Monday, March 14, 2011

My First Time Grooming Romeo and Some Big News

Hey everyone!

First of all, let me tell you guys some really great news...

Romeo is now officially alerting to my mood swings and anxiety! It started off with me rewarding him when I am anxious. Eventually he started pawing at me when I became anxious. I gave him a lot of treats every time he did that. Well, the other day me and my mom were arguing, Romeo just sat at a distance an observed me. Then when I started to yell, he ran over to me and started pawing at my leg as hard as he could and didn't stop until I stopped yelling. I was so amazed that it broke up the entire argument. He is really thinking for himself and taking his own initiative to alert me now. He's now 4 1/2 months old. Now we just need to get his obedience down. I plan on graduating him to full service dog status when he is two years old, so I've got a lot of time to practice. We signed up for a basic obedience class and start that on Wednesday.

Another thing I wanted to tell everyone about, I got clippers! Finally!!! I ended up with some really nice Andis 2 speed clippers. I've never groomed a dog before, but I went ahead and groomed him right away after reading the poodle section of my dog grooming book. So, I decided I might as well do a fun clip on him since he had enough hair for it. I decided on the modified continental clip. I expected it to look pretty bad since it was my first time grooming.. but It doesn't look to bad (totally not bragging... just sayin'... hehehe) There are a lot of things I could improve on when it comes to grooming Romeo but practice makes perfect so in time I think he'll be looking shnazzy.

I'll post pictures of his new haircut tomorrow, I don't have time to right now. So anyways, thanks for reading!

Goal for today: Clip Romeo's nails and teach him to "lay down"

Goal for this week: Go to the training class and make progress on Romeo's training.

Sincerely, Danielle

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just An Update

Hi, everyone!

Romeo and I haven't been up to much recently. He finished getting all of his puppy shots, so now we can sign him up for a puppy class and take him to the dog park for socialization with other dogs. I've been taking him out in the front yard on a leash to potty. I didn't want to bring him out in my back yard until he had all of his puppy shots. Having three other dogs and a lot of dog poop in the back yard, (that I need to dispose of) I didn't want him to get parvo. I know my dogs are vaccinated but I just wanted to be sure. Anyways, I took him out in the back yard for the first time and let him play with my Doberman, Raven. He had a blast! They ran all over the yard and I got some pictures.

Here are the pictures of Romeo and Raven playing in the back yard:

Sorry if the pictures are a little big. I'm trying to fix that.

Goal for today: Spend lots of time with Romeo!

Goal for this week: Sign Romeo up for a puppy class.

Sincerely, Danielle

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Facebook Page

Hey, everyone!

I have a "Like" page on facebook, for those of you who want to be updated on when I make a post but don't have a blogspot account (or if you don't log on often).

Here's the link:

Every time I make a post, I will also make a post on the facebook page telling everyone that I updated my blog. After you "Like" the page, Romeo's Service Dog Training Blog updates will show up on your facebook stream.

It's getting late though, I will post about Romeo tomorrow hopefully.

Sincerely, Danielle

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Hey, everyone!

In my last post there seemed to be some technical difficulties. The picture of Romeo was to big, and the video's were set to private. So, I will be fixing that later tonight. Just a heads up!

Sincerely, Danielle

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Been a While

Hey, everyone!

It's been a while since I've posted. A lot of stuff has happened with me, but not much has happened lately with Romeo. He's just been a good boy this past month.

Well, I took my GED tests! I left Romeo home, I decided he would be to much of a distraction to me and to people around me. He's just a puppy right now so he still needs to learn his manners. After I took the GED tests, I got sick with a cold, then that turned into the flu. I was barely able to get off the couch for a few weeks because of it. My mom was mostly taking care of Romeo during those few weeks. But, now that I am better I figured a fun outing with Romeo would be nice. So this weekend me, Romeo, My sister, and my mom are all going to the Flea Market to shop around for some goodies.

About Romeo's behavior: He has learned the "Sit" Command completely now. He responds to his name by looking me in the eye when I call it. He is working on his "Lay Down" command. He hasn't had much trouble with jumping up on me or anyone else. The few times that he has jumped up on me, I turned around and ignored him. That method seems to have worked great on my Doberman (she would never think of jumping up on anyone). His manners are good so far. The only thing I've had trouble with in the past is barking. Every once in a while if he gets bored and we're out and about... he lets out a little yip. I made sure to give him a verbal correction though, he hasn't done that in a while. I'm going to sign him up for a puppy class two weeks after he finishes his puppy shots at 4 months old. He is 3 1/2 months old right now, and boy is he growing!

