Guide Dog Training – Day 4

Todays training involved 2 harnessed walks.  Each walk introduced a new technique to working the dog on a harness.

The first walk involved corrections while on the harness and learning to swap the lead into your opposite hand while on the move (again this is for corrections).  This went incredibly well but Ascot was being too good and I didn’t get the chance to offer an on harness correction while on the move.  It was also another great opportunity to practice our position relative to the dog while walking.  Making sure to keep tension in the handle and keeping enough space between yourself and the dog.

Lunchtime saw a quick talk from the fundraising representative of guide dogs.  She asked us to tell her about ourselves and discuss volunteering opportunities.  I offered to go into school and give talks to kids.  That just sounded like the most fun opportunity.  Then it slowly came out about the ultra running and so on, this made the fundraiser incredibly interested and I am sure we will be working on something at some point.  I will definitely get involved in raising awareness of guide dogs in the media interviews I do, simply because I will now have a dog with me!

The afternoons sessions saw an introduction of the left turn and crossing roads.  On this route a large number of corrections were needed just because of how busy the area was.  Large amounts of traffic appeared to distract Ascot.  I am also beginning to walk a little fast for a beginner to need to slow it down a tad.  I blame it on the running.

This walk really showed off the capabilities of a guide dog, as we navigated a complex maze of bins, cars and walls.  Something that would of taken me ages with a cane seemed so simple for the dog as we breezed through the section; with one little pause at a gap Ascot believed could be a little tight.

Overall today has gone really well and Ascot is now chilling out, may sneak in a little obedience training before tea.  I will see if he wakes up!

Oh! I also picked up his first “spend” today….

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