Sherry Solters, Officer, Paul Newman discussed on Let's Talk Pets
Welcome back. We are talking with service dogs, founder, Sherry Solters. What I did want to ask you really quickly was. So you know, how the the stigma was rescue dogs being broken menu. You would definitely be the first person on being though, they are not what results do you find with rescue dogs and the training that you provide? Well, I think that it's like a chemical formula and part of it. It's usually in my opinion, dogs don't end up in shelters because of them they end up in shelters because of bad parenting, people get divorced or they say the dogs too much work, and maybe they should have gotten a magazine with a picture of a dog instead of a dog. So there's a classic book in the forties. By the monks of new skeet who trained German shepherds? The first line is every trainer gets the dog they deserve. So the way a dog is behaving is a reflection of how it's been treated. So that's why I like to rehabilitate these dogs and give them a second chance. Our success rate is comparable and often better than the folks that breed their dogs and a lot of that is because now most people are using basically positive training. But we were among the first like twenty five years ago. We really, yes, let's we're not gonna use the old punishment military methods anymore. We're going to use what the marine mammal industry started pioneering, which was being nice to them. The worst thing that happens. If a dog doesn't if a dog is doing a behavior we don't want we will just eight ignore it. So you're not giving them a lot of attention and be teach at something else to do. Instead that it can get rewarded for for example. If you don't want your dog jump on you old school was you in the chats push him off, a you all that dominant stuff. Yes. We teach the dog down because think about it you can't lay down and jump on somebody at the same time. So if you are always rewarding them when they lay down they're gonna start laying down to get that reward. And there you go you no longer have a dog jumps on you. 'cause jumping gets nothing but laying down gets him treats and praise. And going through the door and getting in the car, so they'll start offering downs because of the reinforcement history training is a great way to get animals and people do what you want. Plus, you're building a great relationship at the animal because we have people who fall out of their wheelchairs and the dog has to go find the phone or go get help if you're only controlling them by punishing them, right? Can't do it. Then they're going to go free at last. I'm out of here. The dog will try to help you because of the relationship in behavior. They have like the cure, the command and the behavior and the consequence the consequences. What drives the behavior not that? You spoke to them in German with their low voice, for example, remember payphones every once in a while you find a quarter and a payphone. Well, if you find a quarter to pay phone, you will check that on the next ten times you walk by it. Because of the consequence something good happened. It's not because there's a sign that says check me for money the consequence or if you have a lucky slot machine Vegas, you're gonna keep playing that machine because something good happened. So if a dog does something and something great happens the dog will do it again. And then they'll become very creative. So let's say the dog doesn't get the reward. He's going to try other things to try to get some kind of a reward. And so that way you have a dog that can think for it self and solve problems. So we had a guy one time passed out in his bathtub. So he couldn't the dog to do anything. But the dog pulled them he was still dressed. He was just he had a seizure in fell into the bathtub. So the dog figured out. I'm gonna try to pull them out of the backup and succeeded in doing that. And actually was very afraid of running water. We think somebody may have tied him up sprayed them with the host to punish him. So she's because of the foundation of the relationship with him and the gentleman who was actually a pastor he overcame his biggest fear and figured out how to solve. And with the death person. They don't know the microwave oven going up. They don't know the phone is ringing or someone's knocking on the door. Just like a drug dog or a dog that smells, you know, guns, or whatever the q- comes from the environment. So you can't control the dog if you actually have the disability or if you're the officer the dog has to want to do it. You know, you you build up like every time you do something great happens while I'm sure gonna do it again, then so it's a really creative way of training, and it works much better for more complex behaviors not just don't get up. Unless I tell you to. I'm going to be new. It's hey open the refrigerator. But now, I want you to tug the strap attached to the door handles. I want you to take it with more force or knowing my paralyzed arm Beckham to arm of the wheelchair. Okay. You touched it now. Push it a little harder. So there's a lot of characteristics of behavior in this kind of training helps you find tuna behavior. It's not just don't cross the line into the kitchen. So very elegant. And it's it's not about it's easy. It's. Creative. It's fun for you. And the animal, and you know, people get away with using crummy training methods on dogs because dogs are resilient. They'll figure out what you want and they're Littler than you are most of the time. So you can manhandle them or overpower them. But if you're working with the killer whale or a bird that can fly way or an elephant, you really wanna have behaviors that the animal wants to participate in versus hurting 'cause animals can hurt you if they're afraid or angry for sure for sure. So you wanna team up? Yeah. That makes total says now that you put it in that in that context what they would totally become creative and find a different way of doing things. That's awesome. Well, when you hear about when you use aggression training, punishment aggression, you get three things that you don't want you get aggression back. So when you hear about sometimes they used to train police dogs. They were pretty rough with them. You'll get a dog that'll bite. The handler or you might get like a wild animal. That's in captivity that attacks the the trainer like like Ellen. Yeah. That's Gretchen back. Because that person's been hurting that animal and the animals finally, yes option, you get what's called escapism. We're the animal runs away, which is all the elephants trampling through the village. We read a dog show once and there was a demonstration of they were showing on down nation how to use the shock collar, which gets and all of a sudden, you just saw they wanted to bore our PA system microphone, and I said, no, I don't believe in your actions on so five minutes later, you see a dalmatian running through the auditorium or the convention center. And it's he wanted to get away. And that's why you have teen runaways the third