Ren’s training 004

Ren’s training update for weeks 14,15,16 Stand, out, settle, back up, paws up, around, Deep pressure therapy. 

Stand: I started by luring Ren with a treat from a sitting to a standing position after she started to understand that I would click when she would stand with the hand signal.

Out: I use out to tell Ren to get out from an under. I again used luring to guide Ren out from under the  chair, I use a pointed finger as my single for getting out or a flat hand using (touch).

Settle: Going on to a mat and staying, settle is a relaxed type of stay. This is good for going to the movies or being at a restaurant.

Back up: Walking backwards in front of her. Now the hand signal is my hand flicking backward.

Paws up: back end awareness. Putting paws up on the book and walk around.

Around: I use this to tell her to go around the area.

DPT: I wrote an entry here 

Learning her first task


image1 (5).JPG    Over the past week Ren has been learning her first task Deep Pressure Therapy or as it’s known in the service dog community DPT.

Deep pressure therapy can be used for all kinds of reasons, grounding, numbness, stabilizing ect.

Ren will be preforming DPT for numbness I get in my legs and grounding after a black out.

The first day I sat on the floor and lured Ren over my lap and asked her to stay in that position to get the idea. Video 

The second day I added the verbal cue but I was still luring her with strong hand gestures. Video 

The next session was Ren responding to my hand signal and verbal cue 6 out of 10 times.

The last session was when I was able to have Ren do “pressure” with a verbal cue and a small hand gesture. She did it 8 out of 10 times successfully (Meaning the right position on my legs). Video 

I’m so excited that Ren has learned her first task, we will have a video on our YouTube channel on Monday showing Ren learning her first task.

Ren’s training 003


Ren’s training update for weeks 10, 11, 12 & 13 

Wait, Leave it & Silent leave it 

Wait- I wrote an article here on it  Video

Leave it- I am using wait and leave it for two different meanings. Wait is for things that Ren can have she just has to wait for them for example, food, going through doors and greeting dogs. Leave it is for things she can never have like people while she is working, dogs while she is working and food while she is working. Video 

Silent leave it- a silent leave is when a dog or puppy starts to be trained to understand that unless they are told to they can not take food off the floor. video 

Stay (Out of sight, in distracting areas, with distractions) 

Out of sight- Start with a solid stay and slowly move toward leaving the room.

In distracting areas-This week we did our first trip to petvalu where we worked on Ren’s stay, as seen in this video. By working in distracting loud areas we are able to bombproof her stay.

Stay with distractions- Using distractions of all kinds can help make a stay more stable. For example in this video Ren is staying while I roll a ball past her, this was difficult for her in the beginning as she has a medium to high ball drive. We tried about 4 times and then she got it.

Place, Heel & Under 

Place- We use the word place for Ren standing at attention beside me, I use this word because I want her to understand that it is her spot beside me. In the end I would like her to come from across the room to her place beside me. Video 1, Video 2, Video 3 

Heel- I taught this to Ren by giving treats to her while she walked beside my nee. I will continue to work on this by using a wall and putting her on the inside.

Under- This is a command often used in the service dog community to get our dogs under chairs or under subway chairs, we use this to keep our dogs out of the way. Video 

That’s all for now, we will have another update in a few weeks.


Service dog journey 001


Ren is now officially in training to be my service dog. I first wanted to d a puppy class with her, socialization and training to see if she had what it takes to be a service dog. After a month of feeling Ren out I have decided that she is ready to go into service dog training.

Ren will be a medical alert and responds dog. This means she will be alerting to my migraines so I can take my medication, she will be alerting to fainting so I can sit down so  I don’t hurt myself. She will Respond to my medical troubles by laying on top of me to preform Deep pressure therapy which will help when my legs go numb.

Training a service dog takes two years here is what I wish to accomplish with…

Ren’s tasks

Alert to migraines

Deep Pressure therapy

Black out response

Now the tasks are just half of the job a service dog be calm and well mannered in public, this means ignoring food, other dogs, people, walking in a heel, waiting at doors, not be startled by loud noises, being calm in stressful situations, laying down nicely and quietly under the table at restaurants, being calm while alone.

I hope you guys enjoy our journey we will be documenting the whole thing on this blog our instagram @pawsofmirkwood and our Youtube channel.

