Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Learning to Work as Teams

Today is the third day of Team Training, and our new service dog teams have been doing great! Although each person has a lot to learn in two and a half weeks, we've been having fun doing it!

Our new partners have been learning clicker training, shaping, how to care for their dog and lots of new cues.

Even though it was cold outside, the dogs still need to go outside for a little bit, and we all went out for a short walk around the parking lot. Learning how to work with their dog outside is an important part of training, especially since there are so many interesting smells and other distractions. Watch SSD York and his new partner take a brisk lap around parking lot, and look at York's attention on his partner when they stop!

Yesterday we worked on retrieves. SSD Misty has learned how to pick up all sorts of objects for her partner, and she can also take a piece of paper from the printer and hand it to her partner. Watch her do it:

After she successfully retrieved the paper, we moved the printer from the chair to the table. Her partner's printer at home sits on a desk that at is about the height of the table, so we had her and her partner practice the cue at this new height. Changing something as seemingly simple as the height of an object can make a behavior very challenging for a dog, and Misty had never retrieved printer paper from this height before. But she quickly figured it out, and successfully handed her partner the paper.

We're looking forward to seeing many more successes from all of our new teams!


  1. Great to see the videos and remember what Team Training was like. It's an exciting time of learning to work with your new partner and the foundation for a life changing partnership. Good luck to the new SSD teams!

  2. SO heart warming to see the new teams learn each other!! Makes being a puppy raiser worth it!!

  3. So fascinating and heartwarming! :-)

  4. What a tremendous amount of work team training is. How wonderful that you let us see a small part of the beginning of wonderful new partnerships. Thank you.