Friday, April 16, 2010

Alf in Action

I thought it'd be fun to share a bit of what Alfie's working on these days. This walk happened to be in a nearby neighborhood.

front view of Alfie ready to work, just unloaded from the car; he's looking up at me and his tail is up
I'm ready...let's get goin'!

The first obstacle to get around was these cars, parked so that they blocked the path of the sidewalk. Alfie pauses and works around them...nice...although eventually he should do this without sniffing the ground!

He also works on keeping in guide position, as I change my walking speed from fast, to slow, to fast again. Alfie thinks this is fun. We both prefer a faster walking pace, but he needs to be able to adapt.

Of course we get lots of practice crossing the street. Alfie must sit at the "down" curb (here, it's really a textured pavement ramp), and then also wait for me to get my footing on the "up" curb before we continue.

It's important for him to work calmly despite this mean-sounding dog. I was proud of Alfie for this!!

Here's an interesting obstacle. The bushes have overgrown the sidewalk on the right, but you can't get by on the left either because there's a big pole right there. You have to step down on the street to walk past. On Alfie's first walk here, I showed him how to work it by going to the curb, sitting, going down, then walking past the obstacle on street level before getting back up on the sidewalk to continue. The second time we approached it (a couple weeks later) he improvised an easier solution...anticipating the obstacle ahead, he uses the sloping driveway to walk down to street level. That way he doesn't have the extra step of sitting at the down curb.

...So, that's just a little taste of what we've been up to on our walks. Right now, though, Alfie's off to a new adventure. I have a trip planned this coming week and so Alf is going to join Officer Mullins and the crew at Travis County Jail's Pawsitive Approach Program. We'll miss him but I'm pretty sure he'll have a terrific time making new friends and working in new places! Stay tuned because I'll have a couple posts coming out while I'm gone...just in case you need a "chocolate" fix over the next week!

closeup, side view, of Alfie's head in our van as we get ready to go

I like adventures!


Lauren and Don said...

He's so smart! I love watching the training techniques of other guide dog schools. At GDB, the puppy raisers don't teach any guidework commands (like working around objects) so it is always fun to see other puppy raisers from other organizations teaching their dogs this.

I'm sure Alfie will do great training in a new environment- can't wait to hear more about his adventure with the Pawsitive Approach Program. It sounds like an amazing program, for both the dogs and prisoners.

Keep up the good work, Alfie! You're looking really good!

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta said...

Alfie is so intelligent! How fun to get to see him doing so many things. We are working on Hosta to not sniff so much too!! It's a challenge.

1000 Goldens said...

What a sweetheart, he is doing so good!

Toby- The dog with a blog said...

He did such a great job!
Good boy Alfie!
Have fun on your trip,

Toby's Raiser

Ruby's Raiser said...

Great job to both Alfie and his raiser!!! Other dogs and ground sniffing are two of our biggest challenges, but I've been seeing some definite improvement in the past two weeks. Perhaps we're turning a corner as Ruby nears her 1st b'day? :)

Raising Addie said...

Hi Alfie!!

You sure are beautiful!

We hope you have fun on your adventure this week!

Chasing my tale...
Addie, Lucie and Hailey

Clive said...

Well done to you Alfie!

You are doing so well - we loved reading about your training!

take care
Clive and the NSLM