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I am so amazed at how far cuddles has come in the past couple weeks that I have had her home. I may not of told you before but cuddles was also in service dog training and more eager to learn some of the tasks that Mercy was not as eager to learn. When I picked her up the other day and found that she was so afraid of people I honestly did not think she was going to make a good service dog but have decided to start taking her out some to see how she did and in the past two days we have overcome much of the hurdle we had with people and at Walgreens today she even let several people come up to her and she eagrly approached them and greeted them. She also had me amazed as she has started coming out of her shell more of her training has started to be evident. I had my credit/debit card in my hand and not thinking about it I used my hand to give her a sit command as my dogs are also trained to hand signals she reached up and took it out of my hand and went up on  her back feet to give it to the casheir.  I thought for the past several days other than basic commands she had learned nothing and was sorta upset. Then we went to the door and I told her Door cuddles and she stood and tryed opening it. and also she has started getting things I drop or point at and tell her to get it.  All things I have needed her to learn.  I am going to take her back to Nebraska with me and continue  working with her around people and such and her other training and then when the time arises I will bring her back out here for Sammi to do some more formal training with her. But so far I am happy minus the fear of people. Again that slowly os starting to come around as well

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Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on January 29, 2013 at 12:44pm

Great job with Cuddles June.  Congratulations!

Comment by Kathy, Elliott & Spencer on January 28, 2013 at 8:25pm
My guys could never be service dogs. They are too distractable. I have a client who has had a service dog for about 10 years now (2 dogs in that time),first a standard poodle, then a lab. She is in a wheelchair and has seizures. As well as helping with household chores, her dog alerts her when a seizure is coming - like the video someone posted here a while back. Her 8 year old lab has just retired. Her new dog, another lab, about 2 years old, has been in training. My client had to travel to another city and be trained together with the dog for 2 weeks intensive work. The cost of the dog was about $27000. Her first dog was great until a smoke detector malfunctioned and went off for an extended period of time. After that, the dog could not focus to work. So kudos to you June. It's a true gift for people to do this work, knowing that anything can happen. he outcome is truly amazing.
Comment by Lois - Izzi on January 28, 2013 at 3:23pm

ah,  thanks for the update.   She's going to be exactly the dog you want her to be.  

Other than the obvious, I don't know anything about service dogs.  So my thoughts are running with questions.   Isn't Cuddles, as you described, what you want her to be;  friendly, but not to friendly with people in general? ???     Only example that I have is Izzi.  She seems to think everyone needs to be greeted up close and personal.   Watching her interact I've noticed that when on  leash she will use her nose to 'judge' situations rather than wiggly full body contact off lead.

I'd love to meet Cuddles and just watch her knowing the training she has had.    

The community has several service dogs and I'd love to read their input.   A year or so ago we had a service dog trainer and her interest was the doodle personality.  Her dog was the 1st doodle she was trying to train.  (She has since decided that that particular dog was not going to make a good service dog and placed him with a family with older children.)  On the other side of a coin,  I'm not sure if Izzi would make a devoted service dog either.   She's daily grins to me, but that is more the dumb things she seems to think are fun.  Not a working dog.  At two Izzi knows the word fetch, but looks at me with big eyes in wonderment of what I want her to fetch.  It is funny, but again not a working dog mentality.   

Comment by Lily And Amy on January 28, 2013 at 3:02pm

June I am so happy you shared this great news.  I am certain it all takes time to train the right dog for you.  You made my Monday happy!!!

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