PAT 105 – People & Dog Distractions

I am Ariza from PCC ATA Ubuntu Support. In this video series, I will share what I have learned, thus helping you prepare for what you are in for and increasing your chances of passing the PAT.

People & Dog Distractions: As stated in previous videos: your dog has to display a relaxed and neutral demeanour towards people & dogs. In other words, they won’t find people and dogs exciting or scary. 

Let’s look at which types of Temperaments would, in my opinion, make the best Assistance Dogs.

  1. Some dogs are more dog affiliated than humans, meaning if they chose between hanging out with dogs or people, they would prefer people every time. These don’t make the best Assistance Dogs in the long run.
  2. Some dogs love to get attention from anybody who would pat them; these are not the best Assistance dogs, but instead would have the potential to be Therapy Dogs (which is not the same as an Assistance Dog!).
  3. Other dogs will be aloof to strangers but love to please their handlers and make great Assistance Dogs.
  4. An Assistance Dog must have the following:
    • Threshold: this is the level at which your dog is stimulated.
      • Every dog will have different thresholds for different things; you need to get to know your dog and see what will be helpful or a hindrance to your needs and meet the PAT’s standard.
      • The best would be a dog that is not easily stimulated by the environmental sounds, people or other dogs but has a lower threshold to the changes of obstacles and the needs of their handler.
    • Drive: this is the level of intensity for an activity, goal or resource.
      • It is relatively simple; I heard someone say: ‘You won’t know how strong a horse is until your goals are contractionary ‘.
      • It is all about persistence for dogs: if both ends of the leash have the same goal, then we say the dig is ‘very committed.
      • If both ends of the leash have contractionary goals, then we say the dog is ‘stubborn’. Do you get the picture? You only have three choices:
        1. The drive of the dog vs your needs. If you need a dog to retrieve, retriever-based breeds are an excellent place to start.
        2. The size of the dog vs your needs. If you need a dog to help with mobility, you need a dog with a strong frame, so a chihuahua would not be the best option.
        3. Teaching the dog cooperating with you will also benefit them in the long run; if you have a dog that is happy to retrieve as long as they can then later be rewarded by tug, you have a deal.

How must you be willing to pay (time, energy, money, stress, sleep, etc.) to get your dog to that standard and maintain that standard in the long run?

    • Nerves: this is the level of resilience, which I have talked about in-depth in the other videos, but here is a reminder: 
      • Your Dog can recover when startled > 3 seconds. This implies that you teach your dog the invisible skills of impulse control and self-regulation. I have a few exercises I teach my clients to help their dogs in this regard.
  1. Your dog must be able to work around many different types of people.
    • I got this from Dr Ian Dunbar, who said that ‘your puppy must be socialised with people first, especially children, and men.’
    • Because if you have a dog that struggles with dogs, then it is hard to live with that dog. But if you have a dog that works with humans, that is a different kind of torture to live with, especially seeing your dog that can’t cope with people that are pretty much everywhere.
  2. Your dog must be able to work around many different types of dogs, especially different breeds, genders and ages. 
  3. Your dog must not solicit attention from people or other animals, especially when the other person or animal is trying to engage with your dog.
  4. This is where Socialisation comes into play, and I see two phases as follows:
    • Expose your dog’s senses first, and see how they respond. Then decide how to bring it as close as possible to neutral.
      • If your dog is more ‘introverted’, it can be easier than having an a’ extroverted dog’.
    • Then you can focus on interactions and then decide how to bring it as close as possible to neutral.

I look forward to sharing the following video with you guys next Tuesday!

Like, share and comments if you found this helpful. I look forward to sharing the following video with you guys next Tuesday! Here is a challenge for you guys! The more likes, shares and comments I get, the more information I will provide.

PS. Questions are welcome too, and I’ll make some videos answering these 🙂

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