Penny in Action

We wanted to share this brief video of one of Penny & Lorie’s training sessions. I hope it helps those interested in our program see how we train some of the tasks that mitigate the effects of Lorie’s symptoms. Lorie is training Penny to retrieve her meds that are in a bag in a drawer and deliver them to her so she doesn’t forget to take her meds. She is learning to open drawers with the interactive dog toy: Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Casino Advanced Puzzle Toy – Stimulating Interactive Dog Game for Dispensing Treats, leaning, pawing, nudging when Lorie has a panic attack and targeting to turn on and off lights so Lorie can enter rooms that aren’t dark. Penny learns quickly and all of our training sessions are filled with playtime, relaxation/stress reduction techniques and positive reward based training that are building a bond between them and an awareness of human and animal communication and body language. Enjoy!

Thanks Thalia for capturing Penny and Lorie and making this video for us.


Over Threshold

What does it mean when we say a dog is “over threshold?”

It means the dog is over the optimal level of arousal to learn or perform.

As with all terminology, the exact meaning will vary according to the culture you are speaking within. A person in the protection sports talking about over threshold may have a different tolerance level than a person who specializes in changing dog behavior.   But at the end of the day, we say a dog is over threshold when it is no longer able to perform or learn.

It would probably be more accurate to say no longer able to perform or learn at an “optimal level”, because even dogs who are extremely over threshold sometimes manage to perform or learn, especially if their life Continue Reading →


Learning. Teaching. Doing


Republished courtesy of  | Jan 21, 2020

I have a story (it gets to dogs in the end):

My husband was a patient in a teaching hospital this past week. That means doctors at various stages of training spend time learning on him – with varying degrees of competence and success.

One set of particularly inexperienced doctors came in to remove a tube in his chest. They asked him to roll on his side. Not happening – he has nine broken ribs.

They said that’s how it’s done.

Now my husband isn’t about to be mishandled by a group of young doctors who lack for imagination so he told them they’d better do some thinking or go back to their teacher, because there was zero chance he was going to roll on his side. He can do that because he’s strong and capable of advocating for himself – a human capacity!

Consternation followed. Consultation. Finally, the nurse came in and it got worked out. The tube was pulled out some other way which was maybe less than ideal – but husband was happy and the doctors got their practice.

Afterwards, my husband chatted with the nurse about it – he was sort of Continue Reading →

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