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PetGround >> Tried a TDI eval this past weekend


11/10/08 11:03 AM
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MikeZev
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 and got a no pass. she passed every part of the test just out of pure obedience but she quite clearly wasnt interested in the context of the class. The equipment part was a little shaky and the evaluator used that as a point to dq us. she backed up when the eval, walked up to her clanging a walker on the ground.

W spoke a little afterwards and determined that the temperment was there but the personality was a little off, my dog isnt a lovey dovey people mush. she'll enter a room, greet all the people inside and then become more focused on the environment.

I'm sure we could train a little bit more obed and pass the test easily but I dont think she'll really enjoy it.
11/10/08 6:28 PM
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MikeD
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Forgive my stupidity but what is a "TDI eval?"
11/10/08 10:26 PM
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smileythai
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TDI = Therapy Dogs International.

It's the stability/temperament test dogs must pass in order to enter hospitals and such as certified therapy dogs.



Mike,

Stop anthropomorhphing your dog!

Unless Sicily is a naturally sharp dog she'll adapt to the environment. Meaning the more she's exposed/socialized to people loving on her the more she'll begin to bond with people and like it. Just takes time and adequate training...more exposure, leaving the bribes alone.  haha!

11/11/08 9:25 AM
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MikeZev
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 the weird thing is, she is a total people dog in my house or my moms house. Anybody that walks in the door she is all over - she gets tons of exposure to other people and plenty of affection. Outside the houses she is just so focused on the environment and constantly has her nose to the floor. when we are engaged in an activity, like walking or whatever, I can get her to not sniff and focus on the activity. but when she is inactive - not engaged in something - her mind and nose wander.

I thought that the sniffing could possibly have to do with stress but as far as environments go she's been able to walk through my office building/elevator in manhattan as well as times square when its too packed to move at a normal pace. So i dont think she's fearful of intense environments jusy not focused enough.

Like I said we can pass the test on obedience alone but to me it doesnt make sense to put her in a sit stay and have her watch me when a client is petting her. The dog should want to sit there and get pet IMO (as well as in the opinion of tdi). I think we'll try it again if for nothing else than just to get the title.
11/11/08 9:54 AM
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smileythai
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Edited: 11/11/08 9:55 AM
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1) Home = different comfort level then unfamiliar surroundings and people. How much exposure does/did she have to the requisite conditions of therapy work prior to evaluation? Little to none = you set your dog up for failure by assuming good nature and so-so manners were enough.

2)Outside the houses she is just so focused on the environment and constantly has her nose to the floor = a non-handler driven dog with questionable obedience. No surprise she's not attentive to you or others, she's given free reign to investigate whatever interests her. Proper foundation and proofing against distractions will fix this in a jiffy, then you can get to work on the therapy requirements(ie: exposure/socializaiton).

3) A sit stay or stand for examination is exactly the way to go when you're doing therapy work. Why? First because it keeps the dog focused on its behavior(ie: knowing it's not free to do whatever it wants in that environment) in order for people to be able to approach without hesitation. And secondly, Siciliy's about 40-50lbs, right? A bit too big to just be letting her sit on people's laps or rear-up to be petted(ie: a sickly child or frail old lady might tumble over), so the dog either remains in a specified area so people can move towards it or you migrate from person to person, letting the dog sit/stand calmly at their feet to be petted.

Once you've got the foundation/control issues corrected this kind of stuff will come naturally and the dog will begin to pick up on people/body language a lot more...ie: Sicily's options(ie: distractions) are limited so she'll take a greater interest in what's permitted.  
11/11/08 11:47 AM
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MikeZev
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 as far as exposure to the environment i take her everywhere with me. granted we have not been to a nursing home or hospital  but she has been exposed to children, old people, loud people, trains, buses, other animals, office buildings, elevators and lots of other stuff the average dog doesnt really get to see frequently.

 

she isnt free to inversigate whatever interestes her when she is on lead. i have been giving a leash correction at the nanosecond she puts her nose down and she hasnt gotten it yet. proofing isnt always done in a jiffy. I'll openly admit that she could be more focused on me - i'm not sure how i'd define questionable obedience.

a sit/stay is doable for therapy work but not ideal. Delta nd TDI both focus on the interaction and interaction means both parties participating. if a dog is solely focused on the handler and not the client, there is room for improvement in the eyes of both organizations. Evaluators for both groups have told me this personally. Sicily is about 45lbs and definitely too big to be a lap dog or jump up on anybody but this was not an issue in her case.

In retrospect, i take blame for simply encouraging her to be comfortable and not give her familiar commands that she takes comfort in. She looked the best and most at ease during the portion where she had to demonstrate a dow/stay and recall.

 

 

11/11/08 8:36 PM
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smileythai
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MikeZev -
as far as exposure to the environment i take her everywhere with me. granted we have not been to a nursing home or hospital but she has been exposed to children, old people, loud people, trains, buses, other animals, office buildings, elevators and lots of other stuff the average dog doesnt really get to see frequently.



she isnt free to inversigate whatever interestes her when she is on lead. i have been giving a leash correction at the nanosecond she puts her nose down and she hasnt gotten it yet. proofing isnt always done in a jiffy. I'll openly admit that she could be more focused on me - i'm not sure how i'd define questionable obedience.

a sit/stay is doable for therapy work but not ideal. Delta nd TDI both focus on the interaction and interaction means both parties participating. if a dog is solely focused on the handler and not the client, there is room for improvement in the eyes of both organizations. Evaluators for both groups have told me this personally. Sicily is about 45lbs and definitely too big to be a lap dog or jump up on anybody but this was not an issue in her case.

