Update on our sponsored Guide Dog puppy - Time for school Pudding
Pudding is making super progress on her journey to be a Guide Dog, this is her latest news.
Pudding’s first week
Pudding settled into the new environment of training school really well. During her first week, we spent a lot of time playing and relaxing. It was important for me to take the time to form a strong bond with Pudding before attempting to teach her new skills. Pudding is a very affectionate, cuddly girl and she’s a lovely dog to be around. I introduced Pudding to Clara and Malvern as she’ll be spending a lot of time with them. They took to each other straight away and one of Pudding’s favourite things to do now is to curl up for a snooze with Clara!
Pudding stays with her fosterers during the evenings and weekends and attends training school during the weekdays. Her fosterers drop her off at school in the morning around 8:30am and she’ll usually settle with a Kong or chew toy. I begin the day by walking the dogs one by one, and I change the order each day.
Pudding is already familiar with the area as she lived locally with her Puppy Raiser, Eddie. We often walk to the Tesco that she used to visit with Eddie and the staff still love to see her! During the morning walk, I encourage Pudding to walk in a nice straight line and we’ll also do some kerb work: Pudding is learning to stop at the kerb and wait for a cue to proceed.
Pudding and I will then do a short training session working on specific skills such as platform training. This involves asking Pudding to walk towards a low platform and stop with all four paws on it. Platform training is a great tool to teach the dogs to walk in a straight line and provide tension in the lead by giving them a target to aim for.
Around midday, the dogs have some downtime. The lights go out and we play some classical music to encourage them to have a snooze – Pudding doesn’t need much encouragement! After a rest, we’ll do another short training session to practise skills such as ‘chin rest’. I’ll ask Pudding to rest her chin on my lap. This is a great skill as it enables us to perform welfare tasks such as checking ears, eyes and teeth.
At the end of the day, all the dogs enjoy a free run before heading home with their fosterers for a chilled-out evening.
Over the next few months, I will be focusing on helping Pudding overcome some challenges including distraction around other dogs and wariness around strange sights or sounds. I will also be introducing her to all of the essential skills that she will need for her future role.
Pudding is a pleasure to work with and I am excited to update you on her progress in your next Pupdate in February.
You can find out more about guide dogs and how to a sponsor a puppy at www.guidedogs.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donating/sponsor-a-puppy