Friday, July 24, 2009

Phase Three!

Well, Ms. Honeydew has made it to Phase Three (of Ten) in her training. Yahoo!

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.


  1. I hope Honeydew does well in formal training! You sound like you did a very good job with a very difficult pup (I knew Eric as a PIT and his pups are notoriously hard to raise but make Great guides!)

    My name is Ally and I'm a puppy raiser. I started out with GDB and raised MYL "Iverson" with my twin sister Coreena. She and her husband then started MYL "Loden" who is now a K9 Buddy to a little girl. GDB didn't work out for us, long term and we found a small organization in Salem that I raised for for a short time. I had MGR "Eclipse" for 4.5 months and his sister "Eola" for 2. They're both still in training with other raisers (the organization switches dogs to other puppy raisers every 4-6 months. My sister and I are now applying to be raisers for CCI (very similar to GDB in a lot of respects but better for us at this time)and have our phone interviews next week :-D

    Are you going to raise another pup? Good job with, Honeydew!

  2. Hi Michelle,
    I just heard some news about Honeydew's siblings. Just she and Hubert are in the running to be graduates. Heather had filth issues(eating poop), Hilton is off in Korea as a gift to the Samsung Guide Dog School there, Hector was dropped for distractibility in his environment,Heath for threatening behavior towards people, and Hastings for Patellar luxation, what ever that is.

    We are all rooting for Honeydew!

    Alison and the rest of Honeydew's Fan Club