Lacey worked hard learning to deal with two new distractions: the vacuum, and an umbrella. We started the session by introducing her to the vacuum, since it’s something that’s used in the home on a daily basis. She was nervous around it at first, but repeating the exercise and showing her nothing bad was happening to her helped her to become calm.
After working her several times with the machine, she was given a quick break so she could get out for a potty. Once inside again, the umbrella was brought in and the introduction process began.
Here are some highlights of the session. Lacey did an awesome job, and so did her people.
When it was time to end the session, Lacey’s human, Jake – the autistic boy she’s being trained for – was invited to participate in the exercises. He wants to take part in her training and it’s important to encourage that. He worked her on “drop it” while practicing retrieval with her ball, and “take it” when giving her a food reward. It was exciting to see him so focused and communicative with Lacey; communication, focus, and talking was a big struggle for him before Lacey came into his life.
Lacey is 16 months old now. In the past 16 months, she has had a tremendous, very positive impact on Jake’s life. She has helped him learn to communicate, she helps calm him when he’s having a melt-down, she helps him with focus, and so much more. She has her challenges – vocalization being one of them – but what she’s done for Jake in her 16 months of life has more than made up for that.
In our next lesson, we’re going to be working more with the umbrella, and teaching her to hold a down position and remain calm during a step-over exercise.
Have a great day, everyone, and remember to stay calm and lead on….