Thirty Six Weeks With Riggs #GDApupRiggs
Goodness! Its been weeks since I last updated Riggs’s progress here!
Riggs is 43 weeks old, he weighs a whopping 36.7kg, and he’s tall – a big boy even for a Lab!
We continue to work on the lessons from our weekly clicker class, and these are so much fun!
Riggs has mastered these cues:
SIT STAY DOWN
UP SIT STAND WATCH
TOUCH (Riggs loves this one) STOP
THROUGH STEADY (slow down)
LEAVE IT HUP HUP (go faster)
And his recall and loose-leash-walking is very good.
The following cues are not part of a Guide Dog’s training per se, but it builds confidence in the pups:
ROLL OVER CRAWL
SIT PRETTY (sitting up with his front feet raised)
UP (stepping up onto a box with his front feet)
MY LAP (putting his front legs and chest across my thighs when I am seated)
Last week there was an “Open Day” at GDA, the Puppy Raising Supervisors set up stations at the JHB training centre where the pups and puppy raisers are faced with different challenges and obstacles, and the Puppy Raising Supervisors and Trainers observe the pups in each situation, and provide assistance for how to move forward in a pup’s learning. Last week was also the first time the brand new GDA Obstacle Course was used! There were LOADS of puppies, big and small, and we had several new Puppy Raisers join us to see what its about which makes it fun for the Puppy Raisers to chat! Riggs’s sister Raffi was there too – they are so similar! After starting with walking in two big circles and some obedience work, there were 6 stations for the pups to go through:
● The Obstacle Course – the pups had to go over-through-onto all kinds of different items, and Riggs LOVED it! I wish I could get a video!
● The Different Dogs Station – the pups got to see and meet a Great Dane and a couple of Yorkies.
● The Obedience Station – we each had to pick three challenges out of a bucket to complete with our pup.
● The Little Kids on a Blanket Station – the pups had to ignore the children, the toys, and the food.
● The Big Umbrella Station – a beach umbrella was opened and closed, and the trainer walked around the pup with the umbrella open.
● And a “Grooming Station”, where the pups are brushed a bit, their ears get looked at, they get handled a bit, and their nails are checked and clipped a little to see how they react. Riggs thought the grooming station was set up just for him and he lay there like he was in a spa!
We have had many outings with Riggs of course, and Riggs is quite the professional at being out in public. Restaurants, schools, retirement villages, shopping malls
I like using staircases to practise SIT-STAY with Riggs.
And just ‘coz he’s cute, here are some more pictures of our Riggs – he loves to play with his chew toys while lying on his back!
Riggs twists himself into a pretzel when he sleeps, ❤ and he loves to bring toys and try to tempt us to take them from him!