This month in training: June 2020

Posted by Matt Sadler

Our pups are still staying home, and still having lots of fun.

Cocker spaniel River in the garden

With our adorable, clever puppies still being trained exclusively in the homes and gardens of our amazing volunteers during the Coronavirus lockdown, they have been busy doing lots of fun and interesting things to help them learn all the skills they’ll need to become life-changing hearing dogs.

Our volunteers are doing the most amazing job of looking after and training our pups. Since the Coronavirus lockdown began things have, of course, been more challenging than normal, but with around 550 eager puppies currently being trained, we cannot simply stop. Our pups need to stay mentally and physically stimulated, and their training kept on track, so that they can remain happy, well-adjusted, and eager to learn.

We adapted quickly and calmly when lockdown was announced, and our volunteers have made things so much easier. You would be hard pressed to find a group of kinder, more committed, adaptable, innovative, and positive people than our volunteers! We can’t thank them enough.

From virtual puppy training classes and our fun and informative ‘Dog Club Live’ training sessions, to our online information hub – the Pawtal, and lots of one-to-one video calls, texts and phone calls, the training of our puppies is going full steam ahead – just in a different way than before.

So here are just some of the fun things our pups and volunteers have been up to while training from home.

1. Cocker spaniel puppy Austin practises putting on his harness

The adorable Austin has been practising putting on a harness, so he feels nice and comfy when he’s older and wears one to accompany his deaf partner to lots of different places.

2. Biscuit resists the temptation to eat his treats

Biscuit has been doing some ‘impulse training’. This is very important as it helps our pups learn self-control and to make the right decisions, knowing that if they do, they will get lots of tasty treats or other rewards! What a great job you’re doing Biscuit!

Yellow Labrador Biscuit has passed the first stage of hearing dog training

The very clever Biscuit has been doing so well that he has already raced through the first stage of his hearing dog training and has been awarded his Puppy One Star award. Well done Biscuit!

Yellow Labrador Biscuit watches himself on TV

And the Oscar for Best Puppy in a Starring Role goes to… Biscuit.

Only joking - Biscuit hasn’t really found a new career as a Hollywood actor. Our volunteer puppy trainers are being encouraged to film some of their training from home, so that our training team can provide useful feedback. This is just one way our fantastic volunteers are being supported in their puppy training during the Coronavirus lockdown.

3. A helpful Buddy gets involved in the housework

Biscuit’s adorable brother Buddy has been gently introduced to the vacuum cleaner as part of his training.

Hearing dogs need to feel comfortable around lots of different objects, sights, and sounds, so by learning that the vacuum cleaner is harmless our pups will be able to feel completely comfortable around them.

4. Mocha plays a fun game of noughts and crosses

The handsome Mocha has been having lots of fun at home and has been playing a very special game of ‘noughts and crosses’ with his volunteer puppy trainer. This is not only incredibly entertaining for Mocha, but it keeps him mentally stimulated.


5. The delightful Decker has started his hearing dog training

Cocker spaniel Decker has started hearing dog training

The adorable Decker has just started his training to become a life-changing hearing dog and is already being such a good boy. It is really important that our pups’ training is all done in synch with their natural development, so we allow them lots of time to have fun exploring different things – including plant pots!

Cocker spaniel Decker's first walk

Decker also went on his very first walk recently and was exceptionally well-behaved. Good boy Decker!

6. There's no pressing snooze when River's around!

We told you last month that the gorgeous River recently passed his assessment to become a child’s hearing dog. Until it’s possible for River to meet his new best friend, he has been eagerly practising waking someone up when the alarm clock goes off. 

What a good boy River!

Meet the pups in our Puppy Training Scheme

These cute puppies are training to become life-changers. Sponsor them from £3 a month and follow their journey as they learn how to help a deaf person.

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About the author

blog hearing dogs

Hi everyone, I'm Matt and I look after the Charity's social media, blog and e-newsletter.

I spend a lot of my day talking about our hearing dog superstars - it's a hard life!

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