07 October 2019

Train Your Service Dog to Guide You to the Nearest Exit

I'm excited about this one! I'll keep making more detailed videos on this because Suki is still learning and we're still trouble shooting. She learned it so fast, this ...


okay welcome to my house we have our new kitchen it doesn't have any cabinets but we do have a fenced-in yard and fridge all kinds of stuff so highly requested video for Sookie's new task which is finding the exit I suffer from dissociative episodes that can make me disoriented confused and sometimes want to hurt myself so she's being trained to when this happens find an exit we've done about five or six sessions on this and I was really surprised yesterday I'll show you that video but I'm gonna go ahead and jump right into it we're gonna go through step by step how I taught her to find the exit you need things a front door preferably not in the ghetto where I live now treats of course I got these crunchy ones she's been liking crunchy ones a lot lately and a harness this one is borrowed from Caitlin and Raven I don't know what kind it is I forget I'll probably put it in the description so you need a harness with either a guide handle or pull strap yeah you don't want to use just a moment probably because it's probably not gonna be all that effective at guiding with a leash and guiding with something around

their neck is not gonna be also safe you're not wanting them to hold you super hard this isn't gonna be forward momentum pulling we're just guiding to an exit so that's what she's gonna be doing I'm gonna get her and her harness and show you what do we what we did so this is the room I'm videotaping in we just moved so we have all of this this box spring this TV in the middle of the room like it is not organized but what we need here is a clear path a few feet from the door this is a wide front harness Sookie come wherever she's getting up from being by daddy come here Gugu you can't put it on so it goes over their head like that you want the strap on their back straps here and here if it's a wide front that you have obviously this is the shape it is you want the tops of the Y over her over their shoulders and the bottom of the Y to go underneath them oh my gosh I had that camera turned the wrong way the whole time sorry guys I just realized I can pause this that's really cool okay I'm gonna do that now instead of just stopping the whole video so this is her in her harness say hi Sookie good girl lougle

work and we've as you can see we have the Halloween stuff going on purple and orange yeah alright let's get started I have to treat put them in your pocket or treat bag and we're gonna do that pause treats oh yeah this is the front of my car that got ripped off by some drunk who stole a car and my insurance won't cover it anyway treats I have one hand we're gonna put a few here like that BAM so what's it let your dog know that they're out there Sookie look you see that treats so she knows that they're there alright come on back get back so you want the treats to be just right outside your door and your dog knows they're there start out just a few feet from the door grab the handle not yet and don't add the command yet because the dog doesn't know what it is so before you add any command give your dog the release word that it already knows Suki's is fre e sometimes you use okay or get it or whatever Sookie free and she goes and gets the treat good girl so that's how you start to get them to walk towards the door do that a few

times until they get it and when after you've done that a few times let me take another treat she's done I think I put way too many out that was a lot okay good back inside back inside she's waiting Sookie get inside wait you stay treat down okay so one more time we're gonna come back in here and I am sorry for the video quality guys I cannot do this with one hand come here soup good girls heal okay ah again this is a work in progress we've done this a few times already now before you give your release word after a few times of doing this you're gonna say the release word and then say your cue so free exit hmm okay if your dog doesn't get it at first like she just got confused because we were already saying exit before say free free exit like that good girl good job so yeah if your dog pauses like she did a little confused just say free and then while there you're walking say they say the word and do that until you can do it again set up your treat obviously I'm not gonna do that again and then just exit and then keep keep having their treats out here until they're walking out once they get the

idea of that we're gonna go farther back so now I'm all the way back here she's gonna close down hello come in come here Suki heel we're farther from the door exit and she had the guide so that's what you're gonna do at first when you're working from home just keep going farther back maybe do it I couldn't in this room because we have so much stuff that we haven't moved yet but you wanna you're gonna want to do it from different directions if you can but yeah now we're gonna go on to the next step which is at the pet store so here we are pet store we're pretty close to the entrance we don't want to start too far back especially because now you're in a completely different environment so you're pretty much want to restart your dog on what you're doing so you're gonna do the exact same thing as you would at home I'm Sookie and the reason I put the treats by the door it's gonna fall over there it's because I don't want her to keep looking at me usually when you know a service dog who is taught to you know have complete focus on the trainer all of a sudden you're telling them to lead the way they're gonna be a little less

