[bct] Response to Owner Training Questions

  • From: "Lisa Salinger" <lisasali@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 22:19:52 -0500

Hi Debee and all,
    I'm not sure that I have enough material to do a second podcast, so will 
try and answer some questions here.  I'll put Debee's question and then my 

For example, how do you teach the dog to pause at stairs without falling
down them yourself?
    I use my cane.  I tap the step, praise, and click and treat for a stop or a 
pause.  I work on going up stairs before going down them as a trip is better 
than an all-out fall in my opinion.  As I said though, I have the harness in my 
left hand and the cane in my right.  Before we even started harness work 
though, I would take Joie to stairs which were familiar to me and would praise 
her for stopping at them.
How did you teach a reliable retrieve?
    I guess the best answer to this was that I made it as fun as possible for 
her.  Even if she picked up something I didn't want her to have, I encouraged 
her to bring it to me and I'd either give her a treat or trade it for a toy.  
I've also taught her Leave it, so that if I drop a pill or something which 
would be dangerous for her to pick up, she will leave it alone.
How do you teach
the dog the difference between a hard left and a moving left.
    I train the hard left and the moving left like two different commands.  I 
taught the word left for a hard left, said in a very matter-of-fact tone.  I 
use left-left (which they did at Guiding Eyes), said in an upbeat voice for a 
moving left turn.
Also how do
you teach the dog to avoid obstacles without getting yourself all banged up?
    Again, I use my cane, and I start in familiar areas and work up gradually.  
Last summer, at the ACB convention in Vegas, I had a few times where Joie 
walked me off the side of the sidewalk.  There aren't many sidewalks where I 
live, so this was understandable.  I found in this case that wheeling my 
smallish backpack on wheels on my right gave me enough feedback that we were 
reaching the edge that I could have her move over without breaking stride, or 
at least, not much.
    Hope this helps.

Lisa Salinger
Renee, Retired Guide and
Joie, Guide/SD
Skype: Joies_Mom

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