We purchased an Able-Phone. This is a phone that is designed for a dog to activate. It will dial a pre-programmed number – usually 911.
Emmy previously had been trained with a mock-up that sorta resembled part of the Able-Phone, but when confronted with the real thing, she became confused.
So we are going back to basics. I put a yellow Post-It Note on the button – Emmy will target a yellow Post-It Notes and rest her paw on it. When she did it, I clicked and treated. She is getting the idea rapidly. Today I will resume the cue “Help,” which was the cue she was trained to respond to. Hopefully, after the Post-It Note falls off, she will still press the button. After 5 or 6 correct responses in a row, I will add a new cue to the old one: “Hilf” – the German word for Help. It is one that Emmy will not hear except in training or if I am truly in distress and need 911.
So we will train not only this, but will keep all her other cues up-to-snuff by reviewing them at least once a day. Some we use more than others, but each of them must be kept up-to-date for the time they will be needed.