New Lab owner needing help
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Thread: New Lab owner needing help

  1. #1
    pinkyXstary's Avatar
    pinkyXstary is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultNew Lab owner needing help

    Hi everyone I'm Bex!

    I'm a brand new, never had one before, Lab owner (What have I gotten myself into?!)
    Bo, our 5 month old black lab is a beauty. She really is a treasure and we are blessed to have her in our lives

    A very brief history of how we came to bring Bo into our home:

    My youngest daughter (I have 2 children 3&2) Aimee, was born severely brain damaged and as a result suffers with cerebral palsy, is registered as blind although she can see roughly 30-40cm distance, has very high muscle tone, is unable to walk, crawl etc but most frightening of all she suffers with seizures which are life threatening.
    We have had our ups and downs with Aimee but during a family break in Minehead this May Aimee had a HUGE seizure that resulted in her being blue lighted to Taunton Hospital (25 miles from where I was with my other daughter on site) and being sedated.
    She recovered and is happy and well as can be now
    What terrified me more than anything is that Aimee had this fit at 9pm at night, as we were on holiday she was still up and me and my husband were able to catch it, but had we been at home she would have been in bed and as her fits are silent we probably wouldn't have noticed. We were told that the seizure she had would have killed her had she not gotten to the hospital as quickly as she did.

    Since then I have been out of my mind and researching anything and everything. One thing I came across was seizure assist dogs. Did alot of reading into breeds, spoke to various breeders, visited shelters, posted on forums etc.

    We settled on a Lab due to high intelligence, good with children and eagerness to please.
    We bought Bo From a reputable KC Reg breeder and have had no problems with her health.

    A few places that offer seizure alert training won't train your own dog and they instead use their own. Aimee would need to be placed onto a waiting list once she is 8 and God knows how long that would take until she is assigned a dog. We decided to buy our own and use various different training methods to suit Aimee and Bo. All that we want is that if Aimee were to have a seizure during the night, Bo would alert us by barking.

    Bo has been very good considering how naughty some labs can be (or so i have read!) She has learnt sit, lie down, high 5, shake and speak so far. She has learnt all of those very quickly but struggles to maintain them at the moment (especially sit! she will NOT sit still lol)

    The idea that I have is that when Aimee has a seizure Bo needs to bark. So Everytime Aimee has a seizure (she has around 5-9 a day - Not life threatening but display the same movements) I direct Bo over to her, then command speak, speak, speak to get 3 big barks from her, then she is awarded a treat.

    She does this really well everytime and I am so so proud of her. The only problem i'm having is that if I don't direct Bo to Aimee and tell her what to do she will instead gallop over to her and jump all over her.

    I will continue with what I am doing but wondered if anyone has been in a similar situation or if anyone could maybe help me out with some tailored training to suit our needs? There doesn't seem to be many people around our area (I live in Bristol) That can offer this unique sort of help. If anyone can put me in touch with a trainer that may be able to help, or if anyone here can help that would be great. Of course we are willing to pay for the right kind of training help

    Thank you in advance

    Bex

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  3. #2
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome! Unfortunately I don't have any training suggestions for this type of need but wanted to suggest you post your story in the "Lab Chat" area of the forum as it will be seen by more members there.
    Good luck, I hope someone is able to assist you.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  4. #3
    pinkyXstary's Avatar
    pinkyXstary is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you Tammy
    I'll do that now x

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    You are welcome. I have a feeling your puppy will understand her job as she matures. Labs are amazing dogs, so very in tune to their family, easily trainable and so willing to please. Their intelligence amazes me!
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  7. #5
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    this is highly specialized training. have you looked at training groups/school in your area to see if anyone can help? Not sure many people on pet boards are going to be able to help you on such a specialized issue. Are there any ressrouces or groups for service dogs?

    Your pup may also be too young. it's a lot for a five month old puppy to figure out.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    pinkyXstary's Avatar
    pinkyXstary is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Tanya

    Yes Bo is far too young to be learning this sort of thing at 5months, she will need to be at least 1yr old before she is trained "properly" for this sort of thing Im just getting her used to knowing what Aimees fits look like atm

    Also i'd rather ask for advice now than leave it till the last minuet (i normally do that and things don't go to well lol)

    Thanks ill look into that, I just wondered if there's anyone out there has been been in or knows of a similar situation

  9. #7
    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    I will try and contact one of my puppy buyers. The short of the situation is that one of my pups (Patch) ended up with a guy (Ben) who can have 40-100 seizures a day (seems a bit seasonal to me). The matching was perfect (as Patch was born, I even thought of Ben, and had not seen him for a couple months). Ben clicker trains, and his previous dog would alert, carry his helmet, and stand ove Ben during his seizures. When Ben first got Patch he went from (?) 20+ seizures a day to none. This last fall, when Patch was about was about 10 months old, Ben was hospitalized for 3-4 months (I think), and it was very rough on poor Patch. (from day one, Patch would whine and tug at his leash if separated from Ben).

    Perhaps I can get Ben to contact you on training your own dog. It can be done.


    Karen and the gang
    BBI Kodi's Journey To Anotch (Journey)
    BBI Kodi's Blackpowder Striker (Flint)

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    pinkyXstary's Avatar
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    Thank you so much!

    That would be wonderful! It has been so hard trying to find people who have done a similar sort of thing and DIY'd it
    It's amazing what affect these dogs can have, since getting Bo Aimee has become so much more calm where as previously she used to cry and cry and cry all day, all night. Now she's sleeping through and is so much more happier around her.

    Thank you again x

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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    I am sorry about your daughter.

    I have seizures from a head injury after a car accident. The family dog who I never really spent any time with would push me into a corner and I would come to with her paw on my chest when I first started having them. I didn't know I would have one and no one taught her to do this, she did it herself so guess some dogs have a sense of things. She would never leave my side. She was about 10 at the time. She was 19 when she passed.

    I think Kass may have known as one day I came to and she was standing over me. Not sure if she knew or not. I wondered if Ernie would pick up anything and not really as he didn't do a thing when I became unstable last year.

    I think dogs can communicate and I am sure will help Aimee a lot.
    Last edited by kassabella; 07-17-2013 at 05:03 AM.

    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
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