What an exciting first day of training at Canine Companions for Independence.
We learned a great deal about the program and how dogs behave.
The day began with breakfast and a chance to get acquainted with the staff and other students with whom we’ll be spending the next two weeks.
We listened to several lectures about the facility and plans for the next two weeks, but the most interesting was about canine behavior.
Dogs are very “in the moment,” so when it comes to correcting a canine, if it’s not done within about three seconds of the bad behavior, it won’t be effective — and may even be detrimental to the relationship between it and the facilitator.
In other words, if you come home to trash strewn all over the house, it’s too late to go punishing the dog. Interesting, huh?
We had a nice lunch with a previous graduate of the program and got to meet her dog. She told us how much her dog has meant to her and helped her in her daily life.
During the afternoon, we got our first look at the dogs we’ll be spending the next two weeks with and learned the commands for sit, down, let’s go and release. While the first three are pretty self-explanatory, the last means the dog is done working and doesn’t need to await further commands from the facilitator.
We also learned what to do when the dog doesn’t follow orders and how to remain objective and not get emotional when issuing what is called a correction.
Of course, the day didn’t come without a surprise. When you have a special needs child, you never know when you’ll be heading to the hospital.
J.P. wasn’t digesting his feeds properly, and we figured it would be best to have him checked out before it turned into an issue that could take him out of training. His feeding tube had slipped out of its proper placement, so we spent the evening in radiology and had it fixed.
Our Cinco de Mayo dinner ended up at the hospital cafeteria.
All is better now.
There’s only one lecture on the agenda for Tuesday on canine motivators and much more time with the dogs. There are several that seem really good for J.P. Exciting times ahead.
Time for more studying.
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Good stuff. Really excited for J.P. and your whole family! Good things ahead for sure
So glad everything is ok with JP now. Love the picture of Paige and him with the dog!