Christina (Jack-Jack & Duncan)

Veterinary Assistant, Dog Trainer, Animal Rescuer
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I started out rescuing, rehabilitating and taming parrots then started working in the veterinary field and got involved in dog training. I’ve been training canine life skills and working as a veterinary assistant for 13 years now.

How to Help Express Emotions

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My work schedule is kinda weird... I used to work full time and Jack-Jack was able to go with me. In my current job I work 4 hours Monday and Thursday, then 8 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. My schedule just changed so now my long days are an additional hour and a half. Jack-Jack is with my parents during the day and uses his buttons with them when I am not home. He has been refusing to listen to them (not coming inside), blocking walkways in the house, requesting the same thing repeatedly even if he has it (antler, water). I am trying to figure out how to give him words that will help.Β 

I had though of teaching "mom", "where", "work" but the "mom" part is complicated as my mom's dog is also in the house so there are essentially two "mom's" and they know who's mom is whos.... I would love some ideas!Β Β 

New Hextiles = Soundboard and Frustrated learners

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I learned a hard lesson today! I kept adding new words for my two learners and didn’t think about the fact that I was waiting for more hextiles to give more variety and clarity. The two new hextiles arrived today. Though I kept the buttons in the same position on the board some are now on different hextiles. My boys are so frustrated. Jack-Jack started trying to chew on them and even pull them out of the hextiles out of frustration.

I’m backing WAY up to one hextile on the floor so they are less overwhelmed with the changes. πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ
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Second Learner Finally Gets It

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I started my Terrier mix, Duncan on the buttons in January. He knew to push the buttons and would do so if prompted but hadn’t really seen the benefits of using them even though his β€œbig brother” uses them daily.Β 

I finally decided to introduce β€œhungry” and β€œall done” both are very good motivated. They quickly picked up both! They both use use β€œall done” to tell me to be β€œall done” doing something and to say that THEY are β€œall done” doing something. And they are only using β€œhungry” morning and evening, though it does start about an hour before meal time πŸ˜†

After only one week with the new buttons Duncan is now using β€œOutside”, β€œWater”, β€œhead scratches”, β€œplay” that have all been routinely modeled since January. It’s fun watching him suddenly β€œget the benefits” of using the buttons, he seems over all just happier and even more playful.Β 
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Learner More Talkative in the Evening

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I’m currently home with my learner all day. He is doing fantastic. The only thing I don’t really understand is he is most interested in talking from 6-9pm. He will occasionally use them sporadically throughout the day but 6-9 is the most active time, any thoughts as to why?Β 

Learner struggling with stand alone button use

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My learner (12 y old husky) has quickly picked up the proper use of buttons and is already putting two words together (β€œplay”, β€œoutside” or β€œplay”, β€œantler”). These words are on the same sound board as I only have two right now.Β 

My only stand alone button is β€œwater” which is right by the water bowl. My learner does not push the β€œwater” button without a lot of waiting and demonstrating. I have one button left, should I place a second one with β€œwater” and if so, what one would be the best pairing? My learners are VERY motivated by food so I do not want to have food or treat buttons. Β 

Washington State

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Any other Washington state people out there?Β 
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