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Warning: Major Brag Fest Ahead


Jeepers

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I just have to brag one more time on “my girl”. Ethel was born, raised and trained on camera as a Great Dane service dog. She was the first puppy I saw being born. I watched her grow up and have followed her progress for about two years. I fell head over heels in love with that little girl. I’ve sent her many presents and toys and helped pay for some of her medical bills when she became seriously ill with Lyme’s Disease. She has recovered and has a job! I’m so proud of her. She went to help a young woman (Julia) who was paralyzed on her first motorcycle instruction ride by another trainee. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from college and is in pre-med grad school. About four years ago she was voted Miss Wheelchair of South Carolina. Her husband is a Captain in the Army. I couldn’t have hand picked a better family for Ethel if I had tried. Thankfully, Julia has a web page where she keeps us updated on Ethel. They were made for each other and you can see the love flowing in that family. She said for the very first time since she’s been in a wheelchair, people stare at beautiful Ethel instead of at her. I’ll miss seeing Ethel but I am so very happy for her. I have hundreds of pictures of her but will spare you all…for the most part. Her eyes really are that blue and that is my heart (which she was born with) that she wears on her shoulder. I love her and I’m so darn proud of her! :sad-smiley-012:

 

 

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Well, there is always little Miss Abby girl! :wub:

 

There were 9 new puppies born about less than 2 months ago and 4 four month olds just arrived from the Netherlands this week. Plenty of puppies plus all of the dogs but none like my Ethel. sigh.

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Wow...I could look at that pretty girl all day. :wub: Until you introduced us to that place, I didn't know that Danes come is so many assorted colors. I'd just seen the buff with black markings color. If I had unlimited bandwidth [or whatever it is that I'd have to pay extra for] I could sit at watch their cams.... Might be good that it isn't possible. :whistling: I'd never get anything done.

 

MtRider :pc_coffee:

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Yeah, I've logged in quite a few miles over there. :008Laughing:

 

Her Danes are all from European stock. She doesn't like the fawn or brindle colored Danes for what she uses them for, because they are shorter and stockier. She needs the taller, thinner, lankier European ones for people with mobility issues. The taller the dog, the less a person has to bend down to walk beside it. They are also taught to "brace" when a person falls. The dog stands perfectly still beside their person on the ground and the person can steady themselves using the dog as a prop so they can stand back up. Her dogs are anywhere from pure black to pure white and everything in between. Some look just like Dalmatians. There is a Blue Dane that is sort of a steel gray color too. The all white dogs can have deafness and eye problems so they are never bred even if they are 100% fine. Some of the dogs have "Ethel Blue" eyes and some have brown. Some have one blue eye and one brown eye. They learn to be spoon fed from a very early age usually by 2-3 months. I've learned so much about dogs from that site. Here are some of the colors below. I really like the 'Merle' gray ones.

 

In one of the pictures, a dog, Chaos, was trying to wean her puppies and they just wouldn't leave her alone. So, Carlene made her a "weaning bra". It was a sheet cut in strips at the top and tied on her in bows. I think it was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. She preferred the bra over the puppies who had their teeth in and was happy to model it, even outside. That Kardashian bunch ain't got nuthin' on this girl.

 

 

 

 

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Mt. Rider, I can only speak about the Danes I watch at Service Dog Project. They get along fine with each other and other dogs too. There are a couple who do not like each other at all. They are just kept separate from each other. They are real couch potatoes and very easy going. They earn their name ‘Gentle Giant’. They are socialized very early though. That is one reason for the spoon feeding and also to hide meds later in life. They are taught to wait their turn and to share and not become food aggressive. They start them at about 2 months old. To get the food they have to sit together and wait their turn until their name is called. It isn’t their regular meal it’s a treat. Even as adults they have their meals together at a feeding table. Service dogs must learn patience and ‘achieve boredom’ so they can accompany their person in public and tune out everyone and everything else. This place has trained 3 dogs to go to school with elementary school kids. The school system isn’t real happy about it but the three kids are now thriving and mobile. The room where the new puppies are is half way covered with wee wee training pads. At 1 month they are already running for the pads. Lots of misses but even at this young age, there are still more hits than misses. So cute. Before I stumbled on that place, I had no idea about Danes and what they could do. They have enriched my life so much and I’ve never even met one in person. They are teaching this old dog lots of new tricks and I’ll be a much better pet owner in the future.

 

Pic1 Spoon Training.

Pic2 Hunting Kibble...no fighting.

Pic3 Pee pad training at 1 month. Taken today.

Pic4 Spoon feeding adult dogs. Taken today.

Pic5 Puppy Hill. One of the play areas.

Pic6 Enclosed training arena. Taken today

Pic7 Puppy play pen. The first place they play outside. The flags are because of hawks. Taken today.