In retrospect, i take blame for simply encouraging her to be comfortable and not give her familiar commands that she takes comfort in. She looked the best and most at ease during the portion where she had to demonstrate a dow/stay and recall.


1) In what context whas the dog exposed to such situations? While in route to the bank, stores and such? Brief interactions with people who may or may not be petting your dog?

2) Sure she is if you're not demanding attention/compliance. Her not respecting your authority = free reign.

You're also not using a prong, right? And not following a Koehler-esque change of direction in response to distractions/inattentiveness, right? So no, you're not likely to fix your problem in a jiffy. But neither does that mean it's not possible. Try it and see!

3) Ideal? I'm talking about your dog and her faults at this moment. Once she's grounded in obedience and given additional exposure(ie: controlling what she takes an interest in) you can expand on those command positions(sit-stay, stand for examination). But still, are they(positions) not the common theme in therapy work? I'm no evaluater but I've yet to see a dog working off lead in those environments or meandering freely(ie: its own decision) between patients. Instead, the handler is leading the dog from room to room, patient to patient, encouraging interaction between the dog and others. Obedience and command positions the dog is already comfortable with seem like the basis of the work...ie: the dog taking an interest/adapting to the situation is aware of interaction protocols(ie: standing calmy or going to sit down beside someone).

Each specific requirement can be integrated into regular obedience/heeling routines via training...just as everyone who does who has a dog that performs a job. Why? Because regardless of how gentle/natural the dog's temperament, none can transition into a situation without good foundation and total control. You don't have that now so you didn't pass. No biggie. And definitely not something that should dissaude you from a goal. The key is not letting your dog become a cur just because you are! j/k lmao
11/11/08 9:18 PM
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smileythai
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Hell, I'll even send you a copy of the Koehler Method if you're willing to read it and follow the program to the letter.

11/12/08 9:29 AM
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MikeZev
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"In what context whas the dog exposed to such situations? While in route to the bank, stores and such? Brief interactions with people who may or may not be petting your dog?"

Pretty much. she meets a lot of people out (pet stores, park, etc.)


" You're also not using a prong, right? And not following a Koehler-esque change of direction in response to distractions/inattentiveness, right?"

I walk her on a prong typically but for the last month she has been on a flat collar in preparation for this eval. I DO use the koehler method of changing direction when i can (when we get to some open space) but since we are typically walking in a crowded city theres not always the space to do that.

"But still, are they(positions) not the common theme in therapy work?"

Yes but a dog that is enjoying what he is doing will stand/sit for petting without the command. My dog enjoys obedience stuff - off lead down/stay come etc..- but when we are doing that stuff she's not thinking about anything else (clients). Thats fine with me if she really takes to that but i dont have to drag her to a hospital to do it.

 

 

...and i have a copy of the Koehler Method ;)

11/12/08 9:55 AM
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smileythai
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Edited: 11/12/08 10:15 AM
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Mixing and matching methods = preparing to fail. You know this! 



A dog with good foundation and total control =  a dog that adapts to its environment. You allow the dog's mind to wander instead of focusing on you or whatever task in front of it and you'll continue to have problems passing the test. Demand more of your dog and you'll see the change.



btw, I'm riding you because you're insisting she's a 'people' dog. Were she sharp or noticibly aloof it would be a different story. Even a monster dog that hates everyone can be stabilized to the point it tolerates someone's presence/caress, doesn't make it an ideal candidate for the work, though. But things being what they are I think you're ignoring that this is a control/exposure issue(ie: your responsibility) rather then a temperament issue. Meaning, your under the misguided impression that dogs not taking to situations by some 'natural' cue from the onset aren't cut out for it in the first place. Baloney! If that were the case we'd be culling every pup/dog with a good temperament that leaps onto or mouths people only because it's got poor foundation and control.

You've got a copy? Great, you save me a few bucks shipping. Now all you gotta do is read it cover to cover and stop making excuses as to why you can't follow it to the letter.

NJ's a crowded place, right? Too busy to take the dog to an open area every morning/evening? I can imagine it sucks. But there's still no excuse. You took on the responsibility of dog ownership, so do the work. Your house or apartment too small for heeling/distractions? No accessible rooftops nearby? Family's house? No place at/near your g/f's shelter that will do? No times of day when all is quiet(more or less)?  There's a helluva lot of dogs in your neck of the woods, gotta be able to find an adequate time and place. 


*edit: forgot you were from 'Jersey'  *

  
11/12/08 1:36 PM
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MikeZev
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 some valid points...

however, i dont know that i totally believe training will change a dogs personality. I do think it has the potential in this case. she is really only a people dog in the house so its pretty clear that this is an environmental issue. I guess i owe it to her to give her the proper training and see if she likes it anymore than she did last week.

now i gotta get my hands on a walker and a wheelchair...
11/12/08 5:24 PM
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MikeD
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Smiley is full of knowledge...















and an asshole.
11/12/08 5:46 PM
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MikeZev
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 lol i prefer "smarmy cocksucker"
11/12/08 9:29 PM
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smileythai
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Cocksucker is sooooo vile....



But ya know, smarmythai or smarmysmile might be a cool screen name. Whatiya think?






btw, MikeD's just jealous I didn't offer him a copy before he bought his for $5 bucks. Some people are really cheap! lol

11/13/08 9:13 AM
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MikeZev
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 lol i like smarmythai. however i think it will be a self fufilling prophecy and you should keep the smiley.
11/13/08 9:18 AM
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smileythai
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 Was kinda leaning towards smarmysmile. Has a certain ring to it.

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