What happens in Phase Three?
- Obedience and distraction training. In addition to learning to be spot on with 'sit', 'down' and 'stay'...she is learning to 'heel' and to put herself in a 'heel' position while the handler is moving (this is so that the dog always goes to the right spot and faces the right direction so the dog doesn't disorient the blind handler).
- Getting used to wearing and working in the harness (I bet she looks so cute in the harness!).
- "Pattern Training" - which means using very positive training that gets the dog used to doing guide work mechanics, but without making errors or corrections. All of the training is very upbeat and positive. Through this, she will start learning to stop at streets (regardless of curb type), clearing the handler on all sides (e.g. making sure the handler walks around/past obstacles to the side or overhead), moving forward at a consistent pace, etc.
- Obstacle course practice (eventually, she will have to lead a blindfolded instructor through the course).
- Learning to jump in/out of the transport van crates, riding comfortably in the crates.
- Learning to avoid or refuse food on the ground or offered by others.
- And, of course, lots of playing, socializing and going for walks with the handlers.