Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Rocky got his jacket!

Today was a quiet day again. We’d had the excitement of the weekend with my parents staying over and going out to someone else’s house and exploring. Then we had the excitement of going out to Guide Dogs so the vet could give him his final vaccinations. Then Sheila came yesterday to give him his jacket. So I thought today should be quiet. After a while of course, things get boring so we ventured out with jacket in pocket to see what would happen. I asked him to pee before we got walking and he obliged. Then we started around the usual block and met a couple of different neighbours so we stopped to talk.
Pulling as usual
Kathleen had her dog Casey with her so Rocky got to meet one of the local dogs now that he’s had his shots. Finally we were on our own. I decided to cross Centrepointe so we would be over on the quiet sidewalk between the IT building and the seniors’ residence. Then I put his jacket on and we practised walking properly. Of course, you get three steps and then you have to stop because he’s pulling, wait, go again, three steps, repeat. You don’t get very far. After a few minutes I praised him and took the jacket off. We wandered over to a bench where I remembered I wanted to take his picture wearing the jacket so I put it back on again.
Wearing the new jacket
Since he was behaving himself, I decided we would cross the street wearing the jacket and that worked well. But then we’d had enough so we took the jacket off and he walked (pulled me) home.


At 7:40 p.m., October 14, 2005, Blogger L^2 said...

Hi Julia (& Rocky),
Rocky looks so nice and "official" in his new jacket! :-)
I'm surprised to hear that you are just now getting his jacket though. At Leader Dogs, as well as many other dog guide programs that I'm familiar with in the U.S., the new 6-8 week old puppy goes home to the puppy raiser already with a jacket. The foster family is expected to take the puppy out in public as much as possible right away, so the dog learns it's basic "manners" at a very young age.
I'm sure your school has good reasons for doing it this way though. I think it's very interesting to get to read about the differing techniques schools use for their dogs. Thanks for sharing your experiences! :-)

Take care,
Laura & Leader Dog Willow

At 10:41 p.m., October 14, 2005, Blogger Calvin said...

Hi Rocky,

You look so distinguished in your new jacket!

Congrats on your first "official" adventure, there are certainly many more to come!


At 8:43 a.m., October 15, 2005, Blogger JuliaR said...

When I had Uma 14 years ago, we got her at 6 weeks! and she came with her jacket. So I had her out in public very early and there weren't many rules. We let everyone pet her while she was wearing the jacket because she was just a puppy and not really working. Now they have more rules and they are very conscious about puppies in public. They want them to be welcome everywhere so they don't want any misbehaving. And they want to puppy to become aware that it is working when the jacket is on. Even if you are just sitting on a bench people-watching, if the jacket is on, that's working. Canadian Guide Dogs have been in operation since 1984 and they are proud of what they do and want to do it right. I don't mind the rules as it gives me some structure and guidance too.

At 4:44 p.m., October 16, 2005, Blogger Kiwi's Mom said...

Rocky you are one handsome boy!! I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures. I used to be a guide dog raiser but the organization we were with went out of business, so not Kiwi is our pet.

Have fun!

At 9:35 a.m., October 17, 2005, Blogger JuliaR said...

Welcome Kiwi and Kiwi's mom! I have had some fun reading your blog too.


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