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Here are 2 of the kids that have one of the Danes. The little girl is Bella and her dog is George. There is a beautiful news clip of her below. The little boy is Hunter with his dog Wendy. I'm not sure of his story but they are at the 'farm' a lot during the summer. Wendy helps him walk and he said he rarely falls any more. A couple of Hunter's surgery's have been postponed because of Wendy.

 

http://www.wcvb.com/news/service-dog-gives-woburn-girl-with-rare-disease-a-helping-hand/31510810?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=FBPAGE&utm_campaign=wcvb5&Content%20Type=Story&linkId=12591435

Pic1 Hospital stay.

Pic2 Another hospital stay.

Pic3 Giving strength.

Pic4 See how he balances her.

Pic5 Working.

Pic6 Happy together.

Pic7 George and Bella.

Pic8 Hunter and Wendy.

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Edited by Jeepers
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Here are 2 of the kids that have one of the Danes. The little girl is Bella and her dog is George. There is a beautiful news clip of her below. The little boy is Hunter with his dog Wendy. I'm not sure of his story but they are at the 'farm' a lot during the summer. Wendy helps him walk and he said he rarely falls any more. A couple of Hunter's surgery's have been postponed because of Wendy.

 

http://www.wcvb.com/news/service-dog-gives-woburn-girl-with-rare-disease-a-helping-hand/31510810?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=FBPAGE&utm_campaign=wcvb5&Content%20Type=Story&linkId=12591435

 

Pic1 Hospital stay.

Pic2 Another hospital stay.

Pic3 Giving strength.

Pic4 See how he balances her.

Pic5 Working.

Pic6 Happy together.

Pic7 George and Bella.

Pic8 Hunter and Wendy.

 

Dontcha just know the parents feel so good having a service dog for their child! Love it! We'd love for Abby-girl to be a therapy dog, but she's so energetic and just doesn't know her own size/strength.

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When Abby matures more she might make a very good nursing home visitor. Labs and Retrievers are a whole different issue from Danes. Labs and Retrievers are more for fetching things and preforming tasks for the disabled where Danes are more for mobility issues.They both have their place though.

Edited by Jeepers
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Oye! Those pics of her and faithful pal in hospital bed about killed me.....

 

MtRider ....they do KNOW. When Koa stands over me when I fall, scanning in all directions, daring ANYthing to come near to me with harmful intent.... :wub:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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I know I posted a lot of pictures so after a while mods may remove them to help save on bandwidth!!!

 

Not a problem Jeepers.

 

Sometimes I wish I had a service dog to help me walk, LOL. Beautiful puppies.

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I think service dogs are wonderful..its nice to learn a bit how the Danes are trained. My cat could be registered as a service animal and I wonder if I may go do that soon. She is considered a companion for my MH stuff, on this level.

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Oye! Those pics of her and faithful pal in hospital bed about killed me.....

 

MtRider ....they do KNOW. When Koa stands over me when I fall, scanning in all directions, daring ANYthing to come near to me with harmful intent.... :wub:

Great job Koa!!! :wub:

 

Teach her how to stand perfectly still and practice using her. Sit on the floor and say a word to her like 'brace' and use her for balance to stand up. Keep practicing with her. OR sit in a chair and call her over and tell her your word (brace) and use her to balance you as you stand up. Even if you don't need her to stand up from a sitting position right now, get her trained in case you ever do. And keep practicing to keep it fresh in her mind! It is wonderful that she protects you when you fall but now you can use her to get back up. You don't really have to put all of your weight on the dog; just enough to get your balance and something to steady you. Lots of Carlene's dogs are used for MS people.

 

 

I really hope and pray I'm not coming off as a know-it-all because believe me, I only know what I've see others do and from the instructions Carlene has given.

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No worries, Jeep. I don't know much about it either. I've seen some when I "interviewed" by working with a dog at a n assistance training center. They later disqualified the dog on a health basis. But it was way too short/small to be a walking assistance dog for me. The place was woefully unqualified to be training these dogs. I was very unhappy with it. The dogs nearing graduation did not even have a solid 'sit' 'stay' 'come'. The 20-something year old trainers coached us to be "perky and squeaky" when giving dogs a command. Iffen ya got a fatigue disease, ya don't do perky often. :gaah: I use deep, curt, and calm. I also use short, consistent, and no chatter of talking in sentences when giving a command. "Please poopsie, mummsie wants you to come over here and get this nice treat!" :scratchhead:

 

Ahem, that would be "COME....SIT...GOOD dog!" I always use hand signals simultaneously.

 

I trained a deaf dog those 3 commands and others simply by using hand signals. Furthermore, I taught the dog long distance arm signals for the same commands for when she was out in the pasture. A dog we got when she was 11 yrs old. Had her til past 16 yrs. Very deaf and later became blind too, poor thing.

 

Our word for splaying feet for sturdy base and bracing is "HOLD". Both [the late] Big Dog and Koa seem to have instinctively known that. Both have worn body harness so that I have something to grip. Most of the time, the direction I'm pulling on is sideways...not downward. Gives me enough leverage to hoist and certainly balance so I don't pitch over a second time. The harness distributes the pull to several points on the body.

