Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Fetching Personality

...that's what Alfie has!

Alfie running toward me across the green grass, a big rubber stick in his mouth, ears flying out to the side

Guide dog puppies must play a more controlled version of fetch than their pet dog counterparts. First, Alfie has to sit nicely. Then I throw the toy and he must wait until it completely stops moving. Finally, I ask him to "watch me" and only then can he, on my command, "fetch"!

Alfie's running toward me with his toy again, but this time his ears are down and his tail out to the side

I know, I know, it sounds like we puppy raisers are a bunch of control freaks! But really, by playing the game in this way, he learns to focus on me while at the same time strengthening his self-control. Not only that, he gets a lot of exercise...not bad for a game of fetch!

Alfie delivers the toy to me -- he's so close I barely snapped the picture before he dropped it on my foot!

I read somewhere once that the innate desire to retrieve was a good indicator of a puppy's future success as a guide dog. While I'm not sure of the accuracy of that statement, I certainly hope that in Alfie's case it holds true! What do you think?

Alfie's face looks up all wide-eyed and panting
I think that after that, I need a drink.


Mimi and CC Cabana said...

I think, Alfie sure looks cute and happy with that big rubber stick!!

GDB doesn't allow any kind of retrieving activity with their pups in training. So Cabana got a late start with the concept. Now that she's career changed, I can get her to retrieve a tennis ball maybe 3-4 times, but after that, she loses interest and makes ME retrieve it!

Sarah and Vance said...

Yes, it sure does doesn't it? lol that's okay I'm sure we'll all get used to it, good job Alfie!! I do the same with my PIT and my other 4

Ruby's Raiser said...

LOL, we must be on the same wavelength today with our posts! If the innate desire to retrieve indicates future success, then Ruby has it in the bag! ;)

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta said...

WOW - what a good little retriever you are!