[nagdu] just want your thoughts on this

Laura T lltcna at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 16 20:02:15 UTC 2013

this is an email I received from one of my professors last week below that you will find my reply then his to me 
I wanted to send you an email about Vegas' behavior last night at the STRA meeting. When we began to do the activities and move around the classroom, he appeared to become agitated. He barked several times and directly lunged at students who were present. Several students began to feel very uncomfortable with his presence in the room when he engaged in these behaviors.

I do believe that you handled the situation the best that you could by sitting to the side and holding Vegas apart from the rest of the students; however, I am very concerned that he was not able to maintain his calm during an activity of this nature. It is my understanding that guide dogs should not ever lung at another person or bark at another individual.

Last night you were having to work very hard to restrain Vegas several times during the activities and his behaviors, accompanied by the challenges that you had in keeping him quiet and under control, led several students to have concerns.

This is not the first time that he has barked at another student in the classroom. I am not sure how best to handle this situation, but as you know, in many of the Recreation classes you will be moving around the classroom and participating in activities. It is going to be very important to find a way to be able to maintain control of Vegas so he does not disrupt or make other students uncomfortable. 

this was my reply

After speaking with the head trainer at Freedom Guide Dogs and having sought the counsel of the SDRC we postulated that:
1. The dog is young and our partnership is even younger, we have been a team for only two months.  
2. It may have been a mistake on my part to attempt to train through the activity instead of removing the dog however, this is the first major activity of this type I have encountered and every handler has to go through a situation once to figure out what is appropriate for that dog.  
3. In the future there needs to be a predetermined place to take the dog where he can be put on a tie down away from the stimulation of new situations such as an office or empty classroom that is nearby. This allows me to fully participate in the activity and not have to worry about the dog acting out.
4. Vegas’ trainer is returning later this month to continue working with us and overcome some of these issues.
Hopefully working with this situation we can achieve your goals and help the students who are afraid of Vegas become accustomed to his presence. It is my hope that everyone can adapt to these situations with a minimum of disruption.  
Please let me know if we need to discuss this further. I look forward to working with you on this matter.
this is the reply I received from the professor

This all makes sense and sounds like a very good plan. I know that Wednesday night was not typical of anything that we are currently doing in my class, but it did set off some alarms. 

My only caveat with your outlined plan is that if Vegas responds again in a classroom situation as he did on Wednesday, he will not be allowed to come back to the classroom until additional training has been completed. My challenge is that I have to balance the needs of everyone in the class and on Wednesday night, Vegas became problematic and scared several students.

i would like the thoughts of the list 
sorry it is so long 
thanks in advance 

Laura L. Thompson

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