Two weeks of training with Aurelia, by Clark Roberts

As each of you joined me in my countdown of Arby’s retirement, I also wanted to have you join me on my journey to receive my new guide dog.  I have been sitting down each evening journaling my thoughts as I step once again through this process.  I hope you enjoy reading along as each day passed by.  

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When to use food rewards

Some trainers use a clicker as a "mark." Guide Dog Puppy trainers use the word "nice." 

This article talks about when to use treats and when to use the marker, "nice."

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Signs of stress

Dogs exhibit stress in different ways. A puppy becoming uncomfortable may show one or more of the following signs. Many of these behaviors are seen in circumstances other than stress but if you see several of these behaviors together and/or repetitively, you need to consider if your puppy is stressed.

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Business "potty" protocol

Guide Dog Puppies have special rules about doing their business, and "do your business" is one of the most important things to teach your puppy

Afterall, you wouldn't want to be out with your service dog and have them relieve themselves in the middle of the grocery store. Here's how to prepare your puppy.

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Ground tether info

Ground tethers are a new potential training technique.

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Food protocol

Some puppies are put on a "food protocol" for pups that are having problems with specific issues. Guide dogs has developed these techniques for making training enjoyable for the pup and handler and ensuring propper record tracking.

Food rewards are single pieces of the pup's regular kibble unless specifically noted. (Other food rewards are referred to as "high value" treats.)

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Loose leash walking

Guide dog puppies shouldn't pull and take you for a walk. They walk nicely, with a loose leash. This is how to train them.

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How to introduce the Gentle Leader to your puppy

Guide Dogs instructs you how to "gently" introduce the gentle leader to your puppy.

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What should my puppy be able to do before recall?

Download this as a pdf.

This document covers the ideal, acceptable, and less desirable responses to various commands including Kennel, That's Enough, and Nice. It also describes acceptable house behaviors and public behaviors.

These descriptions are what a puppy should be able to do when he/she is recalled.




Behavior descriptions

Using the right words can help communicate with Guide Dogs and the leaders. Here are the definitions of some behaviors. All of these terms are mentioned on the monthly puppy report.

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What toys can my puppy have?

Guide Dogs has some toys that are "legal" for Guide Dog Puppies to play with and some that are not. "Illegal" toys are not allowed for either safety reasons or for Guide Dog reasons. For instance, you can't play ball with your Guide Dog Puppy. Imagine what would happen if your pup became a working dog and went by a tennis court? I had a friend with a blind grandfather. He had a golden guide (not from Guide Dogs). He went to a basketball game and the dog freaked out, ran away, and some how made it onto the court, 'caus he wanted to play basketball like AirBud.

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Raising softer puppies

Raising sensitive puppies takes patience and skill.

Puppies lacking in confidence can be complex and in some ways, are more challenging than those other puppies. Here's how to raise these puppies.

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How can I play with my puppy?

Puppies are allowed interative play with their raisers without toys, by playing a tug game, and by playing hide and seek.

Teach your puppy to play interactively with you (without using a toy)

Play is a crucial element in developing a well-balanced happy puppy. Puppies learn about their world and how to interact with a human being through play. It is therefore important that you teach your puppy how to play appropriately. He needs to learn how to play gently and in a controlled manner, to play with you using a toy and also how to play with you when there is no toy present.

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