Friday, March 15, 2013

Training Update - Getting the Meds

Not long ago, I wrote about some training goals I have with Isaac.  We've been working on getting my meds, with me giving the command from different rooms of the house.  I typically keep them in the living room, on a table next to the couch.  The further away I was from my meds, though, the more likely he was to get confused about what I was asking for.  I could sit or stand in the dining room and tell him to get the meds and he had no problem.  When I started moving down the hallway, though, he knew I wanted him to do something but wasn't quite sure what, so he would turn on the dining room light, run into the kitchen and open the fridge, and then bring me anything nearby in case that was what I wanted.

I started sitting in the dining room right by the hallway and sending him to get the meds, rewarding him with treats and lots of praise when he brought them to me.  Then I moved about a foot down the hallway and repeated.  And then I did it again.  Over the course of two days, practicing for about five minutes at a time several times a day, I moved all the way down the hallway and into bedroom.  I sat on the end of the bed and told him to get the meds.  First he ran into the bathroom and turned on the light, but then he ran out to the living room and got my medication.  He got several treats and was very proud of himself.

After three days of work, Isaac will now go get my meds from the living room if I am in the bedroom or the bathroom.  I've told him he's the smartest dog ever.


  1. He is a smarty! I'm impressed with his abilities, and also by your taking the time to train him so thoroughly. I don't think that I'd have the patience that you have. But obviously that patience is paying off, as Isaac seems to be able to help you more and more. That's great!

    1. Of course, I am a bit biased but I do think he's brilliant. His trainer told me he was the smartest dog she ever worked with. He is so quick to learn new things. It does take a lot of time and patience to work with him on expanding his skills. That's just something that goes with having a service dog, though. You need to work with them regularly, practicing the skills they already have, and preferably introducing new things. Isaac would get very bored otherwise. He loves learning things. For him, training is a fun game that allows him to win lots of praise and treats.