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June 2021

  /  2021

Autumn is well under way and much of the country is awash in color, leaves and crisp air. The beautiful fall conditions make things just perfect for taking a stroll with your Service Dog or Service Dog in Training! Enjoying a walk together isn’t much fun, though, if it’s a constant battle. Here are 5 training tools to help you teach loose leash walking so that everyone can enjoy the nice weather!

In America, parades, fireworks, food and fun-filled gatherings on the 4th of July are a time-honored tradition. For some Americans, particularly combat veterans, Independence Day is anything but fun. When deciding how to celebrate America's birthday this year, keep our veterans and active military members in mind.

Meet Aris, a 110 lbs. Czech Shepherd who, when they first met, tried to take a bite out of author Bob Wank. Once partnered, they formed an indestructible bond which enabled them to conquer any obstacles they faced along the way to becoming an elite team in police work, as well as in the field of search and rescue. Their mutual love for their work took them on a journey through dangerous situations, major evidence finds, chasing “bad guys” on the streets of Southern California and ultimately being deployed, with FEMA on 9/11, to one of the largest and tragic crime scenes our nation has ever seen. The book, Aris A K-9 Hero's Life Before, During & After 9/11 gives you a unique look into a working dog’s life. Bob’s vivid recounting of their shared experiences during Aris’ lifetime of service will give you a new appreciation for the remarkable capabilities of a professional K-9. From allowing children to pet him and pull his hair to barking a suspect into submission, he did it all. He was a credit to working dogs everywhere. About the Author Bob Wank retired as a Sergeant with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department after 30 years of service. This is his first book which was written in memory of his amazing K-9 partner, Aris. Bob wanted Aris’s life of service to be shared in the hope that it would shed light on the awe-inspiring talents of working dogs and their handlers, as well as to remind people that they can put aside differences and unite to fight the evil in the world. After retirement, Bob began a new career as a flight attendant which has taken him many places and allowed him to meet people from all different cultures and environments. It has brought him a renewed desire to reach out to as many people as possible and attempt to inject a positive attitude towards life into everyone he meets. Other passions of his include spending time with his family, surfing, brewing beer, mountain biking, reading, and lying on the beach. He currently lives in Orange County, California. For more info check them out on Facebook or bobwank.com.              

Many dog training professionals refer to small pieces of dog food rolls as "puppy crack." When properly prepared, food rolls provide easy, quick, long-lasting, nutritional high value training treats. This same method can also be used to dice up hotdogs or cheese blocks. Supplies Dog Food Roll Sharp Knife Cutting Board Container Gather your supplies ahead of time. After you open the food roll, cut it in half. This makes it easier to work with and hold. Continue cutting the roll until you have manageable chunks. For smaller rolls, this is best achieved by quartering it. For bigger rolls, you may have to repeat this process. Next, cut the chunks into slices. The thickness of the slices vary depending on your dogs' size or your dexterity. Bigger dogs need thicker slices, and thicker slices are easier to handle. Small dogs require smaller slices. Remember, the thinner your slices, the more treats you get. When working with high value treats, smaller is often better. Stack the slices, and cut them in half longways. You can stabilize the stack on either side with your fingers, and cut through the middle. Finally, cut the stack into thirds or quarters, depending on how big you want the final treats to be. Repeat for each stack of slices until you're finished. After you dice the entire roll, shuffle the pieces around with your hand to fully separate them into individual pieces. Place the pieces in a container or treat pouch.        

The COVID-19 crisis deepened the bond between Americans and their pets, and a majority of those who acquired new pets during the pandemic did so in part from loneliness. And most pet owners by far would go to the mat to save their pets, regardless of the medical cost of doing so. These key findings are from the first comprehensive survey, by Money.com, of how people have treated, and felt about, their pets during the pandemic and is part of an exclusive partnership from Anything Pawsable and Money.com. The poll of 2,200 Americans, including 1,384 pet owners, was conducted in early March by Morning Consult, and probed not only changes to America’s relationships to its pets during COVID-19 but to what is spent on them and how and why new animal companions were acquired.

We also wanted to know what people were willing to spend on their pets’ medical care and the degree to which they trusted their vets’ advice. Also important was to probe pet owners’ knowledge about pet insurance -- the health-care coverage whose annual dollar sales have been growing annually by double digit percentages in recent years -- and to detail where they bought the policies. 

The table of contents below has links that lead to more detailed findings and discussion) are five key findings from our study. Here is a brief overview of the results: The pandemic has stepped up how much Americans cherish their pets. Six in ten reported valuing their animal companions more, and half said they were being more affectionate to them now. More than half of people who got a new pet during the pandemic cite loneliness as a reason. More than a third of new pets were acquired at shelters, followed by breeders and pet stores. For all the ways to get a pet, satisfaction was high and problems were low. Veterinarians are trusted pet-care partners, with more than two-thirds of owners saying they’d follow their vet’s advice on treatment. Pet owners would spend big to save their animal, with two-thirds saying they’d take any measure to save its life, regardless of cost. Eight in ten would take any measure they could afford. Most respondents said they were familiar with pet insurance, but sizeable minorities of those people said policies reimburse for expenses they rarely if ever cover. For the full report, please see “Pets and Pet Spending During the Pandemic: A Money.com-Morning Consult Report.”      

The same behavior chain used to teach your Service Dog to open or close a door. For those with physical disabilities, training your Service Dog to close doors can be incredibly helpful. Whether you're not steady on your feet or even if it just takes a while for you to move across the room, training your Service Dog to help with basic everyday tasks can be a huge help. Opening or closing doors is a task that's easy and straightforward to teach, so grab your partner and get ready to have some fun!

