Love, licks and lots of learning from your guide dog puppies in training

Fabulous Fergus is bursting with pride

Fergus is powering forward in his training. After completing his time with his volunteer puppy raisers, he’s begun his in-depth training at our Guide Dog Centre. This is the next big stage of his journey to becoming a guide dog one day . In his last weeks with his puppy raiser he attended school – human school. He was very well behaved as a guide dog puppy should be and excelled at representing guide dog puppies down in Waikato.

His first few weeks of in-depth training  at our centre will see Fergus settling in and becoming used to his new ‘digs’ with his fellow trainee guide dogs. During the first month, his training will concentrate on obedience, like how to ignore distractions like toys, food on the ground and other dogs. He’ll also learn how to walk in a harness, avoid obstacles (even overhead obstacles) and stop at every kerb.

Then like all of us come … exams. He’ll be tested on his obedience and guiding skills. His trainer will be blindfolded so he’ll have to be working at his best!

Best of luck Fergus.


Terrific Tori is learning beautifully

Guide dog puppy Tori is in doggy heaven. She lives with three little kittens and the four of them have become such fast friends they play together constantly and even share Tori’s bed. Tori’s training at this stage is concentrating on walking obediently, not stopping to sniff (tough when you’re a dog), learning to ignore other dogs and even leave tempting morsels without stopping! What willpower. Go Tori.

A recent train and bus ride saw her curl up so quietly under the seats that other passengers got a shock when she and her puppy raiser got off at their stop. They hadn’t even realised there was a dog on the bus. Tori’s also had her first training session back at our Guide Dog Centre with other guide dog puppies.

She’s a very sweet and cuddly little dog who plays well with others. A recent visit from 9 week old guide dog puppy Becky saw Tori gently caring for the little one, even inviting her to share her bed.


Utah has finally learned the joy of car travel

For some reason Utah was scared of jumping into the car. It took him ages. Finally he discovered the joy of the morning school run and now eagerly grabs the front seat for himself. He’s learning to stay at home on his own for short periods without getting distressed which is an important learning process for any dog.

He adores the beach, especially playing in the water and running around with other dogs. Sometimes his listening ears turn off when there is too much excitement going on.

A recent visit to a Rippa Rugby tournament gave him the opportunity to practice his social skills on lots of children. His puppy raisers report that he behaved beautifully, letting the children pat him while remaining nice and calm.

Utah is also getting much better at ignoring other dogs and staying relaxed around them. Utah has grown into a very big boy. He weighs approximately 38kgs and was nicknamed ’Tank’ at the last puppy class.  Everyone comments on his size, especially how big his paws are.


Sloan welcomes a new ‘pup’ to his family

Sloan was boarding with another family for a few weeks while his puppy raiser family welcomed a new baby boy to their family. But it didn’t slow his training or learning – if anything quite the contrary. Sloan had the company of a couple of breeding stock guide dogs, Sam and Winona, to keep him entertained – and in line.

He also had some office time where he learned the gentle art of snoozing under the desk for long periods – tough life!

Sloan has also had a period back at our Guide Dog Centre for some more formal training and plenty of play with other guide dog puppies and is now back at home getting used to the cries of a newborn baby in the house.