Monday, November 24, 2008

Tomlin's Service Dog Frisbee

Yesterday someone asked me about Tomlin. He's doing great! I thought I'd post an update about him.

For those of you who don't know, Tomlin is the dog we are training to be a service dog for our daughter. He is a possible German Shepherd and Norwegian Elkhound mix that we rescued almost two years ago. He's a fun treat to be around. We love him dearly! If he ever stops chewing on shoes he's going to become a full fledged service dog. Right now, we're still working on him. But even as a service dog trainee he's already a big help. Tomlin can retrieve things that are dropped. He can take items to family members and can help you steady to keep from falling. He also stands to help you off of the floor if you're already down. Of course, he can also open the refrigerator door but we won't go there!

Tomlin's favorite game has become Frisbee. It's been a teaching tool too. This helps him learn how to pick things up. Sometimes he has to "wait" for the command. Once in awhile he gets lucky. We'll throw our arms off and he'll have a blast. "Fetch" works the same way. Both of these games have been building blocks to teach him to carry things to family members and friends, or get and bring items to one person, reliably.

Before Tomlin, I never thought much about service dogs. So far, despite problems with our neighbor, it's been a rewarding experience.

Tomlin as a puppy.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are having a great time teaching Tomlin all sorts of tasks.

    For the chewing the shoe have you tried teaching him to bring the shoe instead and of course reward for that action. In other words change an unwanted behaviour into a positive one. When he see's that chewing the shoe doesn't get him the reward but bringing it to somebody does that may just do it for you. Just a suggestion.

    Service dogs are wonderful as I have one myself and he's a sweety. Counter-balancing and bracing, closing and opening doors. Although when he first learned about the door he also thought it would be fun to close it on me. lol. They get silly sometimes during the teaching process.

    Happy teachings.