Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NEADS training

The next morning ( after a grand breakfast) we traveled over to the NEADS campus. This is quite a place and they have almost everything now in one location... training building, house for the students when they come and match with their dogs... a puppy house and kennel... and there are plans for future improvements. We met with Dave.. the head trainer and got to have some time to work with him privately. I was happy to do this, because I want to be sure that I am on the right track with Chester.

We loaded into the van, and headed over to a small mall where the puppies go to do training. It had all kinds of "good things" to work with. One being this glass elevator. Here Kathleen and Kelly take a little ride with Dave. Both Chester and Kelly did just fine with the elevator - in fact, Chester probably did much better than I did (I am NOT a fan of elevators or "tight" places!!!)

Now,what's the big deal about stairs??Chester and I fly up and down them all the time... well, there's the "problem" --we "fly" up and down them.. I never thought that perhaps one day, Chester's owner might not be able to do stairs so quickly... so... lesson... can you do just one step at a time? Guess what, we need work on that one!!! I now look at stairs in a different light and we will be practicing this lesson for sure.

And how about this lesson...do we look a bit "uncomfortable" to you. We are!!! In the world of dog training, dogs work on your left side. Which I have done for years and years... well, what if Chester's future owner needs a dog that will work to the right side!!! (never thought of that one).. so.. next "lesson" more working on the right... he has to be comfortable on "both sides of the human"

Ah.. back on familiar ground in this photo.. "stays with distractions". We're good at this, so that old broom that was being pushed all about didn't really bother anyone.

After the mall work, we were able to return to the campus and have a little tour. As I said, it's a nice facility and from what I understand, they haven't been here too long - just a few years. One thing that I really enjoyed seeing was this wall... it has all the pictures of the "combat dogs" that have graduated over the past few years. The veterans are given their dogs and it was just so heart warming to see so many pictures of them... actually this is only a small part of the wall and now the pictures are beginning to cover the wall around the corner. Many more combat dogs will be added I am sure.

This is the training room, lots of space for everyone. It even has a kitchen in one end where dogs can learn to open cupboards, the frig and fetch all sorts of things.

And then we got to tour the puppy house (Chester was here) NEADS uses all "kinds" of dog for their training, on this day there were three labs, two smooth coated collies, a standard poodle and a couple of labradoodles... they will soon be heading out into the world with their puppy raisers...

A nice shot of "the group"

And then it was time to head for home. We plan on going back in a month or so to work with Dave again, I am excited. This is a whole new way of looking at dog training for me and I can't wait to learn more.

"service dogs heading into the future"