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IHDI Dogs Dress for Success

Hearing Dog Learning to Get Dressed

The cue "get dressed" instructs the trainee to put his or her head through a collar, harness, or vest. To begin training this cue, we use a flat collar with the opening as wide as possible. A large opening sets the dog up for success and makes putting his head through the equipment less intimidating. The handler holds the equipment in one hand and, with the other, uses a food lure to coax the dog to put their head through. The hand holding the equipment should stay still as we want the dog to do all the movement. Once the dog's head is through the collar, the behavior is marked with a clicker or with "yes!" and a treat is given, followed by lots of verbal praise. Since Service Dogs have to wear equipment every day, it is important that each dog in training is comfortable and confident dressing and wearing collars, harnesses, and vests.