Monday, March 9, 2015

Who is Really In Control

I had a recent meet up with another Diabetic Alert dog that had just finished training. I did notice some things such as the dog was in control and not the handler. The dog was pulling the owner around the room. The dog saw Duchess and instantly wanted to play. I know Duchess at times will find it tempting to want to play but these days she knows she needs to be focused on me. This dog focus on tasks was not very good compared to Duchess at the same age she was incredibly focused. I did allow Duchess to say hi for a few minutes. The dog was very pushy and was wanting to full out play which is not ideal being that I was at a conference. The dog was friendly over all and I know the dog climbed on top of her but Duchess remained calm and I got the dog off of her. She really impressed me with her patience and her handling of the situation. She really looked like an old pro at dealing with these situations and I could not have been more proud.

I was really surprised with how much the dog was controlling the situations and how bad it makes all the service dog handlers when one is out of control. I know the woman was asking me how I was able to get Duchess to be so calm and very patient. I said it was a great deal of practice. I know Duchess does have her moments where she does not do what I want her to do. I take these opportunities to guide her to what I need from her and what is expected. She takes these cues and uses them in situations like on Saturday at the Conference. Duchess in my opinion handled the situation better than I expected. I know the longer we are together the better we have become as a team. I know I do have some areas right now I am working on but I know overall Duchess is doing well.

I know the service dog handler was new and probably still learning but sadly if they don't get control soon the dog could stop alerting. I know dogs work for the handlers but the handler also needs to have control over the dog for it to work. I know I was blessed that Duchess has been easy to get back in line if things do happen and I also know that she is human as well. I know service dogs have bad days but I have a feeling that dog was sadly the one in control. I also did not seem any alerts from the dog either so I wonder.


  1. sadly all too commonly seen these days- with all these quickly popping up training programs..... too little training for the dog, too little training for handler....

  2. I was not completely surprised but mostly disappointed. I was hoping to see a well behaved dog.