[nagdu] {Spam?} First week of training

Brandy Pinder bdpinder at gmail.com
Sat Sep 13 14:48:33 UTC 2014

I'm so glad Taylor is so wonderful. My dog too is very energetic, some don't like this I see it as a bright light. You think your day is bad and this bundle of joy that's always happy makes you realize its not all that bad. 
Sorry about your trainer... Its amazing he trained such a happy dog with that attitude. Keep telling yourself the positive things. Keep telling us as well. We will support you! After training you may want to speak to the school about this guy. At some schools in the u s we have exit interviews where we rate the training, boarding, trainer, food, etc. I wonder if you will have anything like that. It would be different of course because it's home training. This also makes it more difficult to deal with a tough trainer because at least if you are in a class you can sympathize with each other. 
Look at it this way at least you got an awesome dog and a nod so awesome trainer instead of the other way around. Or maybe he's being so rough because the person observing you at the end is rough 

brandy pinder
Alumni Council -  second vice Chairman
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc® 
and America's VetDogs®, The Veteran's K-9 Corps Inc® 
Providing "Second uSight"® since 1946

371 E. Jericho Turnpike smith town ny 11766
Cso: 866-282-8047
Email: brandydp at verizon.net
Cell: 304-685-4499

> On Sep 13, 2014, at 10:38 AM, Lisa via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hello everyone!
> Well, the first week of my guide dog training is over and I thought I'd tell you a bit about it. It's a rather long e-mail. But maybe you're interested anyway.
> The beginning was incredibly rough and stressful. My boyfriend and I had spent the whole Monday waiting excitedly for the arrival of the trainer and Taylor. When they came in the evening, the trainer entered the apartment with Taylor on leash and told him to lie down immediately. I was not allowed to say hello to him in any way. At this point I thought well, he must have his reasons so I waited.
> Then, after we talked a little while, he gave me the leash and said we should go for a short walk so Taylor could relieve himself. We went outside and Taylor pulled so hard on the leash, which was not surprising for me because at this time, we still didn't have any contact with each other. I expected the trainer to advise me on how I should react best and stuff but all he did was criticize me for everything I did without giving me any suggestions of alternatives. It was terrible. I was so hurt and stressed out after this. Then the trainer set up the crate and told me I wasn't allowed to take Taylor out of it. He left for the night and I was so disappointed. I really thought I couldn't make it through these three weeks of training with this horrible guy.
> The next day, he took Taylor on leash and kind of chased me through town for three hours. He said he wanted to see how prepared I was for the graduation at the end of the training. I had to go with my cane and he just followed me and criticized me for numerous things.
> At the end of this day, Tuesday that is, I finally started a serious conversation with him. I told him I wouldn't understand why I wasn't allowed to touch my future dog and all the other things. I was so exhausted and disappointed. He made a few attempts on explaining his behaviour but nothing was really new to me. Like "the new environment is stressful for the dog" and "I have to know how prepared you are for the graduation". And I kept thinking: "Well, guy, I thought we would work for three weeks so I'd be prepared for the graduation afterwards." But I didn't give in and told him I'd need more structured announcements from him. Like when we start training in the morning and in the afternoon and what we are going to do -- so far he had just shown up at our place and started whatever he wanted to.
> I was desperate.
> But Wednesday morning, everything changed. Well, not everything. Not his way of talking to me, which I still think is with a lack of respect and courtesy. But he started telling me how long our training session would be each morning and afternoon and what we were going to do. And finally, I was allowed to take Taylor on leash with me through the apartment. So I finally got in touch with the dog and everything looked alot brighter then. Okay, this is a good moment to tell you about Taylor.
> He is so full of joy and lust for living. He behaves like a puppy in the apartment -- stole stuffed animals, knocked over the milk pot and started licking the milk from the table.... But during the short period of time that he is with us, he has learned so many things already. In the living-room he is very relaxed and sleeping most of the time by now. The other rooms? Well, we are working things out. ;-)
> And the day before yesterday, I worked him for the first time. So, I walked with a guide for the very first time in my life. And surprisingly, it worked brilliantly. I was so sure that it would take ages for me to trust the dog and get used to the feeling of walking without a cane in my hand. But it went so well! I keep thinking there has to come a big change next week or so, where I suddenly feel insecure because I just can't believe it.
> And since Taylor and I are working together during the training sessions, the trainer is much better to endure. Even though I'm kind of scared of the next week and the week after that, because we will have to be at the central station and take busses all the time then. And he is just so not the kind of person that encourages and validates you, unfortunately.
> But Taylor is so great. In harness, he works with all that joy I mentioned before. You just notice with any step how  much he likes to work. And I think we bonded very well so far. I say "I think" because the trainer never tells me things that are positive. So I have to think of what's positive myself instead.
> OK, that's my update so far.
> best wishes from Germany
> Lisa 
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