Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ghosts of Gettysburg Tour

Some of our service dogs-in-training went on a Ghosts of Gettysburg tour. We don't know if they encountered any ghosts, but they did have lots of opportunities to practice their service dog skills.

While our guide shared stories about the haunted buildings and other ghost encounters, the dogs practiced calm down-stays. This was especially challenging because there were 14 dogs on the ghost tour! Additionally, most of the dogs were in a brand new place, which always makes it more challenging to give behaviors. However, the dogs settled down quickly and relaxed next to their handlers.

The dogs also got to practice loose leash walking in town. It's important for the dogs to learn how to walk on a loose leash in all types of environments. A dog can do great loose leash walking in a rural development, field, or parking lot, but then when they walk in the city, they may forget that they ever knew how to walk on a loose leash. Walking through the streets of Gettysburg was great experience for the dogs. You never know where their future partners are going to live.

Although we don't know about ghosts, the dogs did encounter two horses. While we were listening to our guide, two horse-drawn carriages pulled up. Some of the dogs immediately started barking at the horses. Our puppy raisers handled it very well calming their dogs. Some of them blocked their dog's view of the horses and gave treats when the dog gave their puppy raiser attention. Other puppy raisers took their dogs farther away from the horses until they calmed down.

Overall, this was a great outing! We had a lot of fun. Thank you to the Nesbitts for donating the Ghosts of Gettysburg tour! And thank you to our wonderful guide, Bill!

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