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December 2018

  /  2018

As the holidays wrap up, it's a great time to reflect on your 2018 and resolve to do better in 2019. Here are ten simple steps that will help you and your Service Dog become a better team. Happy New Year! 2019 Service Dog Goals: Check Your Gear Is your Service Dog gear clean, serviceable and still relevant to your needs? Now is a great time to sit in a warm house and clean gear, spruce up those leather harnesses with some saddle soap, and make sure that that really nice backpack doesn't chafe your partner's underarms. Check the fit of collars, boots, coats, and other working gear. Make sure ID tags are up to date. Since you're probably working on taxes or your budget for the coming year - now's a good time to consider if you'll need to replace or upgrade any gear in the coming year. 2019 Service Dog Goals: Make a Service Dog Binder This is more important than it sounds. Include things like a current vaccination record, microchip information. AKC, breeder, trainer, or even rescue information could be included also. A list of all of the tasks your dog performs for you, and a list of all of the commands and behaviors that your dog has mastered could be included too. Other ideas include a current series of photos that show your dog both dressed and from the front and side, in case you ever need them. There are lots of ideas, these are just a few. 2019 Service Dog Goals: Do a Service Dog Skills Check It's a good idea to evaluate your partner's skill set multiple times per year, but a large scale audit is good at least once per year. This is a good time to see if you need to focus your training anywhere specific, or to simply update your list of what your dog knows. Getting video is a good idea too. 2019 Service Dog Goals: Update Your Service Dog's Task and Behavior List Now is a good time to update their Task/Behavior list. Cell phones make it so easy to get good quality video these days too. It's a really great way to log that your dog can demonstrate a skill when needed, just mak sure that there is sufficient lighting and the behavior is visible with minimal cues and distractions. Storing these files on a USB Drive or even a SD Card makes life a lot

The holidays offer ample opportunity to curl up with your Service Dog and catch up on some reading. One of the books on our reading list this year is A Lowcountry Christmas by New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe. This Christmas novel features Service Dogs, a Veteran with PTSD, a family in need of help, and tons of feel-good moments perfect for the season. Learn more about A Lowcountry Christmas during our interview with Mary Alice Monroe. A Lowcountry Christmas Service Dog Book Overview From the inside of the book's cover jacket: As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it's the worst Christmas ever. His father's shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can't afford the dog he desperately wants. "Your brother's return from war is our family's gift," his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays. Heartbreak and financial stress threaten to destroy the spirit of the season until the miraculous gift of a service dog leads Taylor, his family, and their community on a healing journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Interview With A Lowcountry Christmas Author, Mary Alice Monroe AP: What inspired you to write a novel centered around Service Dogs? M: When I was volunteering at the Dolphin Research Center in Florida I worked with Wounded Vets.  One of them had a Service Dog.  He told me how much the dog meant to him and how it woke him from his nightmares. “I love my wife, but I need my dog.”  You can bet that line got into the book!  One day his Service Dog, a black Lab, walked up to the edge of the dock while a curious dolphin kept bobbing up to look at him. The dog walked closer and closer and finally, they touched each other!  It was a tender moment. As a result of that fond memory, I tried to emphasize the bond between a Service Dog and Veteran. AP: What has been your experience with Service Dogs? You mentioned Pets for Vets in the book. Is that an organization you have been involved with? What is unique about their approach in terms of partnering veterans with Service Dogs? M: As I wrote above, I worked with Service Dogs through the Wounded Warrior program.  In South Carolina, I researched Service Dog programs in my area and discovered Pets for

In the United States, every Service Dog handler enjoys the right to travel with their Service Dog. However, finding straightforward information about airline policies and requirements, international laws, TSA regulations, security checkpoints, and other commonly encountered situations isn't easy! To help you prepare you for your trip, we've compiled Service Dog travel tips, tricks, hacks, guidelines, and resources.

Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs aren’t the only dogs in the world who do amazing, life-changing work, but they are one of the few types of working dogs clearly defined and protected by United States federal law. Too many people don’t understand the differences between many types of working dogs, though, and it’s time to clear up some of the confusion.

