The Adventures of Bill ( guide dog in training for the blind)
Sunday we got our fourth guide dog in training for the blind. I have written about this before but for those who don’t know. My husband and I train puppies for the foundation of the blind in Long Island New York. Each year I say I am going to keep a blog about our adventures, I get busy and never do. So here goes the first attempt.
Bill came to us on Sunday June 9th. He is a special puppy because his dad is Abner. Another dog we raised a few years back. His face is on my blog page. So technically he is our grand pup . He looks just like his daddy. A beautiful black lab, full of love and spirit.
Training tips for a 7-8 week old puppy
When you first bring home your puppy there are two things you want to focus on the first two weeks:
1. House breaking you want to begin house breaking on day one, hour one and minute one.
- We use the command “busy, busy”. You can choose to say whatever command you want.
- You need to set a routine for your puppy. They are like babies and need to be on a schedule. Because they are so young they have a very small bladder and will need to be taken out every half hour to hour depending on the size of your puppy.
- Always take them to the same spot on leash, give command and when they “go”, then praise, praise, praise. Then they can come inside and have free range of the house to play. If they are going all over your house let them play in their crate and take them out every half hour to “busy”. Puppies learn very quickly when they follow the command then they can go inside and play.
- Always take them outside after eating and sleeping. Puppies take lots of naps throughout the day so each time they wake up take them out.
- Don’t get frustrated with your puppy. House breaking takes time but with consistency you will be successful.
2. Teach them the word “no”! Before your dog learns his name he needs to learn the word “no”.
- Use the word “no” “leave it” to identify the things around the house he is not allowed to play with, chew or touch.
- As soon as he leaves the item alone them him “good boy”.
- Give him an alternative toy. When your puppy is playing with something he shouldn’t, tell me “no” and give him a toy he can play with and when he begins playing with his toy say “good boy”.
- Think long-term. Start limiting the things your puppy can play with or chew on . Sometimes when they are young it is cute that they are carrying around a shoe. It’s not cute when they eat your shoe at three years old.
Begin your first two weeks focusing on the training above.
Bill’s new accomplishments this week:
- Learned how to play tug of war with Coal.
- Got stuck under the coffee table.
- Learned that he could run, jump and bark.
- Went on his first outing to an outdoor restaurant and sat on my lap during lunch.