Wait 002

img_9815   Wait, its one of those commands that are on all of the “top ten things to teach your dog” lists and for good reason. Wait is a vital part of a dogs training it can be used for many different situations ie waiting at doors, waiting for food. waiting before going to play.

How to teach Wait

Step one  hold a treat in one hand, show the hand to your pupper, when they stop licking your hand or look away click and feed them the treat. Once they start to understand say leave it every time they stop licking your hand. Say Wait while they lick your hand if they stop licking click and feed. Video 

Step two Placing the treat on the floor while they lie down, say wait, if they do click and feed. Place the treat on the floor say leave it and wait for them to make eye contact with you once they do click and feed for the eye contact. Video 

Step three Now its time to increase the difficulty, longer time they must wait for the treats and harder treats. Start this by waiting 30 seconds, a minute, 5 minutes until you can get it up to 15 minutes. Start leaving the room and see if they will leave it, this is trained with patience they will not wait when you exit the room over night start slow walking away in the room then leaving the room. Use harder and more high value treats like raw meat.

That’s all for now go forth and train those puppers!


Ren’s training 001

Ren’s training 001, this is the first update on how Ren’s training has been coming along.

The first thing I worked on with Ren was her name with eye contact , food guarding prevention and sit. ~8 weeks old~

Teaching a name – Sit on the floor with your pup and wave the treat in front of their nose until you have their attention, once you do bring the treat up in between your eyes and say their name, click and feed for every time they look you in the eye when you say their name.

Food guarding prevention– Petting your dog while they are eating is a good way for the pup to understand that you are in their space. dropping treats near their bowl while they eat will help them understand that you are their to share with them not steal their food. Here is a video of Ren and I practicing this.

Sit– Guide a treat above your dogs nose and lead their head back until they sit. Click and treat once their butt hits the ground. A video of Ren demonstrating her sit.

The second set of things I worked on with Ren were Lie down, stay and drop it. ~9 weeks old~

Lie down– Ask your puppy to sit and and drag the treat down to the middle of their belly this will force them to lie down,click and feed once they are on the floor. Video here 

Stay– Start with your pup in either a sit or lie down. Put your hand up and say stay wait for 5 seconds click and feed if your puppy hasn’t moved slowly increase the time and distance by taking one step back each session. Video 

Drop it– Get your puppy really interested in a toy or rope, get them to get a hold of it and put a treat under their nose when they drop the toy say drop it and click and feed. Video here 

Well that’s all for now.

Starting off on the right Paw (New puppy guide)

What do you do to set a puppy up for a successful life?

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  1. Make the puppy feel comfortable/Crate training  Start by taking your puppy into their new potty space to let them relive themselves. Then play with them a bit until they are tired (If you have an 8 week old puppy this should happen fairly quickly.), After the play session take them to their space AKA a crate or kennel have a nice soft blanket on the floor of the crate and some toys. Make sure the crate is just big enough that they can get up and turn around. Play some comforting puppy music and leave them be for 2 hours.
  2. Socialization is so important to making sure a puppy is set up for a successful life. Star by looking for a puppy social/ puppy play class in your area, this will be a safe place for the puppies to play free of diseases they could get from dog parks. It is important to get your puppy to meet as many dogs between the ages of 8-12 weeks, 50-150 dog encounters is recommend. Walking your puppy in your neighbour is a great way to get your puppy to meet people and dogs. As your puppy gets older walking them by and around dog parks is a good way to introduce them to dogs. Socialization isn’t just about people and other dogs, its also about experiences and sounds. It is important to introduce all the things you would like your dog to enjoy in this critical time period, Such as grooming(nails, ears, and baths) going to the beach(swimming), walking in busy neighbourhoods and loud common noises (vacuum, fireworks, car starting up).
  3. Obedience training early will make your life a lot easier as your dog gets older. After a day of settling in its time to start training. Start with teaching your puppy their name, a big mistake many people make is just saying their puppies name all the time. To properly teach a puppy their name sit on the floor and put a yummy treat between your eyes and say their name, over a few days they will realize that their name means “look at the hooman”. Puppies are very willing to learn in their first few weeks so use that to your advantage.

I hope this helped! Put the right paw forward!