[nagdu] Issuing dogs at 18 months - is it too young?

Tamara Smith-Kinney tamara.8024 at comcast.net
Wed Apr 6 01:07:20 UTC 2011


Way to go Laveau!

So Mitzi poodle was trained in terms of having the skills down by 18
monmths, but I chose to let her go to 24 months before I considered her
graduated.  She did do some full working trips and handled it very well, but
I didn't want to put a full-time guide dog burden on her because I was
concerned about her maturity and how much it might strees her and how that
might affect her future work...

Then again, I was 8very* aware that my poodle pup was burdened with a total
newbie self-taught -- and still working on it -- handler, so asking her to
take full respsonsibility under those conditions seemed a bit much!

Reviewing that period of our lives together now, I'm thinking that I could
have let her work progress with her knowledge much more rapidly, assuming I
knew what I know now.  And what I hope to know by the time I do it all over
again in a few years.  /smile/

She was still really, really puppy at 18 months, though, and it was tough
for her to work for long periods without showing signs of having had too
much...  One reason I keep thinking dobie is that they do seem to "grow up"
more quickly than poodles, while having some of those same character traits
I really adore in Mitzi.  Even mellow poodles like Mitzi are wound pretty
tight, much like their curls.  /lol/

Of course, Mitzi has DD hooked on poodles, so I may find myself doing the
whole poodle thing all over again, just 10 years older.  I'd better start
catching up on my rest!  /grin/

Tami Smith-Kinney

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of The Pawpower Pack
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 4:43 PM
To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Issuing dogs at 18 months - is it too young?


I totally agree with you here.  Bristol was a program trained dog  
issued at 18 months.  She was very matured and retired due to medical  
reasons.  The dog I had gotten before that was issued at 24 months and  
was very immature.

I start formal harness training around 12-14 months and usually my  
dogs are finished between 18-20 months.  My border collie, Gracy  
didn't really grow up until she was 4, and she retired when she was  
7.  Laveau was born mature, I think and she guided me around Boston  
(which was a totally new city for her) when she was 15 months old and  
her work was flawless.
It really just depends on the dog, I think.

Rox and the Botanical Barkers:
Bristol (retired), Mill'E SD. and Laveau Guide Dog, CGC.
"The only problem with troubleshooting is, sometimes, trouble shoots  
pawpower4me at gmail.com
AIM: Brissysgirl

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