Guide Dog Training, day 3

I’m not sure how long I’ll keep up these updates. I will try but not always the easiest after a full day of working with a new dog.

We firstly had breakfast and the dogs were more comfortable this morning and my pup does this crazy special agent commando crawl that isn’t always that noticeable if I’m not got my hand on him or the lead is not caught in his process. It does make me chuckle how he does this so quietly and his instructor says he can do it quietly on hard floors to.

So day three was grooming, rounded curves and obstacles.

Our first objective of the working day was to do grooming. i love grooming animals and my dogs are no exception. We had a lot of fun and had 26KG of lab on my lap at one point.

Grooming is so important for a variety of reasons.

  • To check your dog for any lumps/cuts/abnormalities
  • To keep them nicely groomed as they’re out in the public eye
  • Keeping coats fresh and clean is more comfortable for your dog

We’d done a bit of obstacle weaving on the short handle before this grooming session and later in the day intended to go back and do another obstacle weaving session with the dog.

Then it was time for rounded kerb edges.

These mean you have to indent so you cross the road at the narrowest point away from the flow of traffic.

A lot of voice and body positioning come in here. For example, with the road on your right, you want to extend your position back from the dog a little so it can get around the corner and then encourage it to the kerb. With road on left, you allow your dog to come across you and then come up on his shoulder to encourage him straight to the kerb whilst saying “straight up to the kerb'”.

This went well and for some walks my instructor unclipped my support lead. She had apparently done the same yesterday on a later walk.

Lunch then back to obstacles. My pup worked well and was very excited around the weaving objects. Lots of the steady command was used so he could make decisions in time. Occasionally he’d get confused and stop dead but we allowed him to make the decisions and he did so we were pleased!

We then went to do the rounded kerbs again but with the road on my right this time.

lots of body positions to remember. Things I knew but clearly had got sloppy at.

And then pop quiz time. Our instructors talked about the straight line principle which means the dog has a straight line to follow. This doesn’t mean the dog necessarily walks straight but follows a straight path so to speak, avoiding obstacles, both stationary and moving, weaving out of building lines and picking up the straight line on a route if you’ve indented for a rounded kerb for example. Then they asked us lots of different questions. Was good. I really like the group I’m with. They’re all fab.

Pup’s had his dinner and I’m off to get mine soon.

Hugs MJ

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