Training My Own Guide Dog

Training My Own Guide Dog: Sagan, 23 Months Old

Sagan really got to experience snow for the first time. We took him out on a long line and let him run free in safe places. He had a blast! There was almost no formal training while the snow was around. I was worried about his paws getting hurt by the salt and whatever else is used to keep away ice. I am also terrified of ice so I stayed home. Unfortunately, even though I was putting on Musher’s Wax, his back foot is bothering him. I am trying to figure out the best way to treat it. He licks constantly. I hope to avoid a trip to the vet so I am soaking his foot and putting on a healing ointment and then wrapping it. I tried putting on a cone but he just works around it. If it isn’t better in a couple of days, I will call the vet. I have some boots for him now. Once this is healed, we will try them out.

The first picture above shows Sagan playing outside in the snow with two little girls. Sagan is between them jumping up at a snow ball. The second picture shows Sagan iin the house with a dusting of snow covering his fur.

We did go to Home Depot last week to start teaching him about traffic. We had so much fun and he was amazing. We set up scenarios in the isles. Susy and Stu took turns cutting in front of us from different directions. Naturally, Sagan caught on fast so we had to work hard to surprise him. It was a lot of mental work for him so we gave him breaks to keep down his stress level. At one point we had him in a down stay near a busy intersection of isles where there were kids and carts passing. He was great and I was so thrilled. We also practiced following Stu all over the store which Sagan did excellently. I also took him to the bathroom where he did everything I asked him to do. When the session was over, I asked him to “find the door outside”. He found an outside door but it was not the door I wanted. It was not the door we came in but he was correct that it was a door outside. I was so proud. I praised him and asked again for the door outside and he took me to the correct door this time. I gushed praise over him. It was a real confidence building session.

The picture above shows Sagan standing on the grooming table showing off his new haircut from the groomer.

The last test of the day was to go to a restaurant. He tucked under the table and relaxed with no issues at all. We both came home and took a long nap. I am looking forward to continuing this type of training. I wish I felt as good about walking on streets but hopefully that will come in time.  

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