Sometimes, Gillis amazes me! I dropped a prescription bottle on the floor of the bathroom. I didn't have Gillis come and get it, as I can go into my bathroom, but there's no room for Gillis to come in behind me, I'd have to back out for him to go in. I figured I'd have him pick it up later in the day. Well, that didn't stop Gillis from picking up the bottle after I had left the bathroom and was heading toward the bedroom. I didn't see Gillis go into the bathroom, but I heard his nails on the linoleum and then he walked past me and jumped onto the bed. He dropped something (which I later discovered was the prescription bottle that I had dropped) between his legs as he lay down. When I got to the bed and sat on it, Gillis picked up the bottle and handed it to me. I was extremely shocked and proud of Gillis to do this. As it shows that Gillis is thinking. This is very important in a service dog.
posted by Dana Marshall 4:46 PM
Gillis may have gotten his 3rd brain cell, finally!
According to my dog trainer, dogs have about 3 brain cells
and get their last one at about the age of 3 years, and start acting like ADULT dogs.
Gillis is now willingly laying down in his crate, and spends a lot of time there, with the door open. It's something I'm happy to see, as I thought he was just ignoring the thing! He was kept in it at night, and that may have been the reason for his dislike of it to begin with... he hates to be locked into it!
Right now, he's doing very well when out in public. He was very good at H&R Block, even if the employees weren't always as good toward him.
Oh, well, maybe things will change next year.
Gillis started pulling my wheelchair a little bit last weekend. He also spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out how to undo the velcro on my hand braces. That was interesting to watch.
Gillis has regressed to chewing on things, which he hasn't done since he was 8 months old *sigh*
Okay, it's been quite awhile since I did a training update! *laugh* Gillis is filling out and working all the time for me. Still have a few problems with him picking up things in public, but it's getting better. :) He's still very much a puppy, especially, when he takes my shoes off, and has to go run around the room once before bringing them to me.
Just started Gillis learning how to pull my wheelchair. At this point in training, I'd need a fishing pole with a rawhide chewie on the end to get him going. *sigh* It's gonna take hard work to get him convinced this is what I want him to do. :)
Went to the Puyallup Fair today... Gillis was very nervous about all the people, and the sights and sounds, but after about an hour, he did just fine. We spent about 5 hours at the fair, looking at all the exhibits and Gillis was still pulling some on his leash, but maybe we'll be able to work on that this week. :)
I'm looking at taking Gillis to the fair again, sometime this month, to give him more exposure, and to expose him to the animals, too.
Gillis has proven that he was the right dog to be trained to be my service dog. Several weeks ago, I fell in my apartment. Gillis ran up to me barking, until my husband came to see what was wrong. As soon as my husband was there, Gillis shut up. Then, Gillis squirmed under me and stood up, putting me on my hands and knees. Then, I command Gillis to brace, and he froze while I stood up.
Now, except for the brace, Gillis did all this without any commands. He knows how to brace me, and he knows how to bark on command, but only one bark. I'm so proud of my puppy!
Yep, been several months since I've updated this page... things have been really busy during the American tax season, as well as teaching. Gillis accompanied me to work to both places, and is learning to be quiet when I need him to be.
Gillis now 14 months old, and is really acting like a teenager. *sigh* I'll be glad when he calms down as he gets older. He's retrieving nicely, when we're at home, but he's still unsure about doing it when we're out in public.
Gillis is FINALLY learning how to walk on a loose leash! Yay! After talking with my dog trainer, who gave me some ideas (like giving him more leash), it's working! I now correct Gillis when he's out of position and he's learning what that position is.
Well, I WAS going to have more pictures up this weekend, as Gillis and I went to a local hospital and did a talk about Service Dogs with my dog trainer, Dana Babb, and another A-Dog team. However, my husband drained the digital camera at his model club meeting earlier, and decided to NOT take pictures using AC power at the talk! *ARGH* I will hopefully, have some pics later tomorrow after the camera recharges.
Gillis has been coming to work with me at H&R Block for a couple weeks, now. And he has figured out that I need him to retrieve things. He will pick up a pen for me no matter how many times I drop it. And he'll hold it for me until I take it from him.
Wow! Things are really looking up in the training department. One of the big things that I need Gillis to do for me is pick up stuff I drop. Well, today, the lightbulb finally went off! I had been putting an empty prescription bottle in his mouth, telling him "take it", and then then telling him "give" to let go of it. It was working okay, but I thought I'd have to do lots more work on it.
Well, I went into our kitchen, bumped a plastic tumbler, and it fell to the floor. I told Gillis to "take it", and he did, and brought it right over to me, and held it until I took it from him. I'm so proud of him for figuring it out!
Keith (the hubby) has given me an early Christmas present of a digital camera, so I'll be putting up more pictures of Gillis, as well as of equipment that I'm looking at for him, and maybe even of our training sessions. :)
There's a lot of updating since I've put up the pic of Gillis at his puppy kindergarden graduation. Gillis is now 6 months old, weighs in at over 50 pounds, and is retrieving nicely... the only problem is, he's not HOLDING the items for me, yet. Ooops... something tells me I made a slight training error there.
Gillis today picked up a quarter off our carpet, and off the mat at the Paws-Abilities training center. :) Way to go, Gillis! He spit it out at me, so now we have to work on him waiting until my hand is under his mouth so the quarter can land in my hand. :)
I'm teaching a Introduction to Computers and QBASIC at the local technical college. Gillis isn't going with me to class this quarter, but I am expecting him to be ready for the winter quarter. :)
posted by Dana Marshall 6:42 PM