[nagdu] Any tips for us?

Julie J. julielj at neb.rr.com
Wed Aug 26 13:30:51 UTC 2015

I think there are two goals that puppies need to achieve in order to be 
successful guides:
1. self control
2. the ability to cope with boredom

If a dog understands that good things come to those who wait, then I can 
teach or reinforce most any behavior.   If the dog understands that some 
things are off limits, always, and accepts that, then it won't become a 
power struggle.  If a dog can pass up tempting opportunities, then we will 
both be happier.  If a dog doesn't have to be entertained every moment of 
every day, then I can more freely live my life, doing the things I need to 
do.   Or if the dog will play with toys or watch the cat or engage in 
whatever amusement he likes, without needing me to facilitate it, then life 
is good.

I think everything else is a product of these two core traits.  It sets the 
foundation for all future success.  I simply don't care about a perfect sit. 
If my dog chooses to lie down instead, fine.  what I want is for him to mind 
his own business and be unobtrusive, however he chooses to achieve that is 
acceptable to me.

Courage to Dare: A Blind Woman's Quest to Train her Own Guide Dog is now 
available! Get the book here:
-----Original Message----- 
From: Raven Tolliver via nagdu
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 7:41 AM
To: nagdu
Cc: Raven Tolliver
Subject: [nagdu] Any tips for us?

I get this question a lot from puppy-raisers, especially those who are
about to raise their first dog, and the ones who haven't had a dog
Obviously, there's a handful of tips in the huge packet of paperwork I
have to go over with the raisers. Remember that your puppy is on the
ground and will go after objects on the floor. Watch your pup outside
to prevent him from picking up rocks and sticks. Patience, practice,
praise. And so on.
And of course, their puppy counselors and raiser groups will be there
for them whenever they need.
But I think the raisers still look for some overarching, comprehensive
advice to keep in mind at all times.

So off the record, this is the advice I give them.
Be strict. More specifically, have an expectation for your dog at all
times. When young dogs are not sleeping or eating, they're looking for
something to do, so give them something to do or somewhere to be.
Reward the dog for performing that behavior or being in that place if
it is not self-rewarding.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Avoid problem
behaviors by preventing them. Once a behavior is a problem, it is
harder to eliminate since the dog finds it rewarding, and you now have
to make an alternative behavior more rewarding than the problem
behavior. Problem behaviors include alert barking, pulling on leash,
inappropriate chewing, counter-surfing, scavenging in the garbage,
scavenging in public, etc.

What do you guys think of this advice? Furthermore, what other advice
would be valuable to share?
Founder of 1AM Editing & Research

You are valuable because of your potential, not because of what you
have or what you do.

Naturally-reared guide dogs

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