Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Level 1 Zen and other ramblings

We have started playing our games that are Training Levels.

Both Jazzy and Apollo have been working on Level 1 Step 1 Zen.  At the beginning of this game they have to figure out what to do to get that treat I am hiding in my closed fist.    The answer, which is not easy for many dogs, is to ignore the fist.   Once they stop trying to get the treat they get a click and the treat.   ROFL  Apollo is VERY food motivated and he quickly learned to sit still and ignore my fist.   Now he has moved on to open hand and that one is proving a bit harder for him. 

The fun thing with this game is Jazzy and I played it in the waiting room yesterday.  I think some of the folks watching thought I was crazy.  Since I had no clicker with me I was using the word yes for the click.  We started close fist, yes and treat, as soon as she ignored it.  Then we worked our way up to a count of 4 before she would go back to my fist.   All in all I was thrilled with her concentration in a rather distracting environment.

Tonight we will try again with open hands using her trick of training just before dinner time when they are really hungry and we can use part of their meal for the treats.

Today is also a big day for Apollo as he gets his last set of shots.  It will also be the first time our poodle crazy vet gets to see him.  That will be fun to see.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Adventure in Gatsby-land!

Today Gatsby came to class with me. Not even halfway through I began feeling faint, so I slid out of my chair to get closer to the floor then fell over. Gatsby came and snuggled with me and I had him lay on me to do some deep pressure therapy. He was an angel the whole time. He'll be coming to the doctor with me tomorrow since I can't go alone.


My fiance wrote a little book about me and Gatsby. I drew the pictures and a friend of ours colored them in photoshop. I can now say that the book has been PUBLISHED! Well, actually we just got the proof book today, and there are some edits to do so that it's perfect, but it'll be available soon! :) Its a children's book inspired by a trip Gatsby and I took to the beach. Here is the cover of it, we're so excited to be working on a poodle service dog book!

Levels and Training resources

Levels is a training program by Sue Ailsby.  She has a copy of the old version of Levels on her site free for anyone to use or you can spend money for a copy of her new version.  I splurged for the books and I am very glad I did.  They are very nice spiral bound books and go a bit more in depth about the program and how to do it.   They are easy to read and have some fun  stories in them.

There are a number of different resources online that makes it even easier to work through.  One is Training Resources a page on a blog "The Adventures of Ayla, Elki & Phoebe   Therapy & Agility Dogs In Training" The writer has made pages, flash cards, and has links to other resources.

There is a Yahoo group  Training Level. 

There is an online Training Tracker

And on Facebook there is Levels Dog Training,


Monday, March 4, 2013

Welcome Part 2

I'm Jennifer, and this here is Gatsby. Gatsby is 11 months old and is in training to be a service dog. :) He has been learning fast, and we are trying out the levels training with him as well. Gatsby comes to class with me and pretty much everywhere else I go and he is a great help. I can't wait until he learns to retrieve dropped objects on a regular basis, though, as I drop things constantly!

Here he is snazzed up for a formal event

And here he is practicing a sit stay on campus! He's getting so good at this!


Welcome to our new blog. Jennifer and I will be posting about our poodles who are in training to be service dogs. Expect to see lots of photos and hear about poodles doing lots of non frou-frou things.

 I am Dorothy and my dogs are:

 Apollo at this time a 3 month old puppy who we will use the  Levels training method on.

Jazzy at this time is 11 months old and has been in training for while. We will also be starting her on the levels training program and see how that works with an older dog.