Guide Dog Training, Day 6

It’s our last day in the hotel. We go home tomorrow as it’s such a short course. Still have a walk in the morning before we leave.

Today was the dreaded traffic session. Anyone who has trained with a guide dog in the UK will be groaning along right about now.

Traffic is to assess the dog’s reaction to traffic if we gave the forward command and there is a car coming. The instructor you work with is with you and will tap you on the shoulder when the other instructor is in a position to alert the dog to do one of several things.

First we test near traffic which is traffic coming from the handler’s right and closest to them. This is the traffic we can also practice independently at home.

You ask the dog forward and it is meant to refuse your command.

My pup did very well and not a paw moved.

Then we test far traffic coming from the opposite side; so from the left and further away. You ask the dog forward and it’ll step out into the road but will suddenly stop as it sees the car ideally.

Again pup passed well on this.

Then turning traffic which is traffic coming from behind the dog. Again he did well on this to.

Then the favourite, walking along a street and a c car pulling into a driveway. He has a very good emergency stop.

Lots of praise and cuddles for pup.

This afternoon we got soaked. A shorter walk followed by a free run. Poor puppy had to deal with obstacles on the floor in the shape of road work signs, a car parked on the pavement so some off kerb obstacles and a bit of dog distraction. But he did very well and much more with it today despite the down pour.

Bit nervous about tomorrow and going home. I’m sure i’ll feel overwhelmed to the Nth degree but hopefully will survive.

And then training starts at home Monday morning.

Hugs MJ

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