Friday, February 22, 2013

SSD Judge: A Sweetheart Who Loves to Serve

Like his namesake, Father Mychal Judge, SSD Judge is happy to serve others. This sweetheart loves people and loves to work!

Judge is from the American Heroes litter, born on May 2, 2011, and he’s currently in advanced training. When he returned to his puppy raisers, Donna and Jim, for the weekend, they were impressed by how quickly he moved into the heel position and how he closely watched his handler while loose leash walking.

In January, he and his puppy raisers traveled to New Jersey for his puppy raisers’ grandson’s first birthday. There were about forty people of all ages there, and it was crowded and loud, but Judge stayed in a down-stay and fell asleep. His puppy raisers also took Judge to Cape May, where they visited the shops, the beach, and restaurants.

Judge’s favorite toys are sticks and Jolly Balls, although now that SSD Irwin has joined the family, he likes any toy that Irwin has!

Judge loves food. In fact, he won the Clean Plate Club Dog Olympic Game at PawsAbilities twice last year! His favorite foods, however, are fruits and vegetables. Since Judge grew up on an orchard, it should come as no surprise that he trains best with apples as treats. Judge loves helping on the orchard. When Donna and Jim were marking the location of posts and trees, Judge really wanted to help. He kept picking up the flags, so Donna gave them to him to carry. He was one happy boy!

Judge just wanted to help out on the orchard.

Because he loves food so much, learning the cue “leave it” was a challenge, but he has mastered it. In fact, Judge can now ignore food so well that he falls asleep right next to it! He can’t help drooling when he walks past food, though.

Judge fell asleep while ignoring some of his favorite foods on the stool. He's been ignoring the food for 30 minutes!

Besides “leave it,” Judge has found greetings to be challenging. But as often happens, his puppy raiser found the key to nice, calm greetings, thanks to some advice from a veteran puppy raiser. Instead of having the person greet Judge, Donna asked the person to greet her. While they talked and Donna explained about Susquehanna Service Dogs, Judge remained in a calm “sit-stay” or “down-stay.” Then, if Donna thought Judge would be able to handle it, she let the person greet him. This is an excellent example of setting a dog up for success!

Judge has also learned to greet other dogs calmly. He and his littermates used to get very excited to see each other, but at last year’s Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community, he and his brothers and sisters were able to walk next to each other calmly.

L to R: Ripley, Judge, Hale.
Now Judge is waiting to be matched with his partner.


  1. Hey!
    I can’t resist myself to leave a comment and trust me it’s hard to impress me.

    Buy For A Cause

  2. Happy Birthday Honey!! See you soon!

  3. Hi, I'm Stacey's sister and I am so glad that Judge was matched to her. Both Stacey and Judge are special beings and they will both benefit from this new relationship. Yay SSD!