Week 6 Skills:
*Real Life Impulse Control with Paw Pad *Collar Cues – Sit and Down
*Body Handling –Vet Hold
*READING: Earning the Coat *Homework
WEEK 6 – PAW PAD: Real Life Impulse Control with the Paw Pad
Goal Behavior: Puppy demonstrates impulse control at all times.
Why: This will help pup generalize desired left side position is wanted at all times, despite environment, distractions, etc.
- AC/Puppy Kindergarten Teacher to scope out a location where there are real
- life distractions that will challenge the puppy but ensures success. Start class
- the moment each puppy gets out of the car.
- Paw Pad needed.
- Treat pouch full of rewards.
- Puppy must have completed the first 5 weeks of kindergarten class.
- Puppy demonstrates an understanding of all behaviors taught in class.
- Handler must be confident and understand all protocols.
- Some puppies may not leave the parking lot and that is okay. Raiser should be accepting of puppy’s successes and limitations.
- Raisers should work on approach at all meetings. They might spend the next month working on approaching all the distractions that occur at a meeting. They may not get into the actual meeting. Puppies should be calm and focused at all meetings.
- Puppy must be successful! There is no point in pushing beyond the puppy’s limits. If the handler becomes frustrated, embarrassed or in any way discombobulated, the puppy will feed off of it. Raiser must remain calm!
Steps: Real Life Impulse Control with Paw Pad
- Place Paw Pad close to the car, before removing the puppy.
- Get puppy out of the car and immediately walk the puppy into position on the Paw Pad.
- Mark and reward for standing calmly on the Paw Pad.
- After several marks and rewards for calm behavior, start cueing puppy into other positions such as SIT and DOWN. This will set the tone for what is expected of a calm and focused puppy.
- When puppy is successful at moving into several positions near the car, pick up the Paw Pad and move closer to distractions. Keep in mind that success is key and short distances are crucial.
- Mark and reward puppy for calm behavior several times then start cueing for other positions.
a. If puppy is unable to remain calm and demonstrate various positions, move back to where the last successes were achieved and repeat steps.
b. If puppy is successful continue moving short distances closer to distractions. c. If puppy cannot remain calm and focused, the session should end and puppy should go home to work on impulse control with less distraction.
Week 6 – COLLAR CUES: Downward & Upward Cues for DOWN & SIT
Goal Behavior: Puppy is able to respond to downward and upward collar cues for DOWN and SIT.
- Exercise takes place in a low-distraction area.
- Handler stands with puppy on left side in heel position.
- Do not use verbal SIT or DOWN cues. In this exercise, puppy should be applying the learned skill of responding to collar cues.
- With puppy in HEEL position, apply a collar cue upwards. Puppy should
- respond by lowering his rear end and raising his head to release pressure.
- Mark and reward.
- Apply a collar cue downwards, holding pressure until puppy begins to move
- into a DOWN.
- Apply a collar cue upwards, back into a SIT position.
- Exercise is complete when puppy responds to collar cues for SIT or DOWN
- position from either a SIT, STAND or DOWN position.
Southeastern Guide Dogs Puppy Raiser Manual
Earning the Coat p. 63
The puppy’s readiness for the coat will be determined by the pup’s behavior, obedience, health, and confidence following the successful completion of puppy kindergarten.
The guidelines for the coat are as follows:
- Do have the puppy wear the coat on outings, to events, and in public. Practice obedience both in and out of coat.
- Always take the coat off before allowing the pup to socialize with another dog.
- Always keep the coat clean and in good condition.
- For puppies older than 10 months, do not allow petting in-coat. You may allow petting in-coat for puppies younger than 10 months, but you may discontinue public petting at an earlier age if you feel the puppy is practicing poor greeting behaviors.
- Do not allow the puppy to relieve in coat. Working guide dogs are not allowed to relieve in harness, so we condition the puppies for the same behavior. If the puppy starts to relieve in coat, try to interrupt him and redirect him to an appropriate location. If you cannot interrupt, take the coat off, then clean up. Always bring cleaning supplies with you.
- Do not allow the puppy to drink water while in coat. If you need to give the puppy water, take the coat off first, then put it back on.
- Do not deface the puppy coat with any permanent changes or additions. The coat will be re-used.
- Never allow another dog, outside of our program, to wear the puppy coat.
The coat is designed to fit the puppy through the entire raising period. Ask your AC if you need assistance with sizing.
BODY HANDLING – VET HOLDS
• Vet Holds
- When pup is having a vet exam, there are certain types of holds puppy might not be used to, so it’s best to practice those now with you. With any of these holds, if the dog is uncomfortable, go back a step and do something slightly easier – not applying pressure on dog’s body, just petting/massaging dog while they are in position, etc. Practice 3 types of vet holds –
- Standing: With dog perpendicular to your body, in a standing position, place one hand across dog’s chest and one hand under dog. When dog is still and shows even a moment of being relaxed, mark with “yes,” reward/praise, and let go of dog.
- Sitting: With you either kneeling behind dog or sitting on a chair behind dog, have dog come between your knees and do a “sit.” Place one hand across dog’s chest and use other hand to either cup dog’s chin (as if you’re holding pup for a vet to look at dog’s eyes/ears) or hold out one front leg (as if you’re holding pup for vet to draw blood from front leg). When dog is still and relaxed for just a moment, mark with “yes,” reward/praise, and release hold of dog.
- Laying on Side: Ask dog for a “down.” Ideally, raiser will wait until dog leans onto one hip and looks more relaxed. Run hand down dog’s body, possibly moving a leg. When dog looks relaxed, mark with “yes,” reward/praise, and release dog from hold.
Out and About in Coat
Just because the puppy has his coat does not mean he is ready to go everywhere yet! Start slowly with outings. Think of every outing as a skill-building opportunity. Outings should be about this puppy at this age; do not just take the puppy along with you everywhere. Instead, have scheduled outings that you are able to cut short if you notice that the puppy is overwhelmed.
Practice obedience every time you get to a new environment. It is going to be more difficult for the puppy to perform “in public” as well as he has been performing at home. Review the basic commands and be prepared to re-teach some of them, or give the puppy extra time to process things.
Discontinuing Public Petting in Coat
It is important to not allow the puppy to be petted while in coat by 10 months of age. However, with a very social or sensitive dog, you may find it is beneficial to stop public petting earlier. This begins to define “working behavior” more clearly to the puppy. If someone asks to pet the puppy while he is in coat, you can simply respond with, “Sorry, but he’s working. He needs to learn not to seek attention.” It can be a good educational opportunity. If you would like to allow someone to pet the puppy, take the puppy’s coat off first.
WEEK 6 – HOMEWORK
- Puppy should not be run through all activities in one session, multiple SHORT sessions are most successful.
- If puppy is having a hard time understanding, or not interested in training, STOP, give the puppy a break and try again later.
- Real Life Impulse Control with Paw Pad
- Goal Behavior: Puppy demonstrates impulse control at all times.
- Why: This will help pup generalize desired left side position is wanted at
- all times, despite environment, distractions, etc.
- Practice Paw Pad exercises 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.
- Take your Paw Pad to several locations this week and do short practice sessions, near your car and eventually building up to other locations further from your car.
- Real Life and Everyday Distractions
- Practice Hand Tethering while on several short and successful outings this week.
- In a low distraction area with puppy in a HEEL position, practice upwards and downwards cues. Mark and reward each time pup responds
- Vet Holds: standing, sitting between your knees, on pup’s side.
- Practice body handling 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.