Day 5 and 6 – Training with Ike my new guide dog

We’re not there yet but we’re getting there.

A close up of Ike.  He has his ragger in his mouth.  His face is a little distorted because he's pulling.
So. Day Five and six have been quite similar actually. Sorry for not writing yesterday. There was very little to say.
On Saturday the day started well. I had the negativity of the previous day on my mind and the possible outcomes that could result in however it was in my mind to simply put things into perspective and to keep me focused on solving the problems that I had and still have in front of me. We did a walk within the grounds of the centre that simulated obstacles on both the left and right. This walk was great for building up the dog’s confidence and actually gave me quite a good idea of his capabilities as well. It was very short though so a second walk was scheduled.

The second walk eventually happened around 11AM. It was around a shopping centre. Unfortunately, before we even got into it, it became very obvious that the dog needed to spend. We rushed back to the training centre but the dog wouldn’t spend in the run. It was 9PM last night before he eventually did it for me. This is a common issue with this breed of dog with a change in handler and even environment so it’s nothing particularly serious but it’s still frustrating. Because the dog needed to spend but didn’t do it until yesterday evening, the walks were cancelled and so was the free run. It’s a real pity that this had to happen because I think the more activity this dog gets the easier he is to get on with. So, my day yesterday involved sitting around from around 12PM until Emma got here just before 6PM yesterday.

Let me stop to take a minute to thank Emma. This training thing is really much more difficult than I anticipated. It is not helped by the breed of dog I have been matched with this time and it is certainly not helped by the fact that I keep losing my voice with this persistent cold. Emma’s fresh perspective on things and her stress free attitude was exactly what I needed. It gave me a new outlook on the issues that I had and am still having and it also reminded me that I need to chill out a lot more. Ike’s reactions to me have also improved. He is a lot more responsive. This is of course due to the fact that he has now not seen his trainer and the figure he currently sees as the Alfa in the pack in over twenty four hours therefore he has diverted to me to fulfil that role. Anyway, to Emma, I have to say huge thanks. I needed her visit.

Today has been very quiet. Sunday is a day where no training is scheduled. For me it was a day where I got to leave the centre for three hours. Emma and I just walked for a long time. I showed her a few of the routes that we had done and I explained some of the things that the dogs are thought during their training and we also looked at routes that I am likely to do in the next week or two so that I know everything that’s going on. Once I know what’s happening in the environment that I’m walking around, I will be much more confidents when giving commands to the dog. The dog will in turn pick up on this and he will hopefully be more confidents too.

Seriously, that’s about all I’ve done. Since I got back I’ve been playing and listening to music and I’ve been talking to the dog.

I’m trying to keep the dog relaxed and happy to be around me. It is important that he doesn’t just see me as a horrible person who keeps making him work. He needs to see me as a friend. In fairness, I have to see him as a friend too. But I’m working on it.

Sorry that this is a short post. The weekends are very quiet here but this one has done me the world of good. I’m ready to take on tomorrow with a new ferocity.

Thanks to Emma, we also have a few pictures.

One Response to Day 5 and 6 – Training with Ike my new guide dog

  1. I’m so glad that you got a chance to recharge the old batteries. I’m sure it has done wonders.

    It’s very frustrating when the dogs don’t spend. Ruins your whole plans. I think that the free run might have done him good though as they tend to evacuate themselves lol. I can understand about the shopping centre (Having been there with Ushi and her holding on until we got into the centre), but not sure why you couldn’t do the free run. Very strange. Maybe try playing, then as soon as you have finished, go straight out to the pen. Might help.

    Xxx, and hope this week is much better! Xxx.