Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day Eleven at Guide Dogs

Whew! Today was a wet one!

It POURED....all day. Cold wet and rainy. Dogs don't like that...even water dogs. Burgess woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. He's developed a slight infection in his right ear, and the vet gave me some ointment to put in for four days, until he's seen again. He does'nt much mind me applying it, but it causes him to scratch his ear and become rather sluggish and downcast. He did'nt want to get the day started, returning to his bed again and again. No morning happy-dance. But being a professional...once the day progressed and the harness was on, he performed like a champ, as always.

After lunch, we recieved what is referred to as "clicker-training". you have a clicker in your left hand, get the dog to perform a simple task, and the second it is done, click the clicker to mark the event...then you immediately reward with a treat. First I got Burgess to touch his nose to my fist, put out in front of him..."click"-treat. Then, his nose to my fist on a chair seat..."click"-treat. Then his nose to my fist on a chair back..."click"-treat. In five minutes, Burgess was showing me an empty chair..."click"-treat! Like magic! The great thing about this is that the dogs LOVE it. And once the task is learned, you don't need the clicker, until you want to teach another task.

Later in the afternoon, we were taken on "destination training". We were bussed several blocks away from a familiar destination and one by one left to find our way the pouring rain, of course. I've never seen Burgess move so fast. He was determined to get himself to the destination and out of the rain, and he just bloody well took ME along with him!

Make no mistake, the time spent here has been gruelling on us, and the dogs. Everyone's dog has lost between three and five pounds under this intense training.

But the goal is in sight.

No comments:

Post a Comment