The holiday season is a perfect excuse to grab some hot chocolate and snuggle up on the couch with your Service Dog, Working Dog or pet! Here are some of our favorites that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. 1. A Dog Named Christmas   A Dog Named Christmas tells the story of Todd, a developmentally delayed 20 year old, who loves animals. When Todd hears that the local animal shelter wants to adopt dogs out for Christmas, Todd is right on board, much to the dismay of his father George. With persistence Todd is eventually given permission to bring home a yellow lab he names Christmas. Little does the family know that Christmas will change their life forever. Check out the trailer here. Rating: PG     Length: 1:35     Year: 2009     2. Beethoven's Christmas Adventure  Photo Credit: IMBdOur favorite Saint Bernard is back in Beethoven's Christmas Adventure. When Santa's sleigh crashes in a small town and the magic toy bag is stolen, it's up to Beethoven to find the bag and return it to Santa in time for Christmas. Sure to be a family favorite. Watch the trailer here. Rating: PG     Length: 1:30     Year: 2011   3. The 12 Dogs of Christmas   The 12 Dogs of Christmas takes place in 1931 in Maine during the Depression and tells the story of a young girl named Emma who uses 12 special dogs to show everyone the true meaning of Christmas. Watch the trailer here. Rating: G     Length: 1:42     Year: 2005     4. 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue   The 12 Dogs of Christmas was followed by a sequel titled 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue. Emma is back again, but this time follows her quest to save a local puppy orphanage, by putting on a big holiday event.  Watch the trailer here. Rating: PG     Length: 1:42     Year: 2012       5. Buddies Movies   As a follow up to the classic Air Bud movies, Disney released three different buddies movies that the kids will love! The titles are: Santa Buddies (2009), The Search for Santa Paws (2010) and Santa Paws 2 (2012). Click on each of the titles to watch the trailer for each of these movies. Rating: G     Length: Varies     Year: 2010   6. The Dog Who Saved Christmas   When the Bannister's welcome a new dog named Zeus into their home, he doesn't appear to be the guard dog that the family is looking for. But when two burglars break into their house when they are away for the holidays, Zeus sets out to

For your pet, service dog or working dog that has been good all year, treat them with these 10 great gift ideas for a pawsitvely happy holiday! 1.The Limited Edition Grinch Bark Box Bark Box is a subscription service that offers monthly curated collections of all the things dogs love. Delivered directly to your home, each box includes two toys, two bags of all natural treats and a chew. This holiday season they have come out with a Grinch-themed box that is sure to provide your service dog with lots of Christmas cheer. An added plus is that all the treats are made in either the United States or Canada, so you can feel good about supporting businesses close to home.   2. Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper From K & H Pet Products comes the Thermo Snuggly Sleeper. Designed to help soothe the muscles of busy dogs, this bed is tested for safety to exceed USA and Canada safety standards. It warms to your service dog's normal body temperature when in use and uses only 6 watts of power for efficiency. Another plus of this bed is that you can remove the heater and wash the entire cover. 3. Matching Christmas Sweaters Your Service Dog is one of the family, so why not get matching Christmas sweaters? Blueberry Pet has an assortment of sweaters perfect for both you and your service dog. Tip: Get the family all dressed up and snap a photo for your holiday card. 4. Friendship Collar Staying on the theme of matching, FriendshipCollar sells matching collars and bracelets for you and your Service Dog. As a plus, with every sale FriendshipCollar will donate food to shelters across the USA. Tip: Use code SANTAPAWS to enjoy 20% off. 5. Dog Bowl Water Bottle Keep your service dog hydrated on the go with this cool Dog Bowl Water Bottle from Uncommon Goods. Made in the USA, this leak-proof water bottle bottle features an attached bowl that makes it easy for your dog to drink. The excess water also drains back into the bottle to reduce waste. An adjustable velcro strap makes it easy to attach to your backpack, belt or wrist and fits into any standard size car cup holder. A well thought out and practical gift! 6. Harry Barker Dog Spa Day Gift Set This gift made Oprah's Favorite Things list this year and made ours as well. The Harry Barker Dog Spa Day Gift Set comes with a bottle of 2:1 Shea

Assistance Dogs International (ADI) publishes standards for Service Dog training, behavior, ethics, organizations, programs, trainers, handlers, and clients. They also define standards of behavior and training for Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Service Dogs for veterans. Read on to learn more about ADI's Service Dog standards. As of November 2018, 140 programs worldwide held ADI accreditation. Additionally, dozens of unaccredited Service Dog training organizations, programs, and individual trainers claim adherence to Assistance Dog International's standards. Please note that any Service Dog organization claiming adherence to ADI standards without actual ADI accreditation has not been evaluated by Assistance Dogs International for adherence to standards. Per the Assistance Dogs International website, "ADI Standards have become the benchmarks to measure excellence in the Assistance Dog industry. Assistance Dog users trust their lives and safety to their dogs so everything related to the training of both the dogs and people must meet extraordinary criteria." When an organization or trainer says a dog meets "industry standard" expectations, most often, they're referring to the ADI standards. Sometimes, though, they may be referring to the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP). The IAADP also produces regularly utilized standards for Service Dog training and behavior. In a nutshell, the ADI standards outline expectations for a training program that is professional, ethical humane, comprehensive, and reliable. Assistance Dogs International expects programs to select, screen, train, and place dogs suitable for Service Dog work. These dogs should be of sound mind and sound body, with specific, well-trained skills and behaviors. Once trained, the Service Dogs should be carefully matched with their future partner. Both Service Dog and handler should undergo extensive team training prior to solo work. They should receive support from the placement organization throughout the team's working life. ADI Minimum Standards and Ethics All standards cited below come directly from Assistance Dogs International's document "ADI Minimum Standards and Ethics." That document can be referenced on the ADI website. We have changed the order of the sections contained in ADI's document for easier grouping. We've placed ethics and standards for programs, clients, and partners at the top, with standards for each type of Service Dog at the bottom. ADI Ethics For Dogs ADI believes that any dog the member organizations trains to become an Assistance Dog has a right to a quality life. Therefore, the ethical use of an Assistance Dog must incorporate the following criteria: 1. An Assistance Dog must be temperamentally screened for emotional soundness and working ability. 2.

