Since Emma brought it up in a comment to the last post on neutering:
Just curious, but has the fact that your Mobile Cane may turn into Horny Boy Dog (i.e., Siddy comes across an intact female) while working factored into your decision?
This is not a “go neuter that boy!” comment by the way, since I fully agree with adult neutering for structural soundness — just a curious reader question.
This had, in fact, occurred to me! And one of the things that has factored into my decision to neuter Sid late is that I am reasonably confident of my ability as a trainer to teach him to work through it. Reasonably confident, mind you, not 100% sure, because I am a competent but not brilliant trainer.
I know people who are really good trainers, like my friend Roz who has the patience of a saint, or Rox’E at Pawpower Creations who trains her own guide dogs. I know people who do flyball and have achieved actual obedience titles with their dogs. I know people who have way more experience than I do training their own mobility dogs.
Me, I intend to secure the help of a professional and spend a lot of time chanting calming mantras while Sid and I click-and-treat our way to being a working team. But I’m reasonably confident we can do it, and that I can sublimate Sid’s sex drive into work, at least for the most part.
In other news, I ordered Siddy a green vest today with patches on it that say “SERVICE DOG IN TRAINING” and “WORKING DOG DO NOT PET”. It feels like some kind of milestone. Also, he fits into the smaller of the two mobility harnesses I own, so he’s been wearing it to do training, just to get him “in the mood” as it were. He’s fine with the harness, so I expect he will be fine with the much less obtrusive vest.
 NO REALLY. SHE HAS SUCCESSFULLY USED THE “BE A TREE” METHOD OF TEACHING A DOG TO WALK ON A LOOSE LEASH WITHOUT TEARING ALL HER HAIR OUT OR HAVING A SCREAMING TANTRUM ON THE SIDEWALK, WHICH IS WHAT ALWAYS ENDS UP HAPPENING TO ME. ALSO, SHE TRAINED HER DOG DEXTER WELL ENOUGH THAT I WAS NOT ABLE TO UNTRAIN HIM IN THE 6 WEEKS I BABYSAT HIM. THE WOMAN HAS SKILLS.