Training My Own Guide Dog

Training Sagan: Training my own guide dog, Week 5

Sagan Training: Week 5 / 12 weeks old

Sagan was 3 months old on June 2. He is growing in size and strength. My body is feeling his determination to reach his goals in my shoulders and knees. He usually wants to reach Jingles, my retired guide dog so he can play with her. Of course, he thinks it is playing and she thinks it is a great pest to be endured. I tried letting them be together a little more but Jingles decided to defend herself and Sagan got bitten. I actually was proud of Jingles for standing up for herself. So for now, they stay apart. Keeping them separate is recommended by McCann Dog Trainers and I am inclined to agree.

I was away for 5 days last week so Sagan and Jingles were left with a trusted friend. It was very hard to leave him but he had some new experiences that I would not be able to give him. He got in some good play time and my friend got worn out herself. It was helpful for me to have someone with vision take care of him for a few days because I learned more about his behaviors that I was not noticing. It turned out very well and I am glad to get back to training this week.

The picture above shows an annoyed Jingles relaxing on an outside patio chair while Sagan tries to engage her in play.

My main goal this week is to get him acclimated to the Gentle Leader. Loose leash walking is an absolute must for my health and his. I am doing this by giving him sardine-coated kibble every tiny step of the way. He thinks it is great fun until I actually get it on him completely. Once it is on, he wilts and does not move. On one level this is wonderful but that is not the ultimate purpose of the Gentle Leader. My hope is to get him moving this week. I am challenged to be patient with this slow process. McCann has some great YouTube videos on using the Gentle Leader, so that is what I am relying on for information.

I have decided to make my own training treats for him. I am concerned about the commercial treats in terms of their ingredients and processing. I am putting his kibble in a tight container with either sardines or high-quality chicken or beef hot dogs. I think this will be more economical and healthier. This way I can know how much he is actually getting in a day. I also supplement his meals with raw foods.

I promised last week to tell you about the new crate and grooming table. They have not arrived yet so that will wait for next week.

The baby pool is a big hit. We got it at a hardware store. It was only $16. He loves it whether it has water in it or not. The water hose is as much fun as the pool.

My hope is to be able to tell you next week that we are walking in a civilized manner. My other goal is to find ways to play with him for his fun and to tire him out. I will keep you posted.

Youtube link for McCann Gentle leader

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