We recently got an email and to quote a part of it: “…I would say he is going to be a Great Service Dog…” We certainly hope this will be true.
In case you don’t remember Apache was my last guide dog puppy in training. After spending a month at guide dog college he was career changed due to a medical condition. However, the good news is he was career changed to a service dog organization called Canine Support Teams (CST).
Today Apache is in the Prison Pup Program with CST working on his service dog training with an inmate trainer at Chino Institute for Women.
Apache, A Great Service Dog…We Certainly Hope So!
Sorry, they don’t allow picture of Apache while he’s in the Prison Pup Program I would have loved to have seen him in his dog Halloween Costume. Since no updated picture here’s one of him as a puppy:
So without further adieu here’s the latest update we received about our buddy, Apache:
I got to spend time with Apache last night. I have to tell you he won first place in the Halloween Costume contest he was dressed like an Indian featuring a feathered headress and a loin cloth, he enjoyed every minute of the attention. His sister Asha was Pocahontas..very cute together.
Apache is doing very well, in last nights class we had a 2 part class the first part was the Primary Trainers taking the dogs through obedience commands with their hands behind their backs using no treats or hand gestures. I can tell you Apache did very well. He kept his eyes on his Trainer and stayed right by her side, even with the distraction of other dogs. The reason this is important and is practiced is not every client will have the ability to hold a leash and give gestures. We want the dogs to maintain eye contact and do what ever they are asked to do. He did a great job…
The second part of the class was a babysitter or secondary trainer who has never worked with the dog to do the same thing. Apache still did well with this but like all the other dogs was not totally focused on the new person. So it was good for the entire class to see that all dogs need to work for whoever asks them to do the command. We did let them bring out treats and all the dogs responded better to the new people and we had lots of wagging tails. Overall it was a Great class.
I spent some time talking with his trainer and asking about progress, any issues etc. She said he is doing well at all his obedience, directional, and working on task. He loves, loves, loves to retrieve. He started with the basic dropped items off the floor, keys, pens, glasses. He has progressed to retrieving items off counters, he is tall enough to retrieve out of the sink. He has such a gentle mouth he has moved on to mail and single sheets of paper. He can also now turn lights on and off with the commands Light & Switch.
I would say he is going to be a Great Service Dog. The next Team Training is in March…client files are being reviewed and if there is a good match for him he may be in that Team Training.
I’m happy to hear that Apache did so well with his secondary trainer. He must be maturing! Maybe it’s because his second birthday is right around the corner. Does that mean he’s almost an adult!? Probably not till he’s closer to three years old.
I’m so proud of Apache. I hope he truly does become a great service dog for someone. My fingers are crossed that he makes the next team training this March. GO APACHE!!!
Do you have a dog in formal guide or service dog training? How’s your puppy doing? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
Apache left for guide dog college nearly two months ago and if you’ve been following us here on the blog and on Facebook then you already know that he was career changed due to medical conditions.
However, some good news did come from this. At first we thought Apache would go into the GDA Adoption program, but we recently found out that he was accepted into the Canine Support Teams Prison Pup Program!
An Update On Apache’s Service Dog Training
Apache is now training to be a service dog in the CST Prison Pup Program
Unfortunately, I haven’t received any pictures of Apache in action during his service dog training. So for now you’ll just have to look at some of his old puppy pics. We did receive an email message with an update on Apache and his sister Asha who is also entering the Prison Pup Program. Here’s the email we received:
Asha and Apache are doing well they spent the first few days at Sherri Peek’s Ranch, she has a boarding kennel there where she evaluates all the dogs before they head into CIW Chino Institute for Women. She fell in love with both of them, they enjoyed their time at the ranch and were able to just unwind play with other dogs and just be dogs.
She evaulated both Asha and Apache and is so happy to have such well adjusted solid dogs. On Tuesday they both were taken into CIW and matched with inmate Trainers. The Trainers were so excited to have such beautiful dogs, GDA Career Change dogs and a big surprise to them. They know how well our dogs are socialized and they love having them.
I worked with the Trainers on the commands the dogs know and what the equivelent command would be…such as “Get Busy”, in service dog world it is “Better go Now “, we do (GDA) a different formal come, CST does a come and a come here. So there are a few things that are different.
This next week the dogs will be getting used to the surroundings, a new routine, and a new Trainer. CST training is broken down into tracks, the first is obedience, the second directional and the third is task work. They will be working on obedience and directional to start.
Directional has elements of obedience but for positioning CST commands to name a few would be heel is on the left, side is on the right, they have a command “go around” “go through” “go in” used to go under a table for instance. There are many, many commands to challenge the dogs and keep them engaged. I can assure you Asha and Apache will have lots to learn.
It sounds like Apache and Asha have a lot of challenges ahead. I think they will both do well and I can’t wait for more updates hopefully with some pictures
Apache at the docks of Morita Produce
A Little Bit About Canine Support Teams (CST)
Canine Support Teams is a non-profit, volunteer organization, made possible by the many people who volunteer their time, energy, money and love for the purpose of enhancing the lives of those affected by disabilities.
CST service dogs are placed with people who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or canes. CST service dogs are taught to assist their partners by pulling manual wheelchairs, turning lights on and off, pushing elevator buttons, retrieving dropped or hard to reach items, making purchases or banking transactions, opening and closing doors and drawers, barking to get help and providing stability for walking. In addition, these dogs help to serve as an ice-breaker in public situations and provide constant companionship for their partners. [Read More About Canine Support Teams]
A Little Bit About The Prison Pup Program
The “Prison Pup Program” was conceived out of a dream from a tenacious woman named Sister Pauline Quinn. Already being the trailblazer for many other Prison Training programs in which inmates are trained, mentored and finally trusted with the privilege and responsibility of training dogs for service to the disabled community, Sr. Pauline Quinn made a call to John Dovey, Warden of CIW in 2002. She also contacted Carol Roquemore, CST’s founder and CEO. Due to her tenacity and her belief in the rehabilitative benefits for the inmates and the obvious assistance they could provide to the community, in addition to the expectation of being able to shorten a nearly three year waiting list for service dogs, both John Dovey and Carol Roquemore could not say no. They embraced the opportunity to see the good that could come out of such a match! [Read More About the Prison Pup Program]
I’m so proud of Apache! I know he will be great in the Canine Support Teams Prison Pup Program.
Are you a puppy raiser? If so, have you raised a career changed puppy? What is your career changed puppy doing today? Tell us about it in the comment section below.