WHAT IS A SERVICE DOG (ASSITANCE DOG)

The following information is extracted from Ruth Bell’s website, with her permission.


Curly Coated Retrievers are steady confident dogs and are well suited as Assistance and Therapy dogs. They have been successfully placed as Seeing Guide Dogs, Personal Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs in numerous countries around the globe.

Curlies are naturally empathetic and will adjust their temperament to their persons mood. They are large dogs able to pull a wheelchair, open doors, and pick up and retrieve items for their charge. Curlies are retrieving gundogs and this means they are both trainable team members and will also independently use their initiative when required to keep their charge safe. Curlies are a slightly aloof breed who are more interested in their person than in strangers particularly when they are working. This means they are ideal as service dogs as they will work consistently when out in public.

As a Behavioural Scientist I am dedicated to placing my Curlies in the suitable home environment  for their individual personality. As a Type 1 Diabetic with over 43 years living with this chronic medical condition, I have found Curlies are naturally attuned to my Diabeties management. .Due to this ability I have begun training my dogs and pups to both recognise my  target blood sugar levels and alert me when I am below or above this target range. Positive training methods are used to condition the dogs to blood  glucose alerting.

This same principle can be successfully used to train a dog for any purpose with patience and consistent positive reinforcement. There is no great secret to training a medical assistance or service dog it is a matter of molding the desired behaviours to produce the behaviours needed. Early behavioural moulding  (from 3-weeks) will bring the desired behaviours to the fore and ongoing positive training after the 7-week assessment when we identify suitable assistance pups,  will ensure these traits are retained. An Assistance Dog also needs to have a very good level of obedience making it a lovely dog to have around at all times.  

There are many factors involved in successfully training a dog to be a successful Assistance Dog and all of these are individually fine-tuned to the needs of each human-dog team.  There is a long waiting list for organisation trained dogs at present Australia wide. I can help people gain greater independence with their disability needs, by helping place and owner-train Curlies in South Australia where I can continue to assist the team with their ongoing service training. Dogs who are placed in other Australian states will need to contact one of my Assistance colleges to gain further assistance with ongoing training.

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EXAMPLES OF CURLY COATED RETRIEVERS (CURLIES) USED AS ASSISTANT DOGS

All these dogs are bred and trained (or help trained) by Ruth Bell of Markable Kennels since 1997 through the business Remarkable Behaviour.

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GILLI (2012-       )

  • Medical Alert Dog for Type 1 Diabeties

  • Originally selected to be placed as a Marine Rescue Dog in Reunion Island.

  • Now lives as a Medical Alert Dog for Type 1 Diabeties

  • Public Access and Task trained.

  • Calm, attention to human, not needy, not gregarious

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SIDA (2011 -        )

  • Medical Alert Dog for Type 1 Diabetics

  • Obedience and RallyO titles

  • Conformation titles

  • Public Access Test and task trained

  • Calm, attention to human, not needy, not gregarious

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BEHRI ( 2014-        )

  • Medical Alert Dog for Low/High Blood Pressure.

  • Lives with a lady with POTS condition and mobility issue Alerts lady when BP goes low to prevent falling. Owner has already had 35 operations due to falling.

  • Behri brings in the laundry and other daily tasks for the owner.

  • Public Access and Task trained..

  • Obedience and Conformation titles

  • Retrieving RATG Novice

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MULGA (2013-         )

  1. Medical Alert Dog for a 13 year old boy with chronic epileptic seizures. Mulga prevent falls from seizures and helps with mobility at home.

  2. At 2 years old Mulga, was placed with the then 11 year old boy who also has Autism.  

  3. Mulga has a nurturing nature and is always by the boy’s side in public places to be a calming stable influence.

  4. Alerts parents if a seizure episode occurs and brings the medical kit.

  5. Public Access Test and Task trained

  6. RallyO Novice Title

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CALLITRIS (2018-          )

  • Callitris 13 months (BehrixBase) same genetics as JuicexJasmine. He works with a retired Australian Army person who has PTSD and mobility conditions due to injury.

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OUR FIRST SERVICE DOG

MY CH MARKABLE JASMINELUTEA of RIGHTROYALE'S