Some dogs are smart and easily trainable even for difficult jobs like being a service dog, however one German Shepard pooch just doesn’t have it in him. Across the country, dedicated professionals train animals, mostly dogs, to help people with medical and developmental issues. It’s a long process, but when done right these animals can sense what their humans are feeling and help them no matter what. So, when a German Shepard puppy named Ryker showed up at the Double H Canine Training Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, they thought training him was going to be a breeze
The Double H is a special training school, as well. They don’t follow a training formula because they believe that every dog is different. They also say their philosophy is that every dog can be trained. However, becoming a service dog is not just learning to sit or heel on walks. Service dogs provide a number of services to their humans. They are there to assist with emotional problems, comforting them when sad or depressed. However, they can also help with tasks like opening the fridge or turning on the lights.
So, when Ryker was asked to do the simple task of retrieving a water bottle, he enjoy biting it so much it sprung a leak all over the floor. Realizing they had their work cut out for them, the Double H staff decided to try something else. So, instead of fetching water bottles, they decided to see how Ryker did in another task.
A trainer brought a walker and Ryker into the middle of the room. Ryker laid right at his feet, like a very good boy, until it was time move. A service dog will walk slowly with their human and will help step between them and any obstacles. Surely Ryker wanted to do that. But there just happened to be two delicious and fun-looking tennis balls on the end of the walker. Ryker went after those instead, and even the trainer couldn’t help but laugh. So, the fetching and the walking didn’t exactly work. Still, the folks at Double H were not yet ready to give up on Ryker. They tried to teach him how to open up the fridge, and he got so excited biting and pulling on the handle that he almost toppled it over. They also tried to teach Ryker how to help their human by guiding and pulling their wheelchair. This was a task the pup was eager to try, but he got too excited and went too fast. It’s hard to tell if, by the end, they were training him or just taking “Ryker Rydes” in the training chair.
Ryker may not have what it takes to make it as a fully-trained service dog, but what he lacks in that skill he makes up for in spirit. This German Shepard is a happy, energetic, and friendly pup who will bring years of joy, laughter, and happy memories to whomever he ends up with. Ryker may not be a service dog, but he’s a great friend.
Not convinced yet? Take a look: