Evaluation Week…

Earlier this week, we had our group leader, Angie, come over for a private session to work with Glee on a few things. Glee has been putting on her brakes, been mouthy, biting her paws, licking the ground, carpet, and cabinets. Angie came over to helps us come to a solution for each of the issues. Glee has progressed very well since that session. I am working with her every day on those training techniques as well as other training skills.

This week was a big week for Glee and me. We had our first evaluation together!! I was sooo nervous. Jim, a Community Field Representative for Guide Dogs for The Blind, does our evaluations. He oversees the evaluations and the group on how the dogs are progressing. I didn’t know what Jim would ask me and this was the first time I met him.

I had to prepare for any questions Jim might ask. Jim took Glee to go over body handling with her and to see how she is with a different handler. Body handling is when I touch her paws and add pressure. I don’t only do it with her paws, I do it with her ears, tail, etc. He does this so he can evaluate if she can handle it or not. If she goes to a blind person, the person won’t know where her paws are exactly at. So, they would need to feel around and Glee would need to be able to handle that. I do this daily with Glee. As well as cleaning her ears every week and brushing her teeth every day.

I reviewed in my head how much food she eats, how much water she drinks, how she is at school, and everything else I can think of. The night before, I went over all the training techniques with her. Cramming everything in to make sure she can do them all. I was worried that he would tell me I was doing something wrong, but that wasn’t the case! The evaluations went over very well. I didn’t know why I was stressing so much about it. I had to take her on a walk so Jim could asses how Glee is with walking. I was worried that she would get distracted, but Glee did great! Overall, the evaluations went fantastic.  

We have been working on new training techniques and terms for Glee that she is learning. One of them is “go to bed”. She is slowly getting the hang of it. It takes her a little while to figure out what I am saying, but then a light bulb turned on in her head and she knows what to do. Glee has gotten her bed taken away due chewing on it and making a hole in the bed. Though, Glee loves to lay on blankets so we are training her to go to bed on the blanket. We have slowly introduced “clean up” to her. Glee enjoys going to her toy bin and taking all her bones out. So, we decided to try the term “clean up”. She has put them away on her own twice! Which, is better than none. Glee is a smart little cookie, so she catches onto things very quickly.

Glee has done AMAZING at school this past week. I am proud she has behaved herself while I am trying to focus in class and doing work. Though there is one thing that has been getting her distracted. Birds. Yes, I said birds. She pays so much attention to them. It doesn’t matter if they are flying or sitting in front of her. Glee wants to go after them sooo bad. I mean she is a bird dog, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. I have had to correct her by getting ahold of her collar and telling her no. It takes her a few seconds to realize that it is not okay to do want to chase birds. We have not run into that problem for a couple of days. But, I do want to get into that situation again, because, I want her to avoid them.

I am happy on how everything is going right now. I am lucky to have gotten such a smart, sweet, loving dog. I enjoy her so very much.

Hope you liked this week’s blog!

Rowan

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One thought on “Evaluation Week…

  1. It’s a little different but I remember after one year home with my guide dog, we had our first major evaluation and I was FREAKED out.. I had heard stories of guide dogs being removed from their handlers but eventually learned that those were really extreme cases. Good work with Glee! Glad all is going well!

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