Before we begin, please note that our focus is on Service Dogs, not Emotional Support Dogs, Therapy Dogs or other types of working dogs or other species of animals. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) and Therapy Dogs are important types of working dogs, but they are not Service Dogs. It is very important to understand the difference.   Simply being disabled and having a dog isn't enough Simply being being disabled or having a disease and having a dog isn't enough to make a dog a Service Dog. Many disabled people have pets. Service Dogs must be trained to perform specific physical tasks or work that you would otherwise have difficulty completing on your own due to your disability. Tasks or work should be things that are physically necessary. Under the law, people are allowed to ask you what specific physical tasks your dog performs to help with your disability and you should be prepared to explain. Providing comfort or emotional support are not qualifying tasks. Some people are surprised to learn that there are no legally-mandated training standards for Service Dogs — or even for Service Dog trainers. There is no “formal” test for Service Dogs because the tasks Service Dogs can be trained to perform vary too widely. Furthermore, under the law it is illegal for anyone to ask for proof of training or certification. The ADA is written this way because it is a civil rights law designed level the playing field for disabled people — not add challenges for them. If any form of "paperwork," "certification" or "licensing" were required Service Dog handlers could and would be stopped and forced to show proof to whomever asks, or, if police are only allowed to ask, police would be routinely called on Service Dog owners who are just trying to go about their day.   Service Dogs do not always make life easier Before you begin to explore partnering with a Service Dog, you should know that they do not always make life easier and you should fully consider it. Please read 5 Questions to Ask Before Partnering With a Service Dog   Fully training a Service Dog requires hundreds of hours of hard work If you don't already have a list of specific trained tasks, the first thing you should do is sit down and write out a list of specific things you would like your dog to perform. Tasks or work should be things that are physically necessary. Under

Since the U.S. doesn't require Service Dog certifications, the only way to tell a "real" Service Dog from a fake is by behavior. Read on to learn more about what a Service Dog should act like. Every Service Dog Team is Unique Every Service Dog team has unique abilities, needs, and work styles. No two teams possess the same training since every disability is different. What works for one team may not work for others. However, it's vital to note that every "real" Service Dog has one thing in common: they're individually trained to meet the needs of a person with a disability. This individual training specifically addresses their person's needs. The behaviors, tasks, and work the dog does for their handler aren't "natural" behaviors or things any dog could do. The training is precise and exact. The trained behaviors are on cue, reliable, and replicable. The dog's response to the cue/command is predictable since it's a trained behavior. As an example, a Service Dog who is trained to nudge their handler's hand when the handler becomes frozen in fear is different from a dog who naturally pushes and shoves with their muzzle. The second dog's behavior cannot be predicted and it isn't on cue. Therefore, it's not a trained behavior and does not count as a Service Dog task, even if it's helpful. Emotional Support Is Not a Trained Task This is why emotional support does not count as a Service Dog task. All dogs can provide emotional support. However, you can't train a dog to provide emotional support. You can train a dog to provide deep pressure stimulation to ground the handler during a panic attack or to alert the handler to a person approaching from behind. A dog who is not trained to reliably provide tasks and/or work that help their handler do things they couldn't do on their own in response to specific cues or commands is not a Service Dog. Dogs in public masquerading as Service Dogs who aren't Service Dogs do not possess the caliber of training necessary to work calmly and reliably. Fake Service Dogs create a lot of complications for real Service Dog teams. Namely, they create suspicion and access issues for well-trained teams. Service Dog Behavior: General Manners Service Dogs appear calm, relaxed, and able to focus while working with their partner in public. They should have good manners. They shouldn't jump, bark uncontrollably, growl, appear out of control, or

When it comes to training a Service Dog, absolutely nothing is more important than exhaustive socialization. Socialization and exposure to the world is the foundation upon which all other training rests, and a Service Dog who hasn't gained real-world experience via systematic socialization is not fit for public access. With this list of oft-missed opportunities, you'll be able to ensure you're hitting all the bases while socializing Service Dogs in Training. Important Considerations Before Beginning Never, ever put a vest on a dog or claim it as a Service Dog in Training that is still displaying any behavior issues that would be eliminated during basic training — including leash pulling, inappropriate sniffing, etc. There are plenty of opportunities to socialize a dog in public at pet stores which allow animals, public parks and other areas which allow dogs. Remember, your behavior and that of your dog not only effects you but other Service Dog teams as well. Before bringing your Service Dog in Training (SDiT) home, you need to have a defined plan for socializing him. While many people decide to simply take the puppy with them and introduce him to everything and anything they can, utilizing that approach results in missed experiences and an uneven education. Unfortunately, more Service Dogs are released from training programs across the country for socialization concerns than any other reason. Protect your partnership by not only picking a puppy from a source that began socialization and stimulation at birth, but by also continuing socialization, exposure and training throughout your puppy's training. The most important rule of socializing Service Dogs in Training is to never, ever, ever, for any reason, force an SDiT to approach, interact with, touch or be on/near/with something that appears to frighten them. Forcing a puppy in training to engage when afraid ensures he'll never form positive associations with the object, person, place, surface, equipment or situation. Instead of forcing your SDiT, always keep high-value treats with you and use them to encourage a suspicious puppy to explore a situation of his own accord. If you lay a solid foundation of socialization that rewards a puppy in new situations, you'll create a confident learner who thoroughly enjoys circumstances he's never encountered. Finally, your Service Dog in Training needs to encounter a situation more than once before you can ensure he'll always be comfortable with it. You should try for at least 3 instances of positive exposure. Always