Block/Cover Training

For those who don’t know: block and cover it’s pretty much…. It’s is not “protection”, but it’s having them watch your back.
For example a lot of people with PTSD Will use blocking because it creates a
barrier in between you and other people. And for people out there
(like me) who absolutely can’t function unless they have their back against a
wall or unless they have a friend or family member standing behind them… This is a vital task, and this is
probably one of the most crucial tasks he does. Because without it I I simply wouldn’t be able to leave my home. This video is just gonna give
some tips on how to train your dog to do this. It’s actually quite an easy task to train. Bugsie was fully trained for this task,
but now that we’re transitioning into the crutches there are a few things that are different
in terms of the positioning and stuff. He still understands the concept. I think
it probably won’t take more than 1-2 sessions to really solidify this. He does it
perfectly with the wheelchair but like I said the crutches are a whole new thing…. Also I’m so sorry. I know the camera’s
shaking right now, I’m keeping it as still as possible. So in just a minute we’re gonna head
over to K-mart and we’ll do a training session. I’ll record it and I’ll put some clips in
from a training session right after this. And at the end of that, I’ll just talk a little bit more about how to train this task and some tips that I have, that have really
worked well for us. Okay so, I am currently trying to find a parking spot at Walmart. Oh gosh people…… Remind me my next vlog gonna be “How to NOT park like an asshole”. Cause’ that one really needs to be made! Let’s try this side of the parking lot. OH MY GOSH! Look! There’s a spot right over there! Here we go! Yeah! It depends on if you want to “block” or “cover”. Blocking is where the dog goes behind and watches your back, and creates a barrier. And “cover” is essentially the same thing but in the front. And my tip is: For whichever one you’re training…. Whichever one you start with 1st, or if you only want to do 1…. Have your either front or back against a wall as you’re doing it. So if you wanna train “cover”, make sure that you’re standing with your back against the wall. And if you wanna train “block” make sure you’re standing with your front facing the wall. That will make it a lot easier because that will keep the dog from confusing front and back. And when you’re first starting out, they only really have one place to go. Essentially, you just take the hand that you’re gonna use for the dog to target. And you’re gonna swipe it across your body slowly. And your dog ought to follow if he understands that concept. And if not, teaching nose targeting is an extremely easy thing to do as well so don’t worry about it. Even if you don’t have this down it shouldn’t add too much more time to the training aspect of things. If you’re training “cover” put your hand in front of your body, and your dog will follow. And you position them to how far you want them. Sometimes Bugsie’s a little sloppy with this since we’re retraining with the crutches. He’ll go halfway, and I just kind of move my hand a little bit over and he follows my hand, and positions himself accordingly. And I do the same thing for block. Just put my hand sort of behind my back and to the side. and he goes around, he follows, touches his nose my hand, and lays right down. So that’s really the major tip that I have. If you train it like that it really shouldn’t be difficult at all. It depends on your training methods, how you and your dog work together. You might want to do something else. I’m not saying this will work for everyone. I’m just saying this really worked wonders for us. Granted Bugsie picks up on things pretty quickly. I do have a few other tips though… And this is assuming your dog is already a fully trained service dog. Complete public access… This is assuming you’re just either refining a task or adding a new task. So this isn’t something you’re gonna want to do until your dog is advanced enough. But if you really want to work in distraction areas. Obviously pretty much
anywhere in Walmart (especially the super centers). The more distraction/commotion/people the better. We chose to go into a pretty empty isle to do this today. Just because we’re kind of starting from scratch because of the crutches…. But another suggestion I have if you want your dog to be able to practice ignoring new smells and really strong smells (separate from food). I’ve found it to be really great to train in the cleaning supplies isle. The isle that has all the soaps, Swiffer wet jets, candles and everything. Those are really great places to train because there are so many smells coming together and- Some creepy dude is looking at me…. That’s a big tip I have. That’s not specific to this task. That’s just for any service dog that’s ready to train at that level with lots of distractions. A lot of people thing that training with a lot of distraction means just going to places that have a lot of foot traffic, and large crowds and busy isles and that’s not always the case. There’s certain things like smell and sounds that can also be very enticing to them as well. And that’s an isle I’ve learned to be really good at desensitizing them to it. Granted Bugsie wasn’t really that interested from day 1. But he did want to sniff some things occasionally. And working in the smelly isles with candles, swiffers, and all these scented cleaning supplies like bleach and all that stuff…. That really fixed the problem. Bugsie, do you have anything else to add? Except for the fact that I look ridiculous talking to a hot chocolate in the middle of Walmart. So this really wasn’t a very detailed video. But hopefully it helped. Definitely let us know if this worked out for you? If it helped you or not? Please, let us know if you
have any other questions. There’s a lot of littler about this task that I didn’t go over. Please don’t be too harsh on the footage of our training session. Like I said, he is fully trained for this task in the
wheelchair but with the crutches it changes everything in terms that positioning. I’m fully aware that he quite sloppy. His “Heel” could be a little tighter. He could move in a little closer to me. He’s not afraid crutches but I think it’s really just gonna be a matter of practice. So over time he’ll get back to the way he was with the wheelchair….is with the wheelchair…we’re not done using the chair, I’m in it right now. But yeah… So please let us know if this helped. Let us know if there are any other task videos that you’d like me to sort of do something similar with. And explain how we trained, what we did, and show you some footage on that. We would love to help! Thank you for watching! I’m gonna go do my grocery shopping so people will stop looking at me like I’m a psychopath talking to my hot chocolate. Cause’ this is seriously getting weird….

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