Thu 21 Jan 2016
Following basic training with his socialiser Howser arrived at the Frances Hay Centre on the 11th September 2015 to begin his basic training. He has been assigned to specialist trainer Geraldine Mangan and will follow their disability training programme.
Geraldine says that Howser is a lovely natured dog. He loves a good fuss and play time with his toys, especially the soft and cuddly ones. He has a lovely character, keen to interact and is very socialable. He has some lovely general obedience, courtesy of his puppy socialiser. Howser has bonded quickly with Geraldine and is settled into Kennels and has welladjusted to the daily routine, he loves being able to play with his kennel mates.
The training team assessed Howser throughout his socialising year and he has been chosen to follow the disability programme. Dogs for Good trains assistance dogs for adults and children with a wide range of disabilities and families who have a child with autism. The early training programme for both autism and disability schemes contains many of the same elements and skills. Early training takes approximately 16 weeks. Howser will be assessed at 6, 12 and 16 weeks and has to pass each assessment before moving onto the next level.
Geraldine will, by using play, teach basic task work skills that gradually evolve into constructive assistance work. Retrieval work begins by using a light and plastic dumbbell. This is an item that is easy for Howser to pick up and return to Geraldine. Pull work begins by introducing a rope tugger, accompanied by the words "pull, pull". Howser will also need to learn the command "leave" so that he stops pulling at the given time. Howser enjoys his task training and we have been told that it is coming along nicely.
There is a lot of learning and fun ahead for Howser and we look forward to updating you further when he completes his basic training.
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