We got two new vests from our friend Emily (She has a service dog named Bella). One is red and black and the other is purple and white. He fits in his red one already!

Here's a picture of Romeo in his new red vest at 3 1/2 months old:

Isn't he cute? He needs a haircut soon though. Which brings me to another subject...
I'm getting clippers soon so I can start grooming Romeo myself! I think it will be fun and a great learning experience. I'm going to be ordering a book on how to groom poodles by Shirlee Kalstone I think it was. I'm getting the Andis AGC 2-speed clippers. Luckily, they are $40 off right now at PetSmart. So I will probably get them this weekend. I'll post pictures of his haircut after I do it.

I've taken a couple videos of Romeo and Raven over the past couple of weeks.

Here's some recent videos of Romeo:

Romeo and Raven

Romeo and Raven again

This is a video of Romeo "sitting" on command at 3 months old.

That about wraps it up for today!

Goal for today: Give Romeo a bath.

Goal for this week: Have a successful day at the Flea Market this weekend.

Sincerely, Danielle

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Romeo Got Groomed!

Hey everyone! I keep posting every other day instead of every day on accident. I've been really busy with Romeo. He went to the groomer yesterday and got a full trim! He looks a lot more poodley now.

Here's a picture of Romeo at 12 weeks old sporting his new hair cut:

The groomer there is really nice. She runs a technical school teaching people how to groom dogs and other animals too! I plan on going there eventually once Romeo is all trained. She told me since he was a puppy grooming him will take a while. Not because puppies are wiggly, but because they like to take extra time with them, give them treats, play with them, etc. to make a trip to the groomers a positive experience from the start. I was very pleased to hear this! When we went to pick him up about 4 hours later, he was happy as can be to see me! Also, the groomer (sorry I can't remember her name) said that Romeo has a great coat and great conformation and he perfect poodle temperament! She told me about how she does grooming shows with her standard poodles and other people's poodles too. It's nothing like a conformation show, it's all about how you groom the dog. They dye them colors and shave them into some very interesting looking clips! Her dogs and her have been on the cover of many dog grooming magazines and she has won a lot of grooming competitions. I really hope to go to her grooming school after I get my GED.

Which brings me to another subject, my GED! I'm going this week to take my GED tests and i'm breaking it up into increments so it's going to be over a course of about two weeks. The whole point of me getting it was because school TERRIFIES me! I haven't been able to go successfully in about 2 years. My anxiety seems to get worse once I'm in school. So, it's still hard for me to go in there and take the test with a lot of other people. It's really stressing me out and I'm confused on what to do. I'd like to bring Romeo with me to give him lots of treats when I get anxious, so that it helps him learn to alert me before I get to anxious. But, Romeo is just a puppy and he doesn't like to stay still for very long. I don't want him trying to play the whole time and distracting other people. I know the correct thing to do would be to leave him home, but I really think it would be a positive learning experience for him and it might help keep me calm too. What do you guys think I should do?

Goal for today: Bring Romeo somewhere with me.

Goal for this week: Figure out if I should bring Romeo with me to my GED testing.

Sincerely, Danielle

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Hey everyone. Romeo is getting more comfortable in the public setting (good and bad news). I took him with me yesterday to get my ID made (so I can take my GED test on Monday). He behaved well for a while. He was sitting when told and staying calm, so I gave him treats while he was being calm and sitting when told to and what not. Well, after he got some treats he decided he had to bark to get more! He just let on one loud z"YIP!". I was very embarrassed, but no one seemed to mind. I told them he is just a puppy and a service dog in training. Well, honestly I have never dealt with a barkative dog before. I'm going to need to look that up and train him out of that. It seems as if when he wants something or when he is bored he barks. I told him "NO!" when he barked but I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do. A while after that one bark, I gave him a chew toy to keep him busy. He didn't bark after that. Any input?

Also, I finally got his Service Dog in Training patches on his vest.

Here's a picture of Romeo in his vest on our way back home at 11 1/2 weeks old:

Goal for today: Socialize Romeo with another dog.

