"(Service Dog) The vet is thrilled with his development. He weighed in at 40 lbs last Wednesday and genetically he's very sound; strong bones, good teeth, correct posture, no hip issues, and he's filling out with pure muscle because we give him plenty of exercise and very good food (grain-free plus approved raw vegetables and fruit as occasional snacks)
We put him through professional training on basic commands, and he is currently going through an advanced training program. He knows Sit, Down, Place, Stay, Come, Heel, Load Up, Shake Hands, Ask for it, Pee/Poop (as separate commands), Focus (which reminds him to only pay attention to me/my wife), and Break (which tells him he's off duty and can be a puppy); we're now working on commands during during an off-leash recall. It took him three tries to learn Down on Recall, and he gets better and faster each time. We're teaching him these things so he can go biking with us on the nature trail and I don't have to worry about his leash getting tangles on the peddles or chain.
He also knows other words like Work, Boat, Upstairs, Downstairs, Kennel, Door, Doc (which means we're going to see Dr. Cutsforth his vet), and instead of using a bell to let us know he has to go out we taught him to nose our leg, and walk to the door. When walking on leash I've taught him to move in front of me and sit down if he has to go to the bathroom. I did that so that he could communicate he has to go instead of just going, which gives me time to get him outside and find an appropriate spot. I find it embarrassing when folks dogs just go whenever. No discipline. We'll teach him some parlor tricks later, but right now we're getting obedience and acceptable behavior ingrained, and I also sometimes just stop by the vet for him to see Dr. Cutsforth when he's with me so he doesn't develop a vet complex like so many dogs do.
Once his training is complete he'll be certified and registered as a service dog and will go to work with me every day. I have seizures, so his job will be to notify my boss I'm having a seizure, and then help coax me out of it by licking my face or hand. My team seems more excited he's going to be officially one of us than I am. We have to have photo security badges to swipe through doors, and my team is having one made for him to clip to his vest.
When he's not working, he'll compete in Dock Dogs competitions which we start training on next month. Ultimately he'll compete in all three disciplines (Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve) and we'll be looking classify as Iron Dog status. He can jump an amazing distance and height already, and is an amazing swimmer. We actually have a hard time getting him out of the water sometimes, and he gets very excited when he sees his life-jacket come out or he hears us say "Boat". He's also lighting fast and very nimble on his feet, so I'm considering doing obstacle course competitions as well but I haven't found a trainer/coach for that in our area, yet.
Lastly, a few weeks after we brought him home I decided that he deserved a King's Truck to travel in so - and I'm being totally serious about this - with his space and comfort needs in mind I traded my other truck and my convertible in and got him a truck with plenty of space to lounge when we travel. He loves it, and sits in the back seat like a person would.
Sorry to share so much but I get very excited when I talk about all the awesome things we've done, and are going to do with him. Needless to say he gets the best of everything; food, toys, exercise, attention, transportation, medical care... but does live with very strict rules of pack behavior at home. As a result, he's a first-rate gentlemen in public, easy around the house, and gets to be a "kid" during play time. People comment on his looks and his demeanor every time we take him into public settings. "