Umberslade has sponsored a Guide Dog and we've named her Jet.
Here's what Jet will be doing in her first 10 months of training..
By 12 weeks, Jet will be settling in with her Puppy Walkers and beginning to learn about her new daily routines. Jet's Puppy Walker will be focusing on her toilet training and sleeping routines, as well as building a bond with the young pup. Toilet training will be ongoing, and a few accidents are expected, but once Jet starts to get the hang of where she needs to go, the ‘busy’ toileting prompt is slowly introduced. Puppies learn very quickly with lots of positive praise and rewards.
Jet will also be introduced to her collar and lead and once she has received her final vaccinations, they will be able to start exploring the big wide world.
By six months, Jet should be relaxed and confident in most situations. Puppy socialisation, with both people and animals, is a key part to all stages of her development. The Puppy Walker will concentrate on exposing Jet to many new environments, such as shops, and lifts, and she'll also learn to travel on different modes of transport, to ensure she is comfortable and confident.
Like young children, puppies will sometimes require reassurance when things are new and different, so the Puppy Walker will give Jet lots of praise and rewards.
At this stage in her journey, Jet will be getting used to wearing her Guide Dogs puppy jacket. This jacket will not only show people that she is a dog in training, but it’s also a way of helping her get used to wearing something on her back, ready for when she is introduced to the training harness during formal training.
The Puppy Walker will also work on recall with Jet, which is a big stage in her development.
Recall training begins in the garden at home, and once the Puppy Walker is confident in Jet's ability, they will start to venture out of the house to practise at around four months old. At around six months old, Jet will start to experience increased hormone levels (the ‘teenage’ stage), and may be testing the boundaries to see what she can get away with! This is a normal stage of development and is something the trainer will expect her to grow out of in time.
At 10 months, her trainers will expect Jet to be happy in all situations and displaying excellent social behaviour. She should be able to carry out basic commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘down’, and will have learnt to adjust her behaviour to her surroundings; Jet should know when she's required to be calm, like when visiting cafés, and when she can let off steam.
When pups are on the lead, they will be expected to walk on the left of the handler and slightly ahead without excessive pulling.
Depending on the progress made and the general maturity of Jet, a date will be discussed to bring her in for the next stage of training at one of the Gude Dog centres.
We'll bring you more information about Jet as she grows and her training progresses.
For more information on how to sponsor a Guide Dog puppy visit the Guide Dog website.