by Laura Sylvester
Two months ago we celebrated the graduation of the Good Dog! Autism Companions Class of 2015. Presently we are hard at work matching our newest teams for our next rising class. When we begin matching potential canine and human pairs, there are several factors to consider. Good Dog! uses a three tiered system to evaluate personality compatibility, the child’s specific needs, and family environment.
When our service pups in-training reach approximately 16 months of age we begin the matching process, where we assess for potential compatibilities between our dogs and the parent handlers. Using Bonnie Bergin’s “Social Styles” scale, we assess both the parent and dog’s levels of assertiveness and responsiveness. Our team plots both the dog and parent’s traits onto a grid to see how they fall in relation to one another. Bergin’s “Social Styles” allow us to classify each person and pup into four basic categories: analytical, driver, amiable, and expressive. Each category can be further divided into subcategories: analytical-analytical, driver-analytical, amiable-analytical, expressive-analytical, driver-driver, driver-amiable, drver-expressive, amiable-amiable, amiable-expressive, expressive-expressive, and expressive-driver.
Have you ever wondered why your dog chooses to chew on your personal belongings or furniture rather than the million toys you have for them? Or why he chooses your child's toys over his own? I have three suggestions to help change this:
UPDATE: Dogs under 4 months should not be given the Nylabone Dinosaur or any other Nylabones with little nubs
Dogs love to chew! In fact, it is healthy for them to keep their jaws exercised! The problem is finding that perfect chew for them that is both satisfying and safe for your dog to chew!
If you have a dog and go for regular walks, I'm almost positive you've run into either a stray dog or an off leash pet dog at least once! Running into unknown off leash dogs can be both scary and dangerous for your dog and yourself. And let's just face it, dogs attract other dogs. I always suggest that you be prepared every time you take your pup out for a walk, because you never know what off leash dog situation you may encounter. It could be sweet little fluffy from across the street, or it could be a pack of angry stray dogs. I've had the unfortunate chance of running into the large pack of angry stray dogs, but the actions I took quite possibly saved myself and my dog from a potentially dangerous situation. I'll tell you what happened:
by Good Dog! Koa's Mom - Lisa
posted with permission by Aaron's Mom, Lisa:
The past two days have marked a turning point in our family’s life. We went back to Disneyland for the first time in five years! August is typically the most difficult month for Aaron, and one of the most crowded months at “Neeland" (as Aaron used to call it) but we just had a hunch our boy was ready. And, of course we have Koa now...
As we walked up to the gates, Steve and I both choked up. How could we not feel that way? Aaron was happily skip-walking along, Koa’s leash in his little hand, Small World playing in the background. The moment was awesome. Aaron did not show any trepidation. He was just HAPPY … Our sweet boy, who frequently struggles with some of life’s easiest tasks, was centered and joyful. The moment took our breath away.