[nagdu] Sad news regarding Sophie

Raven Tolliver ravend729 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 23 00:17:10 UTC 2014

First, I'm sorry that Sophie had to go back to LDB. I hope that you
will soon find another dog that suits you better.
Why did you decide to go to Leader Dog?
That's a rhetorical question. But you should ask yourself and list the
reasons why you picked that school.
If it was just for geographical location, then ask yourself what you want
in a guide dog program.
home-training, length of formal guide dog training, training methods,
length of class time, breed preference, average age of dogs issued,
financial assistance with veterinary costs, ownership, graduation
ceremony, relationship with puppy-raisers
There are more factors, those are just some of the most commonly discussed.
Personally, I picked GEB for several reasons. I wanted an adult golden
retriever, financial assistance with veterinary costs, a graduation
ceremony, to meet my puppy's raisers, ,and a dog that received its
training on the busy and bustling streets of New York because I live
an an urban area. As far as I know, no other program meets those
Of course, I didn't set out with my criteria in mind. I combed through
schools websites and wrote down things that I liked. I researched
working dog breeds and the best age to formally work a guide dog. I
researched aspects of guide dog programs in other countries to find
out what I liked about those, then tried to find schools in the US
with similar aspects.
Training methods did not matter to me at the time because I knew
nothing about dog training. But if I were applying for another dog
today, I would definitely rule out a school for using punishment-based
training or less positive training methods. I just so happened to
attend a school that does not allow puppy-raisers to use correction
collars outside of their facility, and that incorporates treat
training and clicker training.
Find out what's most important to you. Then ask, what program has
these qualities? If you don't know, look around and note the things
you do like.
It's much easier to ask about individual schools than it is to ask
everyone what they recommend. Everyone will recommend something
different, and you need a way to sort through those recommendations.
Make a checklist. Maybe after attending Leader Dog, you have some
knowledge of what you don't want in a school, so write those things
down, too.

On 1/22/14, Star Gazer <pickrellrebecca at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm sorry to hear this.
> You need to let the higher ups at Leader Dog know what happened. Sophie
> sounds like she never should have been issued. You're doing the right
> thing.
> You shouldlet any other schools you apply to know what happened.
> Again, I'm sorry.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Alyssa
> Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 11:43 AM
> To: nagdu at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [nagdu] Sad news regarding Sophie
> Hello list. I have unfortunate news regarding Sophie girl. Within 2 days,
> she caused injuries to me. One involved food at the bottom of some stairs
> while in harness. The other involved her getting excited about seeing
> another dog during her park time. The force she used caused me to break a
> bone in my hand. Today Sophie is going back to Leader Dog and I most likely
> have to get a different dog. I'm trying to decide whether to stick with the
> same school since some of their training methods don't seem to work well.
> In
> the event I must select a different school, does anyone have suggestions?
> I'll give you some info on my travel needs so you have them to go by. I'm
> an
> 18 year old college student who walks a decent amount every day for
> classes.
> I prefer a smaller dog as it can fit more easily under desks and will not
> have as strong of a pull. Any feedback is appreciated.
> Thanks
> Alyssa
> Sent  from my iPhone
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