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Service/Autism Dog

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ladyjubilee
Just Whelped
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Service/Autism Dog

Post by ladyjubilee » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:51 am

We are starting Bramble's training in a few days. When I called around to find a good K9 trainer, one of the "regular" trainers suggested that Dutch Shepherd has the potential to be a good Service/Autism dog, if well trained. I didn't even consider it, really....but my son loves this dog. He has her sitting on his lap right now, and she been there for half an hour. He never sits this long, and he keeps petting her and leaning over for kisses. He's non verbal, but he has used his voice to call her (He doesn't even call me!). He is even being confident enough with her to take back toys she picks up.

And she has been phenomenal with him. She just seems to assume she is welcome, but also has learned his quirks very quickly (she doesn't run or jump at him like her other humans and is very gentle with him. She'll mouth me when playing, but doesn't do so with him.)

Which leads to my question. Can a Dutch Shepherd (mix?) be trained as a service dog? At one point one of my son's doctors recommended an seizure alert dog. I'd said no because he only tolerated our dogs, including the dog that sees my son as 'his'.

I guess my next question is if they can, what kind of trainer does service work with DS?
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

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centrop67
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Posts: 2146
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:42 pm
Tell us about yourself: Accidental DS rescuer. Human companion to Radar and Leela. Owner of the site, looking to make this the top site for information and discussion on Dutch Shepherds.
Location: Cutler Bay, FL, USA

Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by centrop67 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:10 pm

This question is asked every now and again here on the forum. There are a few examples of DS service dogs out there, but I believe the general opinion is that there are better breeds for this type of work.

These dogs were created and bred for protection work. Though they train well, the instincts can contradict the calm needed for service work.

If you've actually found the right dog and temperament, than maybe go back to the trainer who suggested it.
Michael
The pack -> Radar (DS), Leela (Mal?), and Karen (Human) - Cutler Bay, FL USA
RIP: Tequila and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

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Dutchringgirl
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Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
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Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:36 pm

I will second what Michael said. If it is a mix, it could be better then a purebred Ds. The problem that comes about with a protection dog as a service dog, is..........well..........they are protection dogs, they are supposed to protect, not serve. So.... what would happen if your son had a seizure? People will go running to him, touch him and go to help him, maybe pick him up ( I have never been around when someone had a seizure so so I dont know ) But, a protection dog will not allow anyone near him. Even with the best training, what if there is a lot going on, noise, your son is having a seizure, and people are around trying to help him, and the dog stresses and the protecion part of the dog takes over and the dog bites someone................ Think about it.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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ladyjubilee
Just Whelped
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by ladyjubilee » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:03 pm

I can appreciate the help. I wouldn't ever pick the breed to be a service dog...I didn't even know about the breed :) But they have really connected in a way I never expected, or even had a hope for. Out of all the dogs we've had, he just really likes her.

I think I will talk to the trainer. They would never be alone together (my son needs 24/7 adult supervision, though not necessarily eyes on 24/7--we're fortunate.)
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

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Dutchringgirl
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:34 pm

its wonderful that they bonded. That is the best ! but talk to your trainer, see how you can work with the dog so in the event that someone needs to rush to him, the dog wont react and go after the helping human. Not that its 100% that the dog will, but something to keep in mind. Even with many breeds, especially a working breed.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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Calalilly03242
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Posts: 8
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Tell us about yourself: Good Morning! I am excited to learn more about the DS before I decide if it is the right breed for me. I have been researching for about a year, since i ran across a female about a year ago and helped her adoptive owners with her basic and advanced obedience and exercise. I spent 6 years on a farm with GSDs and Belgian Malinois that were mainly trained as working dogs and I helped mostly with the puppys since I was begining my venture into dog training. My fiance passed a few years back and I gave up training for a bit. Now Im ready to have a dog of my own that I can personally have some fun with along with, and try a bit of everything for the experience. I figured this would be a great foot in the door to get to know the breed a bit better than just one experience with one rescue dog, and get in touch with the breeders in the circle.
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by Calalilly03242 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:46 pm

Your best bet is to consult an organization near you and ask them questions. They often stick with a breed for certain situations, but they also go through the shelters to adopt dogs that have the potential to be in their program. It can take up to 2 years to train a service dog properly and place them with the right family, and they can never be agressive. Incidents happen, but if they think the dog has low nerve strength and cant adapt to what we see as a normal situation consistantly, they usually kick it out of the program and find a home for it. That's why we see more Labs and Goldens, and a lot of these places have their own breeding program. A dog at home in it comfort zone vs. a dog out on a train or on an escalator for the first time are two completely different worlds for any dog. Don't let me discourage you, she might be perfect for him and the job. Find the closest organization to you and go from there.
Dedicated to helping animals with their people problems 😉

ladyjubilee
Just Whelped
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by ladyjubilee » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:02 am

We had our first training Tuesday, and I took my son. She did great. I talked to the trainer. He thinks she would be a great service dog for him. He said she has a great personality and does not seem people aggressive at all. Plus, they can do the training, once she completes on leash and off leash. I talked to his doctor and the doctor is going to write and order. We decided she couldn't be trained for seizure alert because until recently he's been well controlled.


The next day....Bram suddenly became VERY clinging with him. She even ran to try to get one the bus with him. By the time him got home from school, it was obvious something was wrong---the whole time she was right with him. He was having a severe headache, and before we could get him to the hospital he had two seizures. Last night, he kept getting in the bed with him and trying to lay where she could touch him (this was a new behavior for her.)


I have shared the protective behaviors we've seen (she really doesn't like dogs moving towards us) with the trainer.


So I'm hopeful, maybe the mix part helps.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

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Dutchringgirl
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Posts: 5501
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by Dutchringgirl » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:14 pm

The mix part definitely helps. It seems like the pair is working well together. Does your son have someone at school with him? I would find an organization for service dogs to work with or talk to to see about what a service dog should be doing. If Bram wants to be with him 24/7 and touching him all of the time. Maybe Bram can go to school with him? Just thinking out loud. I dont know much about service dogs.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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ladyjubilee
Just Whelped
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by ladyjubilee » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:25 pm

The training organization we ended up with does mostly K9, but also it turns out does Service Training too. Which is great since they are local.

I hadn't really planned on her going to school with him. I know my son has issues with dogs (even service dogs) which has meant he had to be moved to different classrooms---all the more shocking he has taken to her. Plus, he would have to be the handler in that situation, and he can't be. There would always have to be an adult handler with him, though it wouldn't be a tethering situation.

I really appreciate the help though. I'd always rejected even the thought of him having a service dog with it was recommended in the past due to his dog "avoidance", so I haven't really thought through everything :)
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

Joxgirl
Working Dog
Posts: 1293
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Tell us about yourself: Loving every crazy day with my DS.
Location: Southern California

Re: Service/Autism Dog

Post by Joxgirl » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:28 am

There is a woman who trains dogs in Florida and has trained a Dutch Shepherd possible mix for a little boy with Autism. That dog went through a lot of training and he is wonderful with the child. I follow them on IG. If you are interested I will track down the info to share.
Saralee
Rogue (Dutch Shepherd) 1 year old
Joachimstaler @ IG

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