Whether you have a pet, a service dog in training or other type of working dog, safety-proofing your home not only makes for a happier place for your dog, but a less stressful place for you as well. Here's a great infographic that explains some easy ways to make your home dog friendlier from AXA.ie.          

Hearing Dogs alert their hard of hearing or deaf handlers to important sounds in the environment. Commonly trained sounds include approaching cars, fire alarms, sirens, dropped keys, and the handler's name. Read on to learn all about Hearing Dogs, where they come from, what they do, and how they're trained! Bonus: Read our step-by-step training guide at the end of this post to learn how to introduce new sounds to a Hearing Dog in Training.  Hearing Dog Basics Hearing Dogs, also known as Hearing Alert Dogs, Hearing Ear Dogs, or Signal Dogs, partner with D/deaf and hard of hearing people of all ages. These specialized Service Dogs undergo countless hours of task training, during which they learn to recognize a variety of sounds and how to notify their handler of the sound. Before being accepted for Hearing Dog training, trainers test the canine candidate for sound temperament, good physical structure, and a keen, curious, social personality. Upon passing their initial temperament and aptitude evaluation, new Hearing Dogs in Training formally begin their Service Dog foundation training. They learn manners, basic and advanced obedience, and public access skills. They work on focusing through distractions and on building impulse control. After these special dogs master the basics, they begin their advanced training. For Hearing Dogs, this consists of "soundwork," or the process of learning sounds and the associated alert behaviors. Some Hearing Dogs work for people with multiple disabilities. These multi-purpose Service Dogs may be cross-trained for other Service Dog jobs and undergo additional task training. Good Hearing Dogs undergo hundreds of hours of specialized training and socialization before ever entering the field. Once teams graduate from training, they continue building their skills and bonding as a pair. Who Trains Hearing Dogs? In the United States, Hearing Dogs can be trained by a professional organization or program, or their future handler can train them. If the handler self-trains their own Service Dog, it's called "owner training." U.S. Federal law protects the public access rights of professionally trained Service Dogs and owner trained Service Dogs the same way -- there are no differences. Both types of Service Dogs enjoy the same level of protection. Several organizations in the United States train and place Hearing Dogs. Each has their own set of requirements and guidelines for receiving a Hearing Dog. These are a few of the most well-known programs: International Hearing Dog, Inc. - They've trained over 1,300 Hearing Dogs and have been in

Choosing the perfect name for your pooch isn't easy. After all, they'll have it forever! Here are the most popular dog names from 2018. These creative names are derived from movies, current affairs and celebrities.     Infographic courtesy of DogBuddy.com Political Pooches Whether you're on the left or the right, I think we can all admit it's been a big year for politics. Political names, for better or worse, have made it into the top 100. Superheroes and Songs Dogs are the superheroes (and the kingpins) of the animal world, so it makes total sense to give our pups names worthy of the silver screen. With the release of a whole host of Marvel franchise movies in the last 12 months, superheroes (and, if we’re getting technical, gods) are leading the pack. Logan’s steel claws are tearing up the competition with a 20% rise since 2017, whilst the Norse god Loki is up 21%. Dog owners, like the rest of us, are suckers for a bit of movie nostalgia, too. The original Toy Story movie came out way back in 1995, and The Lion King barks back to 1994, perhaps prompting today’s dog owners to name their precious pooch after the leaders of a famous pride. Simba is up 15% and Woody is up 11% but the real winner (and let’s be honest, the real hero of The Lion King) is Nala who’s up a roaring 83% since last year. When it comes to music tastes, our data suggests that more dog owners are bathing in the purple rain than donning their blue suede shoes or giving a countdown to Major Tom… Ziggy is down 20% Elvis is down 13% Prince is up 29% Gender Neutral Names Gender neutral names are more popular than ever, with unisex human baby names rising in popularity by 60% since last year. Fur baby parents are following the trend, too. Check out the doggo names that are on an upwards trend since last year: Bobby is up 87% Arlo is up 15% Frankie is up 13% Top 100 Female Dog Names 2018 Bella Poppy Lola Luna Molly Daisy Ruby Coco Rosie Millie Roxy Tilly Bonnie Willow Lucy Holly Honey Maggie Nala Lily Maisie Skye Belle Pepper Mia Lulu Betty Minnie Lilly Pippa Jessie Penny Winnie Lottie Lexi Maya Amber Bailey Jess Missy Ellie Phoebe Dolly Milly Stella Ella Lady Izzy Sophie Mollie Sasha Peggy Mabel Olive Meg Darcy Misty Frankie Cookie Evie Sky Tia