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#1 willyboy

 

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        Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:00 PM

I was wondering if its possible to train your own dog to be a service dog. My wife of 20 years who is only 42 has suffered 2 strokes in the past 7 months one in Oct that was really bad. and the second in April that did little damage. She was in the hospital for 8 weeks in Winston Salem NC where we met two very adorable lab therapy dogs that we both fell in love with. So i promised when we got home that I would buy her a lab puppy and it a good long while to find the right one but we did and his name is Willy. But after her stroke in Oct. she only has limited mobility. She can walk for short distances but her main transportation is a wheelchair. I would like to train our dog to do things that could help her around the house like open doors and bring her the phone and so on.. What age would be good to start such training our lab is 10 weeks old?

#2 Kurt

 

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        Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:35 PM

We are so sorry to hear about your wife's stroke, we are all hoping for a full recovery for her!

Yes, it is possible to train your dog to be a service dog. But it is difficult and requires specific training techniques.
Most service dog training is done through institutes such as National Organization for the Blind and such. Even with those organizations only a few dogs ever make it through the basic selection process.

My main concern for you right now is that as you have probably read on this site, young labs are a real handful. They can be extremely wild and playful. They require daily exercise and having their minds challenged to keep them in line.
This can continue due to their long puppyhood until they are three or four years old. Are you and your wife up to this?
Have you ever trained a dog before?

What I would do is to contact a professional dog trainer to find someone who could teach your dog to do things like turn lights on and off, bring the relevision remote control to your wife, etc. I would start this training at about 5 months of age. Of course you'll have to train your dog in the basic sit, stay, come, down commands first, then go on to the service dog training.I recommend talking with Keith Walker.

#3 willyboy

 

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        Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:58 PM

We have already started the basic training and he is really smart and a quick a quick learner . I have never done any real in depth training. My wife really loves willy and I know that labs can be a real challenge because I raised one when I was a young man. I have always owned a dog some pure bred and some just muts and training them basic commands was pretty easy but I have never tried to do any training such as this .. How much would it cost roughly to have this type of training done by a professional?




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