Brandon and His Autism Service Dog Walk Through The Mall

Today was an exciting day.  Brandon has had a rough couple of days behaviorally, but today was much better.  With Bingo, we've been working on tracking, tethering, and commands such as sit, stand, heal, down, and under (lay down under a table).  When we sit down to eat a meal at the hotel, Bingo goes right under the table and lays down with no prompting.  It is obvious how frequently and consistently he has been trained.  He is so easy to manage in public.  We have one amazing dog!  I am so thankful my husband chose 4 Paws for Ability for us to go on this journey with.

We went to the mall today as part of our training, and Bingo was perfect.  Lots of people stopped to ask us questions about Bingo, and we were more than happy to answer!  Everyone we talked to asked us if they could pet him before doing so, which was great.  We do allow people to pet him as long as he stays in the command he is in.  So, if he is in a "sit," and someone pets him, it's fine as long as he remains in a sit. I am relieved that this allowed because with as many people that stopped us today, someone will inevitably pet him without asking, and he will be used to it.

Below is a video of us walking through the mall.  You can't really see him in the video, but the person I am talking to is Bingo's trainer.  For the first time, Brandon was able to walk through the mall without having to be strapped down in a stroller, or be stuck with me having a death grip on his hand.  We rarely go to the mall.  I mean, almost never.  It is way overstimulating.  It's loud, there are lots of people, and Brandon will only tolerate being strapped in a stroller for so long.  He is six years old, after all!


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