It has been a fairly short week for Chance because of the bank holiday weekend and – in addition – I was away for two days with another dog in training. Pam and Phil Passmore, one of our dedicated bed and breakfast puppy socialising families, looked after Chance over the Easter break and gave him the exercise and stimulation he needed.
While he was with Pam and Phil he also hung out with a very small friend of the family! (see below). It is important the dogs are socialised around children (under supervision) as they will certainly come into contact with them in the future at some point. Our volunteers have also been continuing to work on Chance’s recall as he has shown some avoidance coming back to them, but they’ve seen some improvement this week.
Back at The Grange Chance has had his flea treatment. This is important as there are so many other dogs at our training centre and we don’t want fleas passing between them. All the dogs get treated every two months. They get a small squirt of treatment liquid just in between the shoulder blades (so they can’t turn and lick it).
I’ve also been continuing with Chance’s soundwork. This week I’ve been teaching Chance what to do when he hears a danger sound such as the smoke alarm in the home and the fire sirens in public places.
I first train him to alert me with his paw when he hears the sound by holding him away, luring him with a treat and then releasing him when the sound goes off so he is keen to come up to me and alert me with one paw.
Separately – and without any sound initially – I teach him that when I tap my foot he should lie down. I do this by putting some treats under my foot and then I tap my foot, encouraging Chance to lie down.
We practised this for a few days and then I was able to remove the treats from under my foot and just tap my foot. Chance then dropped into a down and I rewarded him with treats from my pocket. Next week I will start putting the two things together so that when he hears the sound he is keen to come and alert me. I will ask ‘what is it?’ and at the same time tap my foot.
The smoke alarm is often the most important sound to our recipients as it can take away an enormous amount of worry and feeling of anxiety in terms of whether they will know about a fire in the night, especially as many deaf people who can hear some things with the help of a hearing aid, have to take them out at night.
Many recipients have said they feel much more secure knowing the dog will alert them to sounds such as the smoke alarm at night time. If you’ve got a spare 3 minutes please watch this film about Angela Perrow and her hearing dog Deena to see just how important it is for us to teach our dogs this sound.
Next week sees Chance take his Foundation Assessment where he will be assessed in four different areas to make sure he has what it takes to become a life-changing hearing dog. I’ll tell you all about this next week.
Catch you later. I’m off to help Chance swat up.
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Sponsor a puppy
If you'd like to sponsor a dog like Chance through their training program to become a life-changing hearing dog puppy we have two gorgeous pups available for you to sponsor right now. You'll receive a welcome pack with pictures of your chosen puppy plus lots of goodies, then you’ll receive regular updates as they progress through training.
This gorgeous little yellow Labrador puppy is Isaac, who is hoping that you will sponsor him as he trains to become a hearing dog.
Isaac is an adorable, chunky puppy who loves cuddles and enjoys playing with his toys. He is a fast learner and already showing signs of great potential for the future.
This adorable yellow Labrador puppy is Indie, who is hoping that you will sponsor him as he trains to become a hearing dog.
Indie loves going out for walks and meeting other dogs, and he is a fast learner, enjoying learning the basic commands.