[nagdu] Skipping driveways

Julie J. julielj at neb.rr.com
Fri Aug 21 10:53:32 UTC 2015

You are having home training right?  This is something you could ask the 
trainer to work with you on while he/she is there.  Most dogs pick up on 
places you go to frequently and will suggest the turn, or in the case of 
home, just turn in.

Other methods include: using other landmark information, like the feel of 
the slope of the driveways, traffic sounds, windchimes, sounds of shopping 
carts, smells of particular shops like coffee or cleaners and having a sense 
of how far to go.   Once you are close you can ask the dog to do a moving 
turn, meaning you suggest to the dog that you'd like to take the next 
available left turn.  You can pattern a dog to something you need to find 
frequently like a specific turn, a mailbox or a trash bin.  Patterning just 
means you show the dog what you want and offer lots of praise and/or treats. 
You will probably need to use a cane when initially patterning.

For me, I've noticed that I tend to rely most heavily on information from 
the environment.  What is useful to me has changed, somewhat, since using a 
guide dog.  The next most useful thing is paying attention when my dog 
suggests something.  I was up at the middle school a couple of days ago.  It 
was in the evening, so no typical school sounds of kids coming and going or 
playing outdoors.  Typically I listen for the kids outside and parents 
coming and going through the parking lot.  It's a good long walk up there 
and by the time I arrived, I was off daydreaming.  Jetta remembered the turn 
and started to go that way.  When she made the right turn, it pulled me out 
of my daydreams and I realized she had remembered where to go.  I indicated 
to her that she should continue and praised her for her effort.

I don't correct for my dogs suggesting a turn.  I either confirm their 
choice or redirect the way I want to go, but I strongly encourage this kind 
of initiative.  Some people don't want the dog to suggest though.  It's up 
to you.

Courage to Dare: A Blind Woman's Quest to Train her Own Guide Dog is now 
available! Get the book here:
-----Original Message----- 
From: Jennifer Woods via nagdu
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2015 9:47 PM
To: National Association Of Guide Dog Users
Cc: Jennifer Woods
Subject: [nagdu] Skipping driveways

Hi All,

This may be an odd question but I hope not.
With a Guide Dog how do you know where exactly you are? For example right 
now I know that there are 2 driveways then a stretch of sidewalk until I 
turn to go up the hill to get to my apartment, however since dogs don't stop 
at every driveway or alley how do you stay oriented to where you are when 
using. Dog if you originally learned a route by using landmarks so to speak 
such as driveways or alleys?

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