Come - come to my front and sit
Close - sit at my left side facing forward
Side - sit at my right side facing forward
Between - sit between my legs
Heel - walk at my left side, next to my heel
Front - lay down in front, between my feet and the wall/counter
Place - lay down on her blanket and stay until released
Watch me - make eye contact
Leave it - ignore the item she's focused on
Touch - press her nose to my palm
Spin - spin in a circle to the right
Turn - spin in a circle to the left
Under - lay down under my chair until released
Paws Up - put front paws on object
Get Dressed - help me put on her working gear
Get Up - put all four paws on an object
Let's Go - walk with me in the same position as she starts
Wait - stop walking (eg when we have to cross a street)
'Put Your Hands Up' - put her front paws up on a wall
Break - her release word
Off - jump off an item and onto the ground
Powder Your Nose - relieve herself
Some commands are purely for fun - such as spin/turn and put your hands up. But the majority of the commands are because they are necessary for her to know in order for us to negotiate a public environment that is not situated for dogs. For example the command "front" is incredibly useful when I'm checking out at the grocery store. I put her in a "front" between me and the machine, as I move back and forth I can see her and know no one is touching her, and that she is behaving appropriately.
Oh adolescence - how I have not missed you! At 7 months old, miss Liberty has started going through adolescence, which means we have both good days and bad days. Some days she's a perfect little gem and other days she decides that she doesn't want to heel riiiight next to me, she prefers to be a foot or two ahead. Or she decides that my "place" command was only a suggestion and that I wouldn't mind if she snuck over to grab that tasty goldfish on the floor a few feet away. But even on her bad days she's very well mannered and no one but a dog snob (I fully admit I'm one of those!) would notice her behavior.
She has also begun to alert to blood sugars that are high for me - in the 140s. I very rarely go into the 140s but about 4 times now she has alerted me to 141 or 142, or somewhere in that range. I haven't ever given her a high scent sample - she just alerts on her own. I just think that that is absolutely incredible! That after a few months of training the dogs learn what your natural bg numbers are and then let you know when you are out of your typical range! How does she decide to start alerting to highs int he first place?? How does she decide what numbers to alert at?? Currently I give her a medium value reward for alerting to a high of 140 or above - because it is, in fact, high for me, but won't be for the person she's placed with later. I don't want to extinguish the behavior, but I also don't want to reinforce it too strongly, otherwise when she is placed she'll be alerting almost constantly. I hope to get very high scent samples from volunteers later this month so she can practice on real highs such as 200 - hopefully this will begin to teach her this new threshold.
I'm so proud of this pup and can't wait to see how she continues to improve!
Live Alerting Videos:
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