Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Training, take 1

April 10, 2014

As promised, pictures!

First Tammy leads the group through the relaxation protocol. She mixes things up by having the puppies do one third of the exercise in SIT, one third in DOWN, and the last third in STAND.

A small black lab puppy is lying on a cement floor facing away from the camera. A man dressed in prison blue uniform is standing on the right side and leaning over to hand the puppy a treat from his right hand. Another man is sitting on a round metal seat attached to a metal lunch table. This man has his elbows on his thighs and is facing to the left. In the background is another man (both of these men are dressed in the prison blue uniforms). The man in the background is holding the leash of a golden retriever puppy, who is sitting on the man's left side. A woman is also in the background, wearing a grey pantsuit and holding a paper. She is facing the third man. On a shelf behind the golden retriever is a big yellow ball.
FLD Copo gets rewarded for holding his DOWN.

With all the puppies standing nicely, Tammy and I lightly distract each one to test "name recognition." Looking back at the handler when he says the puppy's name is one of the In-For-Training (IFT) standards that Leader Dogs for the Blind wants us to work toward with our puppies.

A young black lab puppy is standing next to legs dressed in blue pants. The puppy is wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana. The puppy is looking at the camera.
FLD Bear has his eyes on me.

Now the same black lab puppy is looking up toward the person standing next to him. The person is out of view except for his left leg. The puppy has a brown leather leash attached to his collar.
"Bear!" his handler says. Good boy!

A young yellow lab puppy is lying on a cement floor, he is wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana with his name Axel embroidered on it. The puppy had a brown leather leash attached to his collar and the leash is just lying on the floor next to him. The puppy is looking up to the left at a person who is standing next to him. Only the lower legs of the person is visibile. The person is wearing blue pants and white tennis shoes.
Good boy Axel!
Tammy then has the group practice sits, downs, and stands "around the world." This means that the pups must respond to each cue no matter what position the handler is in - on the left or the right, in front of the puppy or behind, while standing, sitting, kneeling, you name it. 
Sure, maybe your puppy knows how DOWN in heel position...

...but will your puppy respond correctly to the DOWN cue when you have your back turned to him?

A small german shepherd puppy is lying on a painted cement floor, he is facing to the left and his giving a huge yawn, his mouth is open wide and his tongue is curled up o the end. The puppy is wearing a blue Future Leader Dog bandana and has a brown leather leash lying on the floor to the left.
FLD Dax complains that things aren't as they usually are...and lies down anyway!

Time to get moving around. Well, "around" at a left-hinged door. We teach our puppies to move from the normal heel position on our left side around our back to our right side whenever we pass through a door that is hinged on the left side. This protects the dog from getting slammed by the door. We walk through the door as a "unit." After a few paces safely past the doorway we have the puppy move around behind us again to return to heel position.
This is two photos in one. On the left, a man wearing a blue and orange striped jacket and the blue prison pants is reaching down with his left hand to a yellow lab puppy. The puppy is sitting with his back to the camera. The man is holding the puppy's brown leather leash in his left hand. In the photo on the right, the same man is approaching a door that has the handle on the right side, the man is just turning the handle. He is holding the leash in his right hand and the yellow lab puppy is walking around the man's back to his right side. The puppy is peering around the man's leg toward the door.
Steve gives FLD Axel a pep-talk and heads for the door. Nice around!
This is also two picture in one. On the left side, an african american man is walking away from the camera toward the same door. He is wearing the blue prison uniform and holding a brown leash in his left hand. The man is looking down at the black lab puppy that is walking next to his left leg. The leash is hanging very nicely loose. In the photo on the right side the man is passing the leash from his left hand to his right hand behind his back while the puppy is moving around to his right side.
FLD Bear keeps a nice loose leash as P walks toward the door. There is some technique to cleanly passing the leash from left to right!

We're not finished yet....


  1. I love "around." Since Nala is not from Leader Dogs, she doesn't know "around," but I've ben working on it with her because it is such a great cue.

    1. Wow, hard to believe other guide dog schools don't teach this! Good for you for teaching Nala, I'm sure she'll pick it up quickly. She is so smart . . . and she has a smart teacher!

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the pictures Patti! FLD Kayla's brother, Axel, sure is handsome!! FLD Bear sure is looking big and very handsome as well! ALL the puppies are gorgeous! I can never get enough of the pictures!!

    1. So glad you are enjoying the photos! There are more to come, I promise. ;)