Friday, April 26, 2013

Bike Trail Socialization Meeting

Last Friday our meeting was located at one of the bike trails near us! 
It was a beautiful day and perfect for a walk!

We also got a chance to meet our club's newest member: Omar.

I'll admit I stole him for a bit...

So cute! I think I'm getting Puppy Fever! I'm already excited for puppy #6!

For the first half of the walk, I gave Partner to a new member to handle. 
He seemed to really do great with her. He was on a head collar so she really didn't have to worry about him pulling or being distracted by dogs at all.

It was pretty impressive seeing him working so well with someone else- especially someone with less experience. He is just now starting to get to a point in his training where I feel comfortable letting other people handle him.

The second half of the walk, I took him back, removed his head collar and just enjoyed the nice walk with him. We didn't see many other dogs that weren't from our group on this half so I didn't  have much of an opportunity to work on his dog distractions.
Even though I didn't get a chance to work with him around other dogs, it was still really great to go on such a nice, relaxing walk with the group.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back to Blogging?

I have been debating whether or not I want to get back to blogging for the last several weeks. 

I started this blog in the hopes that I would take more pictures and keep better track of all of the wonderful times I have had raising these puppies but somewhere down the line I got lazy and stopped posting!
Now, of course, I am mad at myself because I have so few pictures and written memories to look back on from Partner's early life with me.

So now I have decided that I want to try get back to posting for my own personal reference.

So for starters....

Carrie graduated way back in November and moved to Colorado with her amazing handler :)

Unfortunately, shortly after arriving in CO it was discovered that she had a torn ACL. They think it happened during her training- somewhere in between her original health evaluation in the beginning of her training and being placed with her new handler.
So just after becoming an official Guide Dog, Carrie had to undergo surgery for her torn ACL and a few months of bed rest.
Luckily she is now fully recovered and back to guiding!

Partner just celebrated his first birthday a little over a month ago!

He is a wonderful dog! He's about 65lbs right now. 
He comes to college with me still and is coming to work with me.  
He still hasn't shown any fears at anything I have thrown his way so far which really surprised me. From everything everyone told me about raising the Goldens for GDB and getting a chance to work with a few of them myself before getting Partner, I was definitely expecting a dog whose confidence needed to be built up gradually.  Instead I got a sturdy puppy whose over-confidence is actually what we are working on.

Partner has so many amazing qualities! I trust him home alone more than I did with any of my other puppies. There have been a few days where it hasn't been possible for me to take him and he is stuck at home for up to 8 hours alone.  I have never come home to any messes and he has always just been laying near the door waiting for us to get home.
He walks well on a leash, is relaxed and easy-going in public, can sit still for long periods of time and still has the get-up-and-go to be happy when it is time to start moving again. He is a little bit dog distracted but is correctable and can be redirected.
He really is an incredible dog and I am so happy that I have been able to work with him! 

As his recall date nears, I realize that I really only have one major issue to work on with him: Barking. Partner's only real issue that I see (Occasionally dogs get Career Changed for reasons that their raisers didn't even realize was an issue) is that he has some separation anxiety. The strange thing about it is that it is inconsistent; sometimes he barks immediately after you leave him locked in a room or kennel and sometimes he is completely fine.
I have started bringing him to work and instead of letting him play with my coworker's dog in a separate large outdoor run, I have begun locking him in a kennel. Sometimes he barks and sometimes he doesn't... I'm hopeful that a few weeks of being in a dog kennel while I'm working will prepare him for when he does go back to GDB for his formal training.

Within the next 1-3 months we will get a recall letter letting us know when to bring him down to Guide Dogs.  He is still on breeder watch so he will more than likely go through breeder evaluations upon his arrival. 
For now, I am just trying to spend as much time with his as possible! I can't believe he is already almost 14 months old!