn't know about it.

Both alerts and responses can be extremely valuable. Alerts can let you know you might have an issue in time for you to do something to completely head off a problem, or at least get to a safe position or space. Many dogs that alert are also trained to continue responding during an attack, and so they're both medical alert and medical response dogs for a disability.

Alerts on their own can be great, but sometimes an alert isn't possible or doesn't allow you to head off or even lessen the problem. This is why responses are wonderful and can even be more valuable in a situation!

If you only get an alert, you've only gotten information about a problem and then you'd better be able to fix the problem on your own. With responses, you're getting an action that can itself decrease the problem. Whether I'd recommend training an alert, response, or both depends on your dog's abilities and what would be best for you. 

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Training Fatigue

It’s been my experience in the 45+ years I've been training dogs, that fatigue happens because of frustration. Frustration happens because it appears that training isn’t working as expected. 

Not being patient

Training a dog takes time, and every dog learns at his or her pace. Don’t get frustrated or stressed because your dog is taking too long to catch on to something. Not only will that make matters worse, but the dog will most likely also become stressed.

If the dog struggles to master something, you need to consider whether this might be a good time for that specific training. Perhaps you have extended the session for too long. It’s good to keep the session short (10-15) minutes and always end positively.

Alternatively, break down the training sessions into smaller parts, each done separately. 

Not correcting or rewarding Immediately

Trainer uses clicker and treats to reward dog during training. Reward good behavior immediately to reinforce good habits and avoid common dog training mistakes.
Reward good behavior immediately to reinforce good habits and avoid common dog training mistakes.
Dogs are not blessed with the same sense of time as human beings. Negative or positive behavior must be recognized immediately; otherwise, you will only be confusing the animal.
If the dog does something naughty, and first you decide to go and answer the ringing phone or doorbell, then come inside ten minutes later and scold him, the animal won’t know why he is getting punished. 

Failing to establish a routine

Dogs love routine. When they know times to play, walk, eat, and sleep, it creates a confidence level that builds healthy anticipation and minimizes stress. Dogs are very clever animals and quickly pick up on many signals. Some might not be that important - leading to confusion and problems later in training.
When training puppies, it’s essential to set a reliable schedule for playing, walking, and feeding. Whatever routine you set, try and stick to it as that inspires confidence in your puppy. It also makes the transition into adulthood much easy. 

Avoid dog training mistakes

Finally, never train a dog when you are in a bad mood or tired. Human patience tends to wear thin when tired or grumpy, and you are more likely to get mad at the dog for not getting things right on the first attempt. To train your dog professionally, you can learn skills by joining dog trainer courses available online. These lessons are very helpful in communicating with your pet. 

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