I arrived at the training site around noon. The meeting room at the local Gander Mountain was full of kids, their parents, and service dogs in training. Trainer Liz was working on walking weaves with one of the four-month-old Labs.
This first day, a lot of time was spent teaching submissive behaviors (a dog walking through your legs is an example). It’s critical that a service dog understand that his or her handler is in charge. It’s the concept I teach everyone – when you ask for a behavior you MUST get it. With companion dogs it’s a great thing to have. With service dogs it’s an absolute. High value treats were discussed at length.
When the puppies passed out J, the kids got some free time and the adults gathered with the trainers for a lengthy discussion of scent theory, laws that apply to service animals, and alerts. More on all of this later, as day 2 is about to begin.