Johnny has been going to appointments with his handlers. He is learning that it is ok for medical professionals to approach and touch his handler. He settled nicely by the table and stayed calm despite others moving and the unfamiliar noises.
Hampshire Mall in Hadley MA have become a destination for indoor activity. Lots of children around, all excited to plan laser tag, go bowling, roller skating or the movies. This is a great place for Johnny to learn that kids are not for his personal entertainment and that he has to remain cool and remember his job.
Movies is a new and different experience too. There is nowhere else that has the sound system that you feel in your chest. This is also a new position to have to hold for, wait, how long? One hour and 44 minutes.
K9 Johnstone, a.k.a. Johnny recently turned 1 year old. His corporate sponsors, Johnstone Supply, held a birthday party for him in New Jersey.
Johnny has come so far in one year. From his first days with Faithful Friends Service Dog Foundation, Johnny has picked up on his training very quickly.
Johnny has learned obedience and being in public, getting used to being in crowds and understanding that he needs to be in the background, not asking for attention. He is still working on being bored. That is a hard one for all puppies. Johnny has also started learning how to walk on the right side of his handler.
Stay tuned for Johnny's continued training!!
Johnny has had a busy month! From preparing for Thanksgiving to family events and holiday shopping, he has been on the go!
Johnny enjoyed outings at the Hampshire Mall in Hadley MA as well as some other local stores. He is doing great in public with focusing on his handler.
Johnny continues to take advantage of the therapy dog class to work on ignoring other dogs while with his handler, sit/stay, recall and of course, leave it.
And of course Johnny had to play in the first snow with all of his friends! After all, he is still a puppy!!
Well, Johnny is 10 months old! He has been working on basic obedience and socialization skills and now he is learning some more difficult obedience.
But if anyone thought that was hard, there is more!! Add at really yummy chicken jerky treat! Yes. Johnny walked past a dog and a treat!
The training is going to get harder. Only Johnny's handlers will be allowed to touch him, getting him ready to begin his task training. There is still a lot of training to go through, but so far Johnny is doing great!!
Johnny is learning to where a head halter. This may look like its stopping me for doing things like drinking water or barking, and people may ask if he bites , but the purpose of this is to help Johnny move through crowded spaces more easily. It works like a horse halter and gently moves his head in the direction Johnny will go. Johnny walked through the crowds at The Big E in Springfield, MA like a champ!
Johnny is getting out in public a lot more, and has made his first grocery store trip. Like many people, after a trip to the grocery store, you need to relax. Johnny did that at a family party with his handler, Ryan.
When you're a service dog in training, even relaxing means some work. Great 'eyes up' Johnny!!
Recently Johnny went to the Massachusetts Renaissance Faire. He heard drums banging, saw donkeys and horses, watched reenactments of sword fights, met a ton of people and fairies, and even practiced stationing under tables.
Johnny even got some hiking in and worked on his ball drive with distracted recalls. His doggie friends all around and Johnny fetches the ball and returns it to his handler.
A solid recall is a valuable behavior for service dogs. When Johnny is off leash he needs to return directly to his handler when he is called regardless of any distractions. The better the recall, the safer Johnny will be. Johnny has been practicing recall a lot lately. You can see just how great he is doing when his friends are playing and he is coming back to his handler.
Johnny will go into stores, homes, offices and restaurants with his handler. Getting used to going to a new place and maintaining his attention on is handler is critical. He’s doing fantastic with this too!
Last week, before the weather got so hot, Johnny was going on walks to practice paying attention to his handler, ignoring everything else going on outside. It takes a lot of work to make sure a puppy isn't distracted by scents and noises. Good eyes up, Johnny!
Johnny is waring his boots to protect his feet from being burned, something that could easily happen with this week's temperatures, even walking short distances, from the parking lot into a store. Being inside a store, Tractor Supply, gave Johnny a chance to take in lots of new sites and smells and have the potential of meeting other dogs. He behaved very well inside the store.
Johnny is growing so quickly and doing well with his training. Here he is taking a well deserved break.
Doing nothing is a very important task for a service dog. It's a tough task for a puppy to start to learn. When the handler is at the doctor, in a restaurant or just not working in any other way, it is important that Johnny perfects doing nothing. He won’t be the center of attention in public so he needs to learn lay down and just wait for his services to be needed. Johnny will practice this a lot, not just as a puppy, but throughout his years as a service dog.
Johnny needs to know something called ‘recall’. What that means is that Johnny will be put in a spot, asked to stay while his handler walks away and when he is called by his handler, he needs to go directly to the person, without detour. Its tough when a very young Johnny is sitting next to his room mate, Areo. But training is a journey. Johnny gets better at recall every day.
See the booties on Johnny’s feet? This are to protect his paws from getting burned on the black top or freeze in the winter and some booties protect from sharp objects and rough terrain. Believe it or not, it takes a lot of practice for any dog to have these put on their feet and then to walk in them. The younger that a dog is when they start to wear these, the easier it is for them to adapt. Johnny is doing great with them!