confident so this is gonna keep her looking straight ahead at that treat so I'm gonna tell her free and she's gonna go get the treat now your dog may not know exactly what to do she knows what to do if your dog is confused do it outside of the door so your dog can actually see it I went through the door because it's pretty busy right now and I don't want to get in anyone's way so do that at a short distance until you know your dog is getting it if your dog is not getting it then you need to you need to do go closer so that your dog sees the food if your dog is too confused you you want to do more at home first so that would probably mean that your dog is not ready for all of the distraction that comes with being in a pet store so do more at home and get them used to the procedure so that they can kind of pick up on it a little bit quicker so that is my advice for that but we're gonna keep going after that little tidbit I'm gonna drop a treat come back and tell her exit free good girl good girl so they're gonna once you start getting them going to the treat with the word exit come on you're gonna go

farther back like you did at home just like at home I forgot to lay a treat there but it's fine put a treat down go farther back exit good girl good job good girl so at this point your dog is going to think that there's a treat every time you go towards the door which is not completely true so it's pretty easy to get them off of the treats on this one because you can act like you throw a treat down and then restart and tell them exit and when they start to go for the treat immediately when they get to the door shop get a treat out of your pouch or pocket and give it to them and and they know either way that they get a treat whether there's a lot on the floor over there or not so once you start getting from farther back just like at home you want to do different positions so we're gonna go over here do the same thing exit oh she wants to stop for a snack no I'm gonna restart because she didn't oops Sookie focus sookie focus good girl there we go exit there we go a lot of distractions in here even for a dog like her that's been doing this for her entire life

pretty much she still gets distracted at pet stores and that's okay we don't come here often it's a really distracting environment good job when you get here no matter how many people there are around I'm already doing something embarrassing by filming but when you get to the door praise praise a lot you'll see in the video after this how I praise her when when she gets the door praise them like you have never before it is a hard task it really is I'm gonna come from the left I'm gonna come from the right do not go around the corner yet exit she already started walking that's okay don't go around the corner yet make sure they can always see the door otherwise they're gonna get confused good girl you want to have them know exactly where the door is from where you're standing so that when you go around the corner for the very first time they'll go right up to the door it's less air it's less room for error come on so once they've gotten the hang of going to the exit from anywhere they can see the door you can go around the first corner a little bit just make it so they can just barely not see the door exit

and they still know where it is even though they can't see it they're still confident and they'll try if they can't see the door and they feel lost they may not try girl I try this way this is where she really started to get used to it once once she um once she started to realize what the objective was which was find a door to the outside it was a lot easier so I'm just gonna start walking around the store don't do this yet just do what I just did and that have that be your first several sessions and once they're picking up picking it up really fast like she did I started this task last week we're nowhere near the door at this point tsuki exit go ahead exit if you need to give them a little more encouragement that's totally fine she was a little unsure about what she was doing feeling encouragement good exit good girl here comes leave it good girl that was just a little dog good girl she's getting a little distracted here kind of wavering back and forth I think C's might have forgotten nope she knows

where we're going that was from all the way in the back of the store good girl you did it good girl you did it good girl I'm Jack potting which is feeding her multiple treats because she did a good job come here sit sit good girl Hey sit your butt down I love this dog man she's so good I'm gonna show you her taking me out of the library and her taking me out of my workplace from the second floor so enjoy that this is where we've been sitting the whole time at the library hey Sookie Kimmy you're still learning so we're gonna try it exit good it's a it's a window but the door is right here which is that's the same thing we did park this way so we're gonna go this way Sookie cuz we're on the second floor at discover and she immediately started walking and pulling me towards the elevator here we are good girl so now we got to teach her to push this I'm disoriented crystal on button strap here sorry I'm breathing weird I'm just really excited I wasn't expecting it I just sort of said it to

see if she would recognize even though we were on the second floor and she took me all the way to the elevator I'm really excited okay ready exit [Music] get a good job show everybody how could you or good girl yay