Thursday, August 30, 2007

Time with the Big Dogs

We were recently at the Guide Dogs of Texas Training Center when the older dogs in training were having some free run time. The gates were closed and the dogs were allowed to run and play in a large area. They love this time to romp and explore the outdoors. Mason loved it too. Here were some big dogs who accepted his puppy energy and put him in his place if he got too rambunctious. Only one dog told him in dog talk, "That's enough, youngster."
Part of the exercise is also practicing "recall." When individual dogs were called they had to respond by returning to the trainer who called them. They were praised for coming and then released to continuing playing. Good recall is a must for guide dogs. This is one thing Mason does well.

It was a warm day. There were lots of dog tongues hanging out. One dog found a nice, shady spot under the van.

It was time to return to the kennel. All the dogs went inside and were told to lie down in a circle and stay. It can be hard for the dogs to stay in one place with other dogs so close by. Mason again did well. This is not his strength but he followed the lead of the trainers and the example of the other dogs. The dogs were then called one by one to another area of the kennel and again told to lie down and stay. All the other dogs had to stay in their original place until they were called. It was very good practice, especially for Mason. It was encouraging to see him respond so well to the trainers. It was a good day.

No comments: