Arwen was adopted from a shelter as a puppy with the intentions of being trained to be a type of service dog to her mom, Peyton. However, Arwen turned out to be excessively shy and fearful, was still peeing inside, and mouthing (using teeth) when playing. Peyton called me in to help with this. Arwen seemed to be scared of the word “sit.” And we determined that when Arwen was young she was too shy and fearful and became scared of the word “sit” while being taught it as well as her parents’ reaction when she peed in the house. She was most likely the runt of the litter, and may have suffered abuse and poor nutrition in vitro.
After a couple lessons using hot dog, we decided to switch to using a toy as a reward. This really changed Arwen’s confidence level, and she began to be enthusiastic and responsive to training – which took her brain from shy to engaged and excited. She began playing and relaxing for the first time. Trusting her parents and not having accidents in the house. Which is all the beginning of the road to learning her service dog roles.