June 14, 2019
She is almost ready to be placed with a client and begin her working life as an Assistance Dog. Xena has excelled during advanced training and her sweet, gentle nature has made her a real favourite with everyone she meets.
Xena has been working hard since her last Pupdate, in preparation for her working life. Her skills have continued to improve, and her confidence continues to grow from week to week. In particular, her tug of war skills have transitioned nicely to her being able to open cupboards and fridges. This is a valuable skill in assisting clients who have physical difficulties, and it is also a great way to engage a client who may be feeling anxious or withdrawn.
Xena has been selected to be an Autism Assistance Dog. Her soft, gentle nature, and love of getting up close and personal for cuddles, makes her perfect for this role. Xena loves to put her chin on people’s laps! This skill, known as a visit is a critical grounding exercise that can be used to redirect a client’s anxiousness and bring them back into the present moment. She also doesn’t mind hopping up onto a lap to offer a little more physical pressure should it be needed. She has also become quite good at the “nudge” skill. This is when Xena nudges her handler with her nose, similar to the way a friend may give you a playful bump and tell you “Hey! Pay attention!!”
Xena also loves getting out and about on field trips. She is very well behaved in shopping centres as well as on public transport. Despite all of the distractions, she also behaves and walks nicely during street walks. This can be quite challenging for a lot of dogs, with the level of distractions being quite high, but Xena takes it all in her stride!
Canon Medical is proud to support Xena on her journey. Watch this space for further Xena updates!
As part of our Service Agreements, Canon Medical sponsors the training of a talented Assistance Dog. Learn more about our service.
Learn more about Assistance Dogs Australia.