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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday's Training TIP: AROUND

During my nieces' recent visit, I leashed up Rosie, Gus, and Gypsy to go outside to "park" on more than one occasion!  Every time I gave them the OKAY to head out, Rosie immediately dashed around behind my back to exit the door on my right side.  FLD Gus followed suit.  Gypsy got out however she could.

Rosie was a great example for FLD Gus, who is still learning what Rosie so obviously remembered from her training at Leader Dogs for the Blind.  The AROUND command.

"Around" is a command specific to guide dogs.  This command is to assure the safety of the dog when passing through doors that open from the right side, like our back door.  Think about it:  a door hinged on the left side (where the dog heels) can potentially hit the dog as it closes.

We teach our Future Leader Dog puppies to go AROUND behind us at a door that opens from the right, to heel through the doorway on our right side instead of our left, and to return to the proper heel position after completely passing through.

  • Heel your puppy to a door that opens from the right.
  • Stop and touch the doorknob with your right hand.
  • Say your puppy's name, then the command AROUND.
  • Tap your right leg with your right hand.
  • Pass the leash from your left hand to your right hand, behind your back.
  • When your puppy is in a "heel" position on your right side, open the door.
  • Heel through the doorway as "one unit."
  • When you get completely through the door, say your puppy's name, then the command HEEL.
  • Pass the leash from your right hand to your left, behind your back.
  • Continue on your way, with your puppy in heel position at your left side, with a loose leash.

  • Use the leash to guide your puppy behind you to your right side when he or she is first learning.
  • If your puppy tries to rush ahead of you through the doorway, close the door and wait until he or she stands calmly.  Don't say anything.  Try again.  Close the door again if necessary.  Try again.  Eventually your puppy will learn that you aren't going anywhere until he or she walks on a loose leash at your side.
  • Pause briefly after getting through the door to make the pass back to the "left" heel position.
  • Remember to praise your puppy when he or she correctly executes the AROUND command.

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