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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Video: The Wait Command in Action

Helen taught us how to train Bo on the command 'wait' early in our journey. The idea is for the dog to 'hold on for a second.' We use 'wait' many times during the day. For example, we have Bo wait at all doors before we open them. We have Bo wait in the car while before unloading him. Sometimes, we have him wait before we give him food.

When we are take off leash walks we may use wait if he gets ahead of us or if we hear other dogs or people. He has a highly reliable wait. If we give the command, he stops and looks up. I took this video on an off leash walk. You see Bo walking with his head down sniffing and then when he hears the command 'wait,' he stops and looks up. I then give him the 'come' command and he immediately comes to me. His willingness to respond to these commands is especially valuable when he is off leash and we encounter other dogs or people. He will stop and come to me rather than run towards the dogs and people.

Video: Training at Airport

In preparation for our first commercial flight with Bo, we have been training at the airport and simulating placing in small tight spaces. Bo will fly in coach with us and will place on the floor in front of our legs. We will likely be assigned the bulkhead row of seats, which will offer a little more room for Bo to settle. The videos here are from our training session with Helen at our local airport. Austin handled Bo the entire session and Bo alerted to a high while we were walking through the lobby.

In this video, Austin is working Bo through the busy baggage claim area. One thing you will notice is Bo's check-in with me. I'm walking behind them taking the video. As we transition from me handling Bo to Austin handling Bo, we hope to see fewer check-ins with me and more with Austin. You will also notice Bo looks back at luggage on wheels that passes him. While it gets his attention, he is able to re-focus and continue working.

In this video our trainer, Helen, is telling Austin to put Bo in a down. Bo is listening to Austin's commands and staying focused despite the distractions. 

In this video, Austin is practicing taking Bo through the security gate. They pass several TSA employees and Bo remains focused and at Austin's side.

In this video, Austin is walking Bo around the upper level of the airport near the security gate and food kiosks. Austin is very much at ease handling Bo and Bo's tail is high and wagging indicating he is also comfortable. You see a loose leash and Bo staying at Austin's side. Bo does put his nose down to the floor at one point, which is not ideal and something to continue to work on with him.

Riding in the car wheel well is one way we are preparing Bo for the tight space he will need to place in during our three hour flight. He has always rode in the hatch of our vehicles, so the wheel well was a new experience for him. He wasn't comfortable at first but after two weeks of daily training, he is going down on his own and even resting as seen in this video.