[nagdu] teaching follow

Tamara Smith-Kinney tamara.8024 at comcast.net
Fri Apr 15 19:23:36 UTC 2011


Cool!  I love the practice of teaching the handler to teach the command.
And then giving her/him information about the pros and cons so that she/he
can decide when and how often to use it.

Your excellent explanation of GDF's way of doing things there was
excellently timed for me.  I started out the morning by answering a survey
about my VR experience and then had to figure out how to recover from my
conviction that anyone who deals with resources for blind people is almost
certainly a problem...  Sigh.

Thanks for so eloquently reminding me that quite of few of the people
assisting "the blind" with resource acquisition are actually working with
individual adults who happen to need to resource to enhance their lives in
the context of blindness...  And thus, give their best to ensure the
individual receives the resource in question and has the opportunity to
learn to use it effectively and well.

This sort of thing, I like!  /grin/

Tami Smith-Kinney

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Jenine Stanley
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2011 5:44 AM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Subject: [nagdu] teaching follow

GDF does not teach the dogs to follow. We do teach you, the handler, to
teach the follow command. Here's how I was taught. Other GDF grads can chime
in as this can vary slightly from instructor to instructor. 

If you want your dog to follow someone, have that person walk ahead and
slightly to your right. Tell him/her to snap fingers, jingle keys or make
some other noise you can focus on. Ask him/her not to talk to the dog but to
tell you when turns are coming up, etc. Carry on a conversation if possible.
Then tell your dog "Follow" using whatever hand signal you've been taught
for things like forward. Some instructors use a forward motion with the
entire hand, some use just the index finger in a sweeping forward motion,
sort of pointing toward the person to follow. Having the audible cue of
snapping or keys works well to make sure you're not forging ahead. 

My dogs have done this command in varying degrees. TJ, my little Golden guy
hated to follow anyone. Molly would follow but she needed a good reason,
unless it was a man in uniform, then she was glued to him. <grin> No

Toby and swap liked to follow but also liked to lead and look back to make
sure the pack was all there and safe. 

My Jerry Lee, Rock & Roll Labrador, rarely slowed to follow anyone but would
unless she found something more interesting. 

When GDF teaches this command, we do tell people about the pitfalls of
having the dog follow too much and that some dogs are just flat out better
at it than others. 

Jenine Stanley
jeninems at wowway.com

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