thing to get learned helplessness just zone out. And let them hurt you. Because that's in people do that too. And it's it's real sad to see. And we don't want to do any of those things to our animals, and we don't need to. So I deny anybody who uses punishment on their animals and four shock collars, all of that stuff. That's just wrong. And I hope they learn better methodology, and they can be more successful, but their dogs and other animals and the humans in their lives too. Yeah. Yeah. That is definitely important. Has with us. Right. Right. Sherry tell us about your main programs that you offer people needing assistance. Well, we train hearing dogs that alert deaf people to different sounds like the baby's cry Blyleven timer the smoke alarm thinks someone calling your name and within the the hearing impaired community, there's different levels. There's death. There's people who maybe wear a hearing aid or co clear implant, but when they take them out. They don't have any hearing. Tired of hearing. And we say if you're missing sounds. You know, we wanna help you and those are usually medium sized dogs like Benji like terriers and cocker spaniels and that type of dog, and they will cut you to get their attention. They'll either with their nose of their Paul, and then you go what is it? And then the dog will lead you to the found. Oh, arm them to the house to the door. So yeah, they're basically, hey, follow me something's going on over here. And when you're walking the dog, you sort of see them in the corner of your eyes. So if they whipped their head around to look at something, you can see what they're looking at like somebody on a ladder, hammering or or. Oh, yeah. One young woman who came for hearing dogs that she was walking through the parking lot target. You don't have target up there. Okay. A big a big store. Yeah. There you go and all of a sudden she was screwing around on phone and all of a sudden in the parking lot. She just smelled burning rubber and she looked up in a car just almost hit her and like slam it's brakes on she decided to get a hearing dog because it would have alerted her that there was a there's a car kind of right around them in your personal space or about to be. So those dogs, basically, touch you and lead you to the sound, and they'll sort of figure out that started learning to even more things you didn't even train them for like we trained dog to alert a woman when her TC had a little went off. And it started learning her to win her soup was boiling because started noticing the bubbles the sound of the bubbles and the soup and starting alerting her that we had a hearing dog that alerted a woman when at night at worker up at turned out the picture behind her bed at fallen down. So they kind of get the hang of it. And they they even more things and then the service dogs what the industry calls service dogs is for somebody with their mobility related disability. They'd had a spun or cord injury. Right. Yes. Palsy, all that stuff, multiple sclerosis and the dog a lot a lot of what they do is pick up things you drop. We do a lot of behaviors based on tugging like they'll open the door. They'll open the refrigerator. They might tell your sock off even in the refrigerator. They'll bring it back. You know, a bottle of water or a little lunch. One of those little kind of. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Take out thing. A little lunch thing you can race on them. If you're transferring between her wheelchair, and like the counter the bed they can turn a light on or off on their hind legs and use their mouth to kind of do it. And that includes ceiling fans, the do what's called targeting, which is means touching something. But there par- their nose like the automated door button that opens doors like to the mall or wherever and we can custom them train them. Somebody said I can't get my shirt off over my head and the dog can help we have dog that would pull the velcro on the guy's tennis shoes. And so that's exciting for us. We'll have a dog that will go pushing emergency buzzer that calls like an ambulance, and we have dogs that get. Clothes dryers because the person can't reach into the dryer and do that, and they'll drop them in a laundry basket, and then we'll attach like an old necktie. He was a lot and they'll pull the laundry basket down the hall for the person can fold their clothes in their bedroom. And so those are the service dogs, and then again, the courthouse dogs help staff at a district attorney's office kind of comfort children and a lotta times. I do a lot of comfort for the the people in the courthouse. The adults as well. Like the staff this firehouse dog is helping first responders, but they're also using it in the community like the fire chief said, oh, the hospital called they had a mom and a six year old boy who's autistic he had to give a blood sample. And he was getting hysterical. So they brought the dog in and the doctor said his Vancouver tell van what's going on. And then the child said explain it to him and said, look, it doesn't hurt at all. And he calmed down in there. That's we have one hand touching the his fingertips on the dogs for head. And he's looking at dog, and the doctor has taken a blood draw on the other arm. So and the mom sobbing because they said usually they have to have three guys hold her sundown to take these blood samples. So it's pretty miraculous dogs can do. Yeah. Sounds like all the good stories. So nice to hear jeez. I agree. And I love taking something somebody else threw away and pairing it with somebody that maybe hasn't been marginalized. So I like to use the term from straits to stars. That's a good one. Really when you take an animal and use you add some positive reinforcement type training, these get all kinds of wonderful behaviors and a dog that is choosing to work for you. Which is kind of what we want just like if you were a police officer, even wanna partner could depend on who was helping you when you couldn't help yourself because of the relationship not because he's trying to avoid something bad happening. Yeah. Exactly exactly before we wrap up in what ways can people help your organization. Well, we're one of the few groups now that still provide the dogs completely for free. Some of the folks out there will have the client go raise money, but we are providing the dogs completely free including follow up for the lifetime of dog. So we can certainly use donations in our website is service, dogs dot ORG. And if you're in in the Austin Texas area, we certainly can use volunteers that maybe take a dog home over weekend or overnight, and we have a big dog walk in the spring, which is called the mighty Texas dog walk, and I'm very proud to say it's already won seven Guinness world records, including Lou most dogs. Locked used to be. There was a group in Connecticut that when Paul Newman was alive they did dog walk, but we Fidel co which was a guide dog school in jersey. But we beat them. How many how many do you have? Well, now, we're all by this group in England..