[nagdu] What trainers don't know

Tracy Carcione carcione at access.net
Tue Apr 19 13:36:44 UTC 2011

Hi Tami.
Good point about all the separate streams that go into one pup's training.
TSE has recently restructured its training staff so that one person
follows puppies from birth all the way through training.  At least, that's
how I understand what I've read.  It sounds like a lot to keep track of,
but perhaps it will pull together all the separate elements and give a
clearer picture when the pup comes to be matched.
Wouldn't that be an interesting job?!
> Tracy,
> Well stated.  The division of duties amongst various staff and volunteers
> over the course of a guide dog's young life is necessary for any program
> producing a quantity of quality dogs while maintaining a functioning
> business structure to support their ongoing activities.  It's an
> inevitable
> result of that necessity that no one individual has a truly comprehensive
> knowledge of every pertininent detail of every single dog, even the
> dauntingly small percentage of pups that successfully complete the
> training
> and go on to successful careers as guides.  When you're contemplating
> training your own dog for the first time, which means you get one shot and
> are hopting therefore for a 100 percent success rate, the statistics from
> the programs are downrighht terrifying.  /smile/  There are enough
> differences between your circumstances and theirs that the correlation is
> in
> no way direct or even statistically relevant.  At that point in the
> owner-trainer process, though, it is impossible not to be painfully aware
> that a key point of difference between them and you is that they know what
> they're doing.  And you don't.  /lol/
> Having done it, I've come to recognize many of the advantages of working
> with a signle dog that is my own dog to train for my own use which
> increased
> my chances of success enough that I did, in fact, end up with a working
> guide despite the apparent odds at the outset.
> Er...Whatever else I was going to add to pull that together and make it
> make
> some sort of sense is now gone due to the report on the news about a kid
> who
> had his wrong eye operated on, so the doctor just finished up that surgery
> and went ahead to operate on the eye she was supposed to...  Her
> explanation
> to the child and his parents when he came out of anesthesia included the
> phrase, "I lost my sense of direction."  Um....  What I didn't get from
> the
> report, which means I now have to listen again in case I missed it somehow
> -- or something like that -- is whether this means he is now blind in both
> eyes instead of just the one or what...  It's not the facto of blindness
> itself that upsets me about this kid I never heard about in my life, it's
> the fact that he's here in Oregon...  Okay, I'll get over it and see if I
> can write someting to somebody that's informative enough to be helpful and
> spare his parents finding out along with him, the hard way, what that
> actually would mean for him.
> I lost my sense of direction.  Honestly!
> Tami Smith-Kinney
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
> Of Tracy Carcione
> Sent: Monday, April 18, 2011 7:24 AM
> To: nagdu at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [nagdu] What trainers don't know
> I suspect trainers don't know much about a dog's house behavior, because
> they don't see the dog in that setting.  During training, the dogs are in
> a kennel setting.  No beds to lie on, no counters to jump on, no socks to
> chew.  The trainers might take a dog into the house for a bit, if the dog
> is having trouble with kennel life, but I don't think that happens too
> often.  So, unless the raiser mentions something, I don't think they
> really know.
> I'm not sure they would know if a dog could start emptying on route,
> either. It's my understanding that, before going out for training, that
> part of the dog string has a chance to run and play and do their business.
>  If I had ten dogs for Ben to run and play with for a while before going
> for a walk, he might get enough stimulation to go before we go.
> Not to make excuses for a trainer not mentioning stuff, but I think there
> are things they just don't know.
> Tracy
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