Training My Own Guide Dog

Training My Own Guide Dog: Sagan, 7 1/2 Months Old

We are skipping a week because I was on vacation. Sagan had a dog sitter in our house. The pictures today are from the time he spent with her. I think he had a great time. He got more freedom than I can give him which I think was great for him. We have done some rearranging of our house so I can feel more confident about letting him off leash some of the time.

The Picture above shows a close-up of Sagan sitting on the outside patio chair. He is staring directly into the camera with a serious expression.


Sagan has grown so much these last few weeks. He is becoming quite the athlete. His favorite thing to do right now is to use a chair to get on his grooming table and then walk across the top of his crate and down off a chair on the other side. I am not encouraging the behavior but it is funny. I removed the easy-access chairs but I let him do it on command as a training exercise. We can turn it into a trick.

The 3 pictures above show Sagan playing with his tunnel. He first drags it to his outdoor bed placing the top part of the tunnel on the bed. He then starts to enter from the opposite end with half his body inside and his tail end hanging out. And finally, the third picture shows him fully inside the tunnel. 


The behavior that has me the most worried right now is his barking. He barks at sounds, dogs, and people. He is alerted to unusual things in the environment. Barking is a self-reinforcing behavior which means he is convinced that his barking has made those sounds or sights go away. This is particularly difficult to train out of them. This type of barking gets worse if not caught in time. Needless to say, my main goal now is to stop the barking. I will be working on a more in-depth strategy with our dog trainer this week. In the meantime, I am playing desensitizing sounds for him. This is when Amazon Alexa comes in handy. I asked Alexa to play Calm Pet Desensitizing Sounds For Animals Volume one. I think there is a series of these. The first one has fireworks, big trucks, babies crying, cat sounds, cars starting, and dogs barking. I hope to find one with only dogs barking and children playing. I really hope this helps us move past this challenge. I am open to suggestions as to how to change this behavior before it gets too big to change.

The picture above shows Sagan sitting in the kitchen surrounded by some plush toys. 

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