On Christmas morning, our group leader, Angie, brought over my guide puppy, Glee for me to complete my sitting. When Angie came over she brought the following items:
- Dog food
- Tie downs
- Chew toys
- A few leashes
Angie demonstrated the following training skills I needed to work on with Glee.
- Impulse control: Where Glee needs to be in a calm state before being let out of the kennel
- Collar response: Glee needs to follow the smallest change in direction with collar pressure
- Recall (hide and seek): Working on sit and stay when I call her to me and she is required to touch me before she is rewarded
- Gentle food taking: Feeding her meals by hand for so she learns to gently remove the treat from your hand
Glee is a five-month-old yellow Labrador. She is such a sweetheart and is very clever. When I got Glee, it completed my Christmas. It brought so much joy to me knowing I can finally raise and train her. Every day I have her, the more and more I learn about her and we grow closer together.
The first day was overwhelming and challenging. She had an accident in the house when she first got here, but luckily there are no stains on the carpet! We went on our first walk on Christmas day to our grandparent’s house and she did well. Later that day, Glee got to meet our grandparents two dogs. Glee wanted to play with both the dogs, but unfortunately, they both wanted nothing to do with her.
Throughout the week, we did some activity’s. We went on a walk in downtown Murphy’s earlier that week. Glee could go through some new obstacles such as steep metal stairs. She was doing well going up the stairs, but she wasn’t so hot on going down the stairs. I needed to walk step by step with her to show that it was okay. It took her a little while to figure out how to go down the stairs, but treats helped. Numerous dogs and people passed Glee and she didn’t get distracted. I took her through plastic drapes that lead into the dog store, teaching her to go through barriers. We both had our first successful trip to the grocery store. It was very overwhelming with people looking and some wanting to meet her. Glee gets distracted by the smell of food such as fresh cooked bread. She quickly realizes what she is and isn’t supposed to do. We went to a high school basketball game so Glee can get used to the loud environment and be socialized. This part of the day was challenging for me because my friends and strangers wanted to meet Glee. There were multiple people sitting around us while cheering and Glee handled it well. We were there for about three hours and she slept most of the time ignoring the commotion.
On Tuesday, December 28, Glee went to work with me and my mom. She enjoyed getting attention from the co-worker’s. Most of the day she relaxed and slept like a baby. Glee has gone on walks with her big furry Bernese Mountain dog friend.
I have been playing hide and seek with Glee for the past week. Glee is very smart and can find me in a very short amount of time. She has gotten better at impulse control, so she can be let out of the kennel earlier. Angie came over to give me and Glee a session. We are working on new training techniques. Glee automatically sits and that needs to change. Glee is learning a new term “stand”. So far so good. When she sits, I step forward and say “stand” then reward her when she completes it. She has developed some bad habits such as being mouthy (nibbling) and jumps up at people when she gets excited. My whole family has learned when she does that to turn away and not give her attention. Glee used to be more motivated by food, but she now just loves to be loved by people. So, when she jumps or is being mouthy, we turn away and don’t look at her. Ever since we learned how to handle it, she has been doing it less and less.
Glee has adapted very well to our family and home. This has been a true learning experience to me and my family as we are all having to learn the training concepts.
Check back next week for another post!