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Laughing Eyes Kennels

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

  
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Olivia

out of the brave- comes the- shiverer!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 5:57pm PST 
I'm looking for information on LEK. Their website doesn't allow for the answering of some of my questions, such as:

1. What is the cost of a dog?
2. How long is the waiting list? (as by your experience)
3. When in the process does a handler get paired with a dog?
4. Are breed/color preferences taken into consideration?
5. Can you describe your experience?

Any information would be more than appreciated.
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H, my angel- in heaven.

1175100
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 12:33am PST 
Echo's handler would be able to answer all of these questions. In my search for a program I have been warned to stay away from LEK though.
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Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 5:11am PST 
I have spent some time with an LEK dog, both in the home and out in the public and was very impressed with the professional behavior and training and sweet temperament. I'm not sure why you were warned against them, but this dog impressed me.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 8:01am PST 
Iris, how long ago was the dog placed that you met, and who? While I know they have placed a lot of nice dogs it seems to have changed. I was favorably impressed a number of years ago with their dogs, but recently I went down to NM with Echo's handler and while I'm not going to bad mouth the program I do feel there are a lot of problems that need work with it.

Echo doesn't have the greatest nerves, and has taken a lot of retraining so far, and requires more work before he's at a level that I find acceptable. If you're looking for a program that produces decent PSD's I do recommend CARES. LEK was likely a very good program at some time but now their pups are underexposed, and the training is not nearly as solid as I'd like to see in a program trained dog.
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Echo

Super Service- Dog!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 8:26am PST 
Hi there. Yes, Echo is from LEK. I'm having a bit of a brain fog this morning so I had to copy your questions so I don't forget any.

1. What is the cost of a dog?
The cost of a dog is $5000, with a $1000 deposit once you have a dog picked for you, and the remaining $4000 due at the end of team training.

2. How long is the waiting list? (as by your experience)
I waited approximately 5-6 months from the time I first inquired until team training.

3. When in the process does a handler get paired with a dog?
After filling out and sending in all appropriate forms from you and your doctor/s pertaining to your health, diagnoses, strengths, weaknesses, and dog trait preferences.

4. Are breed/color preferences taken into consideration?
At this current time, LEK only has labradors. Last I checked, they had no intentions to breed or bring any other breed into their program. I wasn't told Echo's color until after I agreed he sounded like a good match for me, based on a long conversation with the head trainer about what I did/did not want as traits in a dog.

5. Can you describe your experience?
My experience up until team training was overwhelmingly positive. Team training, while promised two weeks, was only six days. The head trainer, I felt, was abrasive (though likely unintentionally), and Echo was given a stern correction on a chain martingale collar, which surprised me, as I was told that LEK was a positive reinforcement only program. Echo spooked several times during TT, and I found it odd that I was only allowed to reward using praise and touch as opposed to a treat or toy. Turns out, Echo had never seen another toy or dog really, aside from his male kennel mates, most being litter mates. He had never had a toy, or encountered many things I didn't expect him to be afraid of. A small child, a person of color, a bicycle... all things I would have expected less of a balking response from. Echo has been going through a readjustment period as I retrain him using +R methods exclusively. I have had to change several of his cues due to him being overly stressed out by them. Echo had some tracheal damage when he came, likely from improper use of a martingale collar. He frequently chokes and gags because of this.

While I don't blame LEK, nor do I regret getting Echo, I do regret spending as much as I did (once you calculate in flights, rental car, and hotels for a week, you come up with an extra $2000) on an improperly, unfinished dog. I think LEK has its heart in the right place, but I feel their program could be greatly improved with the use of puppy raisers. Again, while I appreciate what LEK is doing, I wouldn't recommend them.
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Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 9:17am PST 
The LEK dog that impressed me was placed about 4 years ago with a SD handler who was an acquaintance. The dog was comfortable with children, strangers, sudden sounds, dogs of all types and barky-ness ... just everything that I would expect a SD to be able to handle.

I am very disappointed to hear that the quality of dogs is not consistent. I was considering going with a program rather than OTing my next dog and LEK was on my list. Not anymore. . . : (
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Jolanda

I grin from ears- to chin :D

moderator
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 5, '13 11:58am PST 
Iris, the dog you're thinking about has similar issues and was retired last year.
Another one of their dogs has the same fear issues and is being used on and off.
I know of a dog, which was returned due to a complete emotional meltdown.
Their personality is unbeatable, but their life skills seem not. They are well socialized with humans and animals.
The ones I know are insecure in public, spook easily and don't recover quickly, sometimes not at all.

They might have a different breeding line today. Maybe they have improved.
Their dogs seem very sensitive and kind, but not necessarily made for SD work.

I would go visit them, and see for yourself. Those dogs I am talking about are 3 out of all those dogs they have placed. My experience might not reflect on their dogs in general..

give it a shot, contact them, speak to them and see where it goes.
Best wishes to you, sonja and the crew.
Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 5, '13 2:05pm PST 
Oh Jolanda, that is so sad. Thank you for telling me. I'm so very sorry for the handler, the family and the dog.

It is good information to have, but at such expense.

Edited for spelling.

Edited by author Fri Jul 5, '13 2:06pm PST

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Olivia

out of the brave- comes the- shiverer!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 6, '13 12:40am PST 
Wow, I'm very glad I asked these questions! I'll look into LEK just as well, but won't be counting on it just in case. I saw CARES mentioned, are there any other organizations you'd recommend for PSDs? Thank you all for your responses!
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Echo

Super Service- Dog!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 6, '13 4:37am PST 
I don't have any positive suggestions, but I'd stay away from Heeling Allies, as I have a friend who was burned pretty badly by them and another who has a dog that needed to wash out because he was an inappropriate candidate for service work.
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