The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Training is Part of Our Daily Routine

Level III Class
Training is part of our daily routine. Much of the training we do with Bo is scheduled. Our scheduled training consists of group classes, one-on-one trainer directed instruction, and at home or in public skill building sessions. What I call just-in-time training represents the other component of Bo's training.

In-the-moment training occurs as the opportunity to practice an existing skill or learn a new one presents itself. It might be working on recall while on an off-leash walk and encountering a flock of birds (see embedded video) or practicing 'leave' while navigating a popcorn littered sports stadium. Sometimes just-in-time training occurs at the most inopportune times -- like late at night or early in the morning. A missed alert in the middle of the night is an opportunity for live scent training -- a process that includes not only scent exposure and food rewards but also physical and verbal praise and sometimes reward play.

Place Training
In-the-moment training is sometimes as simple as redirecting Bo to return 'under' the table at dinner or redirecting him to his place when a friend is visiting. Neither of these tasks are difficult but they do require our time and attention. It would be easy to forego scent training in the middle of the night or obedience training during a meal or visit with a friend but training a DAD isn't easy, nor does it allow for laziness. So, we stay committed to giving 100% to Bo's training and in doing so we strive for patience in the process, potential in the progress and praise in the product.


  1. Mom has been trying to train our DAD for years with what would appear to be a more limited result, but not without its successes. ;)

  2. Training is forever, and training opportunities are everywhere! Great post Jennifer!