Training My Own Guide Dog

Training My Own Guide Dog: Sagan, 10 Months Old

Sagan has healed well from his neutering and all is well. The biggest challenge was keeping him from being too rambunctious. The body suit was the best thing ever for keeping him away from the incision. He actually seemed to like wearing it. We are back to a full schedule of training now that the holidays are over and our house is empty from family again.

The picture above shows Mel, Stu, and Sagan on the couch in the living room. Sagan is laying in between Stu and Mel with his front legs crossed and all smiles. 


We had many people coming and going from our house over the last two weeks so we had many opportunities to teach Sagan to go to his bed when someone knocks on the door. Whenever someone was coming over, we set it up so we had Sagan on a leash and when the knock came, we ran him over to his bed and treated him. He was required to stay there until he became calm. Then he was allowed to greet the people. He did amazingly well with this. He got a tremendous amount of loving and lots of different people playing with him. As far as I know he stole nothing of value from anyone and all the holiday decorations stayed safe.

The picture above shows Mel's son, Cole and Sagan on the couch wrapped in a hug with the same excited expressions on their faces.


I decided to try my hand at crafting a dog toy which is working out great so far. I have collected used marrow bones and I made a bone chain. I got an old pair of jeans and cut them up. I threaded the bones and tied a few knots here and there. It is quite ugly but he loves it. I occasionally stuff treats in it or put a bit of peanut butter on the bones. He carries it around and then he settles nicely with it on his bed. I have spent so much money trying to find the right kind of toys for him. I think making them is the best solution.


We decided that we do not want him on the furniture without being invited. The trainer suggested that we put cookie sheets on the couches and chairs. This has worked like magic. The idea is to break the pattern of launching himself on and off furniture. We do invite him on the couch at times, but he is only allowed to rest with us.

The picture above shows a closeup of Sagan. He looks like he is laughing. 


Now that he is 10 months old, we will start asking more of him in terms of training more complex guiding skills. I plan to put him in harness in March when he is a year old. I am excited about this next phase of his training. 

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