Goal for this week: Get Romeo groomed

Sincerely, Danielle

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not a great day

Hey everyone. Today hasn't been so good. Well, Romeo has been behaving very well, that's a very good thing... but I went to my therapist today and he didn't seem to support my decision on having a service dog/service dog in training at all. He thought I would be "dependent on it". He also said Romeo couldn't come in his office even when he is fully trained. I tried to explain that he isn't there for emotional support but to work to help me live a more normal life by doing tasks to help with my bipolar disorder. He didn't seem to understand the concept though. Looks like I'll be changing therapists.

Goal for today: Work on Romeo's "lay down"

Goal for this week: Find a new therapist...

Sincerely, Danielle

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Catching Up

Hi everyone! I thought I'd let you all catch up on Romeo's progress. Let's start of with the first day I got him (about two and a half weeks ago). Romeo was 9 weeks old. We had to drive a long way to get him.

He was very lively and playful right away! He fell asleep for most of the 6 hour car ride, but as soon as he was awake it was play play play! Here is a picture of him on the car ride home:

We had a tag with his name on it made at Petsmart before we got him. You can see it on his collar in the picture.

So after we got back it was late and he went right to sleep in his crate. The next couple of days were mostly just eat, sleep, play, pee, etc. He was being a good normal puppy! By the 4th day I started the socialization. I took him to places where there isn't any food, but that are still public places (Florida has some really nice service dog in training laws. You can bring a service dog in training anywhere a trained service dog can go.) Although he is very young and not yet house trained, I chose to bring him around to select public places because he needs to get used to places like that while he is young.

Here is a video of Romeo playing:

His first outing was to office depot. He did so good right away! I was amazed! He walked right in through the automatic doors, walked on the tile no problem, and let people pet him and give him treats. He was wagging his tail the whole time! It was a very successful socialization day.

The next day we went to a department store in the mall to return something. He did exactly the same thing. He was being a good boy the whole time!

Through out the last two weeks he's been going a lot of places with me, including to my psychiatrist appointment. He did very good there too (as usual!). There were a lot of children in the waiting room and Romeo let them all pet him, and once they were done petting he minded his own business and didn't try to get too much petting. He has such a good balanced personality. Romeo has got to be the most laid back dog I have ever owned! It turns out my psychiatrist grew up with a standard poodle. I have been meeting a lot of spoo lovers!

Here is a picture of Romeo in his modified outward hound pack in the waiting room:

Recently we went to our local medical park (it's the only place in town with stairs and an elevator). Romeo did the elevator just fine, I gave him lots of treats the whole time so he was content. The stairs however, were a big deal for him. He is still small and doesn't like making big jumps.

Here's a video of him going down the stairs for the first time:

Also, Romeo has been working on his "Sit".

Here's a video of his progress after the first 2 days of teaching him to sit:

Well, after all of those adventures, one day I was very stressed out and worried about some things. I was talking to my mom while Romeo was playing with his rope toy. I began to cry and right away Romeo dropped his toy, ran over to me, and started pawing at me and licking me. Once I stopped crying he sat patiently in front of me and looked at me until I gave him lots of treats! He is learning already! I'm hoping the behavior he was expressing while I was crying will turn into an alert one day. (Read the about me section if you don't know what an alert is).

Another very exciting thing that has happened: Romeo is now crate trained! The other day he was playing with his everlasting treat ball (it seems as though he never stops playing at this age... he is 11 weeks now) Well for once he decided he was tired! He walked over to his crate, nudged the door open wider, and walked into his crate and went to sleep! I could not believe my eyes!!

Here is a picture of Romeo chewing on his everlasting treat ball:

That's about it for the adventures that I hadn't yet blogged about. Today Romeo is being very rambunctious, but I think he will calm down soon after some play time.

My goal for today: Socialize Romeo and play with him a lot.

My goal for this week: Socialize Romeo with other dogs that I know are vaccinated and get Romeo groomed.

Sincerely, Danielle

Monday, January 10, 2011

First Post

Hello everyone! I'm not quite finished designing this blog but I'll go ahead and make my first post explaining some of the things i'll be adding to it. First of all, I'll be adding an "About Me" section to the right side of the blog ---->

This "About Me" section will be explaining service dogs and what Romeo is being trained to do for me.
I'll be adding links, videos, and pictures later on too. Second, I'm going to make a youtube channel just for the videos of Romeo's training (I will attach each video to the blog, but you will be able to look them up on youtube also). And last, I'll be posting a blog post everyday telling you about the progress of Romeo and I.

Sincerely, Danielle