 

If I use them to provide propulsion up the hill or stairs, it's "PULL". Never done on the neck collar. The neck collar is really only to hold her I.D. and vaccination tags. The work is done off the harness. Big Dog was very good at this. Koa, tho I began with her early, still has the tendency to skitter sideways. I can still use the pull but it's less helpful than walking calmly beside me or ahead of me. On the stairs, I have to keep repeating PULL and a nudge for each stair step with Koa. Big Dog got my pace and just went up. Each one different.

 

Big Dog weighed at least 20# more than Koa does.....big stable base at 140-155#. Big Dog was so obese when we got her at 4 yrs old....mebbe 170# that it took months to bring her weight down so she could even take walks. She couldn't make it up our stairs. But the real miracle of walking her and gradually going further and further is that I found out I could walk too. :blink: MS theorists at that time were so intent on us not overheating, that they advised no exercise. Seems crazy now, a decade and a half later. But my fat, rescued dog and I learned to walk together. :wub:

 

I've never been able to get either dog do anything else tho. Neither does fetch. I had hopes for Koa cuz she played fetch a little as a pup but has now stopped. Big Dog never did ANY. You could put a tennis ball into her sagging open mouth and she would not even instinctively bite down to hold it. It just rolled back out of her mouth. :shrug: She never understood "play". Koa still plays a little but for shorter periods of time. Still plays soccer/keep-away with empty soda bottles. With great joy, she plays and then....becomes uninterested. :sigh:

 

So many of the maneuvers the service dogs are taught originate in moves already familiar to dogs. ....most dogs. These two are bred for guarding. I'm just not sure what to work with beyond where we've gotten. :shrug: ...but guard, pull, and hold are very, very helpful in BAD situations for me.

 

 

Both dogs learned many phrases like "tortilla" ...which means "no, you're wrapping around an obstacle, go backwards" and "move" to get out of my way. "ACK!" means knock it off...whatever you're doing. Lots of hand signals to be able to walk and maneuver with them easily outside on leash or within pen/house. But I can't think of any other command/communication that is specifically for assistance.

 

 

MtRider :shrug:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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The place you went to sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen. The place I watch is run by a now 77 year old woman. Cutsey is not in her vocabulary. Danes do not fetch either. Labs and Retrievers are trained for that.

 

Carlene has had deaf (all white) dogs too. Hers were born deaf. She has placed a couple into service. One to deaf person who preferred it and one as a therapy dog for a PTS vet. Her other deaf dogs live with some of the volunteers and know quite a few hand signals too. They are great pets or as they are called, 'fabulous failures'. One thing I noticed about all of the deaf dogs there is that they really need another dog with them even if that other dog is deaf. Even when they sleep they like to touch each other. One volunteer has two of the deaf brothers and one other hearing Dane. The one that hears really helps the other two. They follow her lead. I guess she is their Service Dog.

 

When the dogs have on their little jackets they have learned that that is the time for working and no nonsense. When they are out of their jacket it's free time for playing or just lounging around being a dog. It sounds like Koa is very smart and has learned the basics very well. If she does what you need her to do consistently and with out asking...Woooo-Hoooo!

 

You might want to make up a little pack of something you would really need in an emergency fall and teach her to go get it for you. Something small with a handle or soft where she could get ahold of it easily. Maybe something like a fanny pack. And have a special word for it. Teach her when you say that word, she needs to go get the bag and bring it you. Maybe have a bottle of water and a protein bar or other things that would see you through a crisis until your husband came home.

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The EDC? LOL That's what I carry. There is no way she would fetch anything. I guess her breed doesn't do that. I had plans for my service dog doing exactly that. I wanted them to train her to 'water bottle' and 'phone'. But I never got one. Also, y'see, we aren't fenced here and LGD's pretty much have to have physical boundaries....or else they try to guard as far as the ear can hear and the nose can smell. So I can't let go of her leash. It's probably the biggest restriction of their breed.....if you are renting and can't afford to fence someone else's place. :shrug:

 

Actually, I'd like to look into buying her a true Service Dog harness and pack. But they're so expensive! Then she could carry some of my stuff. No fetching required. Just haul it for me. Makeshift packs that I've tried on her and BigDog tend to slip around the belly. Both dogs are/were totally compliant with whatever I attach to them. You should see the navy poncho I cover Koa with if it's raining for our walk. Even catches up over her curled tail. Good anchor point, actually. Drivers of cars stare when they drive by. ....cuz it's actually an old nylon seat cover from our truck. :008Laughing: I suppose I should get a pic of that sometime. Truth be told, her body harness is a Draft horse halter....turned upside down. :shrug: Innovation is cheaper.

 

 

 

"She [Dane with hearing] is their Service Dog" :thumbs:

 

DH was a 'Service Human' for an ancient, blind Shetland pony named Shady.......when we were stable managers an eon or two ago. :)

 

MtRider :pc_coffee:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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