Buddy has spent the past few months as a trainee, living with a puppy walker who has begun the process of developing him into a guide dog. He will soon be moving on to early training, but here is an update of what he has been doing.
During the summer, Buddy enjoyed time in the garden, particularly splashing around in a paddling pool with his toys. He really enjoys the buzz of busy places and is always very comfortable walking through large crowds of people.
Buddy has been exposed to lots of different sights and smells that he hadn’t come across before. This will prepare him to face new situations in the future. He visited the seaside for a day, went to a country show where he got to meet horses and other livestock and he has also been to a zoo and watched some of the animals.
Preparing for Early Training
Buddy has kept his playful nature, which is great to see. However, when his blue puppy jacket goes on, he knows it is time to work. He has also become much more obedient and focused and is very responsive to commands.
Now that Buddy has mastered basic commands, the puppy walker has been developing more challenging skills. One of these is the ‘head’ command, when Buddy puts his head on the walker’s leg to allow his ears, eyes and teeth to be checked. He has picked this up very quickly and it makes health checking him so much quicker and easier.
Buddy has also been taught to ‘find the chair’. He can now locate empty seats on the bus, train, in a coffee shop and in the park. This will be a valuable skill to his future guide dog owner.
It is also great to see that he has improved when walking on the lead and no longer pulls as much as he did. His ‘dog distraction’ still needs to be worked on because he is such a friendly dog and always wants to say ‘hello’ to everyone. However, it is vital he remains focused on his walker whilst out and about.
We can’t wait to see Buddy begin early training next year. We will then update you on the next stage in Buddy’s life.
To find out more about the great work of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, please see their website or contact us. We